Having guests come over can be exciting, but also stressful if your home isn’t ready for entertaining. With some quick decorating fixes, you can spruce up your space so it looks polished and put-together, without spending too much time or money. Here are 8 easy ways to make your home look its best before company arrives.

Clean and Declutter

The first step in any decorating project is to tidy up. Clear flat surfaces of clutter and personal items, store away piles of papers and magazines, and remove dishes from the sink. Give everything a thorough cleaning, paying special attention to high-traffic areas like entryways, kitchens, and bathrooms. Vacuum carpeted areas and mop hard floors, and don’t forget to scrub the bathroom and kitchen. A clean space looks instantly more welcoming to guests.

Refresh High-Traffic Areas

Focus your decorating efforts on the spaces guests will see and use the most – the entryway, living room, dining room, kitchen, and main bathroom. Even doing simple tidying in these spots can elevate the look. Fluff pillows, fold throws, straighten furniture, and hang up coats and towels. Clear kitchen counters and set out pretty dish towels. A quick refresh makes these high-traffic zones look intentional and styled.

Update Flooring

Update worn carpet or dingy floors with area rugs – they instantly make spaces look cleaner and more put-together. Use large-scale rugs in living and dining rooms, and smaller versions in entryways and bedrooms. Try sisal or jute rugs for a natural fiber look. Bold patterns and colors work well in traditional spaces, while solids and textures fit modern décor. If possible, get rug pads to prevent slips and floor damage.

Style Your Entryway

The entryway sets the tone when you have guests over, so give it some love. Add a fresh coat of paint or wallpaper to liven up the look. Set out a tray to corral keys and mail. Hang a mirror and art for visual interest. Place a bench or hooks for coats and bags. A few potted plants or a vase of flowers also warm up the space. These small fixes make a big impact in the entry.

Decorate with Flowers

A simple way to instantly perk up any room is with fresh flowers. Pick up a bouquet at the grocery store, or grab one of their pre-made arrangements. Vibrant gerbera daisies or roses give a pop of color, while textured options like dahlias or peonies add interest. Display flowers in common gathering areas like the entryway, living room, kitchen, and dining room. Change the water daily and snip stems to keep them looking fresh.

Style the Dining Room

Set your dining room for entertaining success with some decor updates. Polish any silver or serving pieces that will be used. Bring out your best china and glassware. iron or steam linens, and fold napkins into pretty shapes. Create a centerpiece with greenery, candles, flowers, or seasonal decor. Finally, dim the lights and use your best tablescape items like runners and placemats to give the dining room a special feel.

Light it Up

Proper lighting sets the mood in a room just as much as decor. For instant ambiance, use lamps and overhead fixtures in main gathering spots like the living room. Dimmers allow you to control the brightness. Light candles before guests arrive – they give a homey feel. Make sure exterior lighting works to illuminate walkways and entryways. These quick lighting fixes create a warm, welcoming environment.

Finish with Accessories

Accessories are the finishing touches that pull a room together. Add pillows, throws, vases, trays, books, and greenery to flat surfaces and furniture. Use scented candles, essential oil diffusers, or simmer pots for pleasant aromas. Display coffee table books or artwork to personalize the decor. Swap out pajamas and personal items for guest towels and toiletries. These accessories show attention to detail without much work.

Frequently Asked Questions About Quick Decorating Fixes for Company

What are some quick fixes to make my home look clean for guests?

Some quick fixes to make your home look clean before guests arrive include – vacuuming floors, mopping hard floors, cleaning the entryway, wiping down kitchen and bathroom counters, putting away clutter, making beds, clearing tabletops and other flat surfaces, putting dishes away, and taking out trash and recycling. Even just 10-15 minutes spent tidying can make a big difference.

How can I decorate my entryway quickly?

To quickly decorate your entryway, try hanging up coats or adding a coat rack, arranging shoes neatly on a mat or rack, placing a bench or small table for keys and mail, styling the top of a console with decor, adding a mirror or framed art on the wall, incorporating greenery or flowers, and laying down a fresh doormat.

What are fast ways to update tired floors?

Some fast options for updating tired floors include vacuuming carpets, sweeping and mopping hard floors, laying down fresh area rugs, and using rug pads to smooth out worn carpet spots. You can also rearrange furniture to hide poorly aging areas until you’re able to refinish or replace flooring.

How do I create an inviting dining room for guests on short notice?

Some ideas for quickly creating an inviting dining room include using your best table linens, folding cloth napkins into shapes, polishing silverware and serving dishes, creating a centerpiece with flowers, greenery or candles, dimming the lighting, adding music, and even setting the table for a few extra guests to make the room feel fuller.

What are quick tips for lighting a room before company arrives?

Quick tips for lighting a room before guests come over include turning on all overhead fixtures, using lamps to give a warmer ambiance, placing candles around in safe spots, replacing any burned out bulbs, opening curtains to let in natural light, and making sure outdoor lighting works to illuminate paths and entries. Adjusting dimmers helps set the right mood.

Where should I place fresh flowers when guests are coming?

When expecting guests, place fresh flower arrangements in your main gathering areas for the biggest impact. Good spots include entryway tables or consoles, kitchen islands and tables, living room end tables and coffee tables, dining room buffets and tables, bedrooms, and bathrooms. Just be sure to snip stems and change the water to help them last.

What are some fast ways to style tables and surfaces?

Some quick styling ideas for tables, countertops and surfaces include removing clutter, dusting, adding trays to help organize items like mail or keys, placing books and coffee table books attractively, incorporating vases, candles, small plants, bowls, or other decorative items, folding blankets over chair backs or sofa arms, and tidying any personal items.

How do I make my bathroom feel clean and welcoming before guests use it?

To make your bathroom feel clean for guests, tidy up counters, add soap and fresh hand towels, clean the mirrors and sink, hide away personal grooming items and clutter, add a scented candle or diffuser, provide a small basket of extra toiletries, remove dirty towels, and give the toilet a scrub and freshen it with a cleaner or tablets in the tank.


Preparing your home for guests doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. Focus on quick fixes like decluttering, tidying main living areas, updating entryways and floors, styling with accessories, adding fresh flowers, improving lighting, and finishing with decorative accents. With just an hour or two of effort, you can spruce up your space so it looks clean, polished, and ready for entertaining company. Concentrating on high-traffic spots and flexible décor makes it easy to switch your home to guest-ready mode. With these simple decorating fixes, you can relax and enjoy time with your visitors.