Thanksgiving is quickly approaching and you will soon be entertaining friends and family at home. This also means you better start thinking about prepping for the upcoming holiday before it arrives leaving you without a plan.

It’s never to early to start thinking about how you will make this Thanksgiving holiday even more special than last year. With Turkey Day just a few weeks away, getting prepared early in advance can help keep stress at bay.

More than the meal

Of course, there is the infamous meal, but there’s also the house to consider. Even if you don’t have a lot of time, decorating your home for the holiday is something that you, as well as your family, will hopefully remember for years to come. After all, there’s always the potential for memories in the making when friends and families gather, so why should this year be any different? Let’s get ready.

It’s easy to make your Thanksgiving holiday a special celebration by incorporating touches of the colorfully unexpected into your home decor. Instead of relying on that same old Thanksgiving centerpiece on the dining room table, how about integrating some true harvest splendor in non-traditional areas? How? By adding a colorful cornucopia, one that you can easily make yourself with all sorts of great ingredients from the local crafts store such as artificial leaves and flowers. Or, add fresh veggies like small pumpkins into the arrangement available at the grocery store. If you haven’t the time or the imagination, your local florist should have multiple arrangements to choose from. too.

Rich decor

Also, try dazzling your dinner guests with autumn’s colors and textures in unexpected spaces. Transitional areas offer a wealth of opportunities for spotlighting an interesting harvest theme. Otherwise nondescript stairways that lead to the kitchen or dining area can be highlighted with a smattering of color. Showcase natural fall themes on the risers on a staircase. Display wonderfully painted accessories that tout the warm and spicy color palette of the holiday season. Stairway landings can be ideal for showcasing a hand-painted, canvas accent rug with a bold autumn motif.

One-story homes that lack stairways can also have Thanksgiving spark in an ordinary hallway space: Place a plain, small table or chairs make wonderful substitutions for accent tables in a hallway that is part of your home’s main traffic pattern. Add a floral arrangement, one as everyday or elaborate as your existing decor. A ‘candy apple’ red painted basket overflowing with bright orange mini pumpkins offers a cheerful approach to a neutral decorating scheme.

Why not take the part outside, weather permitting? If it’s warm out Thanksgiving Day, why not treat guests to an “outdoor” traditional Thanksgiving dinner complete turkey, stuffing, cranberries and all al fresco? Suburban backyards, condominium patios and even apartment rooftops can be treated to the colors and textures of autumn making the great outdoors the prefect venue. Try using oversized planters painted with the rich, bold colors of the season and filled with colorful fresh blooms. Place them beside the outdoor dining area and see how welcome guests feel.

Although traditional harvest colors integrate particularly well with a neutral exterior color palette, do not allow existing color palettes to prevent you from re-fashioning an exterior living space for the holiday. Quick “non-permanent” fixes are available to help the do-it-yourselfer. Plain slipcovers can be used to convey a distinctive color scheme within the dining area. Painted borders and freehand motifs can be creatively applied to solid colored slipcovers, using your favorite harvest color palette. Easily painted accessories (including planters, pedestals, and table top accessories) allow for quick, exciting and colorful outdoor Thanksgiving celebrations.

However you choose to decorate your humble abode for the upcoming (and usually considered the most important) family-get-together holiday of the year, remember, sharing time with your loved ones is what’s most important.