5 Last-Minute Tricks for Pulling Your Home Together

Friends are stopping by and you’re in panic mode to pull your house together. It happens to all of us, but we’re big believers in entertaining, even if it means your home isn’t ready for a magazine photo shoot. There are some shortcuts you can pull to trick your friends or family into thinking your home is in tip top shape. Here are our 5 go-to’s.

1. Tidy Up

Don’t fret over this one too much. We’re not talking a deep clean, but put away stray mail, straighten towels in your powder room, wipe down the counters. Think quick tasks that have a big payoff — don’t bring out your vacuum. My go-to routine involves fluffing the pillows on my sofa, clearing off the coffee table, wiping out the sink in the powder room, and folding bath towels so they look tidy.

2. Dim the Lights

Great lighting is the most impactful thing you can do to create a cozy, pretty vibe in your home. If you have overhead lighting on a dimmer, then dim it way down and turn on all lamps. I like to do this in all the downstairs rooms in case someone walks through the hall to the bathroom, they’ll see pretty lamps on in the guest bedroom. No room in the house is dark which makes everything feel warm and cozy.

Another great way to spiff up your lighting? Pull back curtains, raise your blinds, or even open a window. Fresh air and plenty of natural sunlight are far more welcoming than a dark space. Embrace your home’s natural lighting.

3. Bring in something live

If you’ve got a day or two warning, then bring some fresh flowers home from the grocery store. If not, I like to cut a single fern frond from the yard and put it in a small vase. The architectural shape is playful and the bright green color can’t be missed. Another great option is to take a small potted plant from your yard (like an herb) and pop it into a cachepot. Forage your yard, we bet you’ll find something just right.

4. Light a Candle

Lighting a candle is a win in two ways. They give off pretty, soft lighting, and they’ll make your house smell nice. We love things that serve two purposes!

5. Play Some Music

A little background music creates a welcoming vibe, and your house will feel festive and ready for a party! I keep a couple of great playlists on my phone so I can always play it through bluetooth. It’s easy, and requires no running around. 

What are your go-to steps to freshen up the house before guests come over? Anything we’ve forgotten?

For more design inspiration, visit our Pinterest Boards, or find more gorgeous rooms in our Photo Gallery

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Caroline McDonald

Caroline lives for pairing together patterns, mixing furniture styles, and oogling over our newest furniture pieces. As you can imagine, her little 1920's craftsman is in a constant state of flux. Here on How to Decorate, it's her goal to help you turn your home into your own little slice of paradise.


  1. Reply


    March 15, 2018

    Love your fresh ideas…thanks

  2. Reply

    Mary Beth Simon

    December 17, 2017

    Such wonderful and welcome ideas. Thank you!