Holiday entertaining Cynthia Weber

As I was working with Cynthia Weber to develop her recent guest post with us ( Is a Small Interior Design Company Right for your Next Project? ), she happened to throw an article idea my way.

She said, “I think it’d be great to do a short list of things to check and fix. Alleviate anxiety over the holiday season. i.e. secure railings, have your chimney cleaned, check that walkways are lit well at night etc. The kind of things no one thinks of because they get crazy with decorating, entertaining and … unavoidable family politics.”

Cynthia perhaps delivers her piece de resistance when she says, “It’s all fine and good to have a golden turkey perfectly displayed and ready to be devoured… but if Grandma breaks a hip coming up the front walkway… You’re gonna look like the turkey!” (editor’s note: ha!)

Avoiding Holiday Home Stresses

And anyway, it seems that most homeowners, in a mad dash to decorate or to make their house show … perfectly, may miss some very fundamental requirements for welcoming guests and further for welcoming the … joy of the season.  Off the top of my head, I am also reminded of Chris Long’s post with us recently, Fire Prevention through Preparation.  In it, Chris points out that house fires are far more prevalent during the holiday season, and for a number of reasons.  And being how a house fire could pose a big “Holiday Home Stress,” let’s start by making sure we’ve followed his basic steps for readiness (available in the post above).


Chip Wade via Flickr

An Interview with HGTV Star, Chip Wade

Next, Building Moxie, through the “media tour” Delta’s Holiday Home Stresses, had the opportunity to interview Chip Wade of HGTV and the DIY Network on this very same topic.  (More on Chip at the bottom.)  In a ten minute phone interview, we were able to discuss both common home mishaps but generally just getting your house ready for the holidays.

Editor’s Note: This article originally included an accompanying video, which unfortunately has been unpublished.

Focused on, as Chip put it, things that end up breaking down when you have excessive amounts of people entering the home. He offers tips for making the most of spaces that will be accepting an influx of presents, coats, etc; tips for freshening up your kitchen and specifically your garbage disposal; and how to avoid last minute disasters. Here, he focuses on an overflowing toilet (often selected as the #1 worst possible scenario to happen right before a holiday party).

* Featured Update – Powder Room Toilet

Citing advancements in toilet technology, which allow for super speedy installs, Chip actually suggests swapping out your powder room’s, sure-to-be-heavily-visited, toilet prior to a big party … if you have any doubts about it.

Other points Chip shares include making the entryway of the home, both a foyer and exterior walkways, as inviting as possible.  Move coats, umbrellas and such to back rooms.  For areas of the country that might expect ice or snow, he suggests a heated mat at the entryway.  And a holdover perhaps from his time on Curb Appeal – clearly defined, clearly lit paths. Lighting, he says, is essential at landing areas.  While he doesn’t recommend getting into anything that is too labor intensive (this time of year), he suggests cutting back dead limbs on trees or bushes and especially if they interfere with walkway traffic.


More on Chip Wade

Chip Wade was the contractor and master carpenter on HGTV’s Curb Appeal: The Block. He also appears as the carpenter on HGTV’s Designed to Sell and will host HGTV’s new series Elbow Room. In it, he comes to the rescue of families who love their home and love their neighborhoods, but whose houses no longer suit them.

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Chip is the owner of WadeBuilt LLC, a design and construction firm. He resides in Atlanta with his wife, Pauli, and son Mac. To learn more about Chip, you can visit http://www.chipwade.com.


Thanks out to Cynthia Weber, too, both for the holiday graphic offered above and for the assist with this post. For more on Cynthia, including tons of holiday decorating ideas, check her here >> http://cynthiaweber.com/a-button-tufted-life/. For much more from us on planning for the holidays, see our category – Holidays. Cheers. ~jb