No sooner than midnight hit Halloween than the decorations were up at retail stores and television commercials exploded for the holidays. People are feeling the stress already, but maybe none more than Millennials who may be preparing for their first Thanksgiving on their own or who may just want to do something different from seasons past. However, let’s face it, no matter what your age, we could all use some good ideas and shortcuts to keep things fun and maybe even start some new traditions. Naturally, there are many great options from which to choose as well as a variety of current trends.
Style guru Joe Zee has expanded his fashion expertise seen most at Elle magazine into the full-on lifestyle arena. “My husband and I are big entertainers and the holiday season is such a magical time of year – we go all out with multiple parties and gatherings. We really want all of our family and friends to feel special,” says Zee. “That’s why we make sure to plan ahead, because planning a party can be just as fun as throwing it – you just need the right inspiration to help make your holiday an occasion to remember.”
Indeed, steal these three tips from Zee as you plan your holiday gathering:
1) Make the Kitchen Your Holiday Hang-out Room – The trend of the kitchen as command central in the home is growing! Zee believes that there’s nothing better than a party in the kitchen, especially when prepping the holiday meal and guests gather to chat. To make things easy and fun, lay out chairs along with great-tasting, easy munchies and a special cocktail punch to give guests a reason to hang out in this area. Let family and friends enjoy the prep with you, even if you don’t need a helping hand.
2) Add Some Holiday Spark – It can be as dramatic as adding pops of color like on-trend cool deep blue and tropical bright orange to an accent wall. Zee suggests dispensing with traditional holiday colors in place settings, napkins and centerpieces in favor of unexpected hues like deep teal mixed with gold flatware with a pale yellow accent. Stick with two or three shades of color, with some neutrals thrown in for contrast.
3) Add Elegance and Efficiency to the Kitchen – According to Houzz, a key online platform for home remodeling and design, one out of 6 people are now remodeling their homes. Of that number, Millennials are spending 7 percent more than other demographics in that effort, much of which is going toward the kitchen and hot, trend products like connected appliances such the Samsung Family Hub refrigerator because of its tech integration. Such appliances are high on design but also make holiday planning easier thanks to such components as built-in calendars via the touchscreen doors or via the ability to sync shopping lists with your mobile phone using an appliance app.
The above can be particularly helpful if you are hosting what Zee calls an “orphan holiday dinner” or a “Friendsgiving.” This is where various friends gather, for any number of reasons, apart from their biological family to share the holidays with friends who double as family. This is a growing trend given rising costs in travel and more. But no matter how you spend these special days, remember that it’s really more about the conversation and time spent rather than pressure of perfection. Step into your own style and see where it takes you to the holidays and beyond.