3 tips from local interior designer Lauren Murphy to make your Thanksgiving celebration festive + cozy

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Making your home warm and inviting isn’t hard—especially with these tips from Lauren Murphy. Photo via Lauren Murphy Realtor LAH Real Estate on Facebook

Whether you’re staying home and self-quarantining or having family and friends over, these tips will make your home feel festive through the season and beyond. We turned to Lauren Murphy, local interior designer and agent at LAH Real Estate, to learn more.

Meet Lauren Murphy

As a realtor AND interior designer, Lauren Murphy can do it all. Photo via Lauren Murphy Realtor LAH Real Estate on Facebook

Based right here in Birmingham, Lauren Murphy can do it all. As an interior designer and realtor at LAH Real Estate, Lauren is dedicated to finding her clients the perfect house—and then using her passion for interior design to bring their vision to life.

Lauren grew up in Alabama, graduating with a degree in Interior Design from The University of Alabama and obtaining a masters in Historic Preservation from the University of Georgia. Afterwards, she moved to Birmingham, where she lives with her husband and two precious puppies.

When we wanted to learn more about sprucing up our homes this Thanksgiving, we knew where to turn—the experts at LAH Real Estate.

1. The Basics

Sprucing up your home for the holidays doesn’t have to mean picking out new paint—it is as easy as tidying up that bit of clutter you’ve been putting off. Photo via Lauren Murphy Realtor LAH Real Estate on Facebook

Tidying up around your home may seem like a no-brainer, but it truly makes a huge difference. Whether its finally getting to that pile of laundry or dusting in places you normally pass over, little steps like that can make your home seem even more open and inviting.

“Whether you’re having people over or trying to sell your home, decluttering is a MUST! Storing away any personal items and tidying up around the home makes a huge difference when you have guests.”

Lauren Murphy

2. Adding Visual Flair

Now that your home is nice and tidy, it’s time to add some visual flair:

  • It’s easy to under-size your rugs, so don’t be afraid to go big. You want a rug that fills up the space.
    • Pro Tip: One fun option is to find a small, nicer rug that you love and place a large, natural woven rug underneath to fill up the space.
  • Throw pillows are a must! On your bed, sofa, chairs and more—throw pillows make everything feel inviting and add color where you want it.
    • Pro Tip: Master the art of karate-chopping your throw pillows to look (and feel) like a pro.
  • Unless you have extraordinarily beautiful window panes, you don’t want your windows to be bare. Drapes are a great way to warm up the room.
    • Pro Tip: Hang your drapes just below the crown molding or at least 6 inches above the top window trim and 6-to-12 inches past the window to make the room feel larger. Never install them right at the top of the window.

“Personally, I like all my big furniture pieces and staples to be neutral tones. Then, I use accent pieces with color to mix things up. That way, you can change your statement pieces if you need to without replacing all of your furniture.”

Lauren Murphy

3. Utilizing Greenery & Scents

One of the best ways to make your home feel natural and alive is by adding—you guessed it—plant life! You can find eye-catching greenery at places like Botanica, Shoppe and even Trader Joe’s. P.S. Trader Joe’s has small white pumpkins that make excellent centerpieces.

Plants aren’t the only way to make your home warm and inviting. Candles and diffusers are an easy way to add a welcoming scent to your home—the trick is finding the scent that works for you.

Pro tip: Shy away from overpowering scents like cinnamon—find a fresh, subtle scent. You can even make your own at several local hand-poured candle companies in Birmingham.

“P.S. use fresh Eucalyptus from Trader Joes in the shower. When the hot shower steam gets going it lets off a nice aroma. Always a plus to make guests feel like they are staying in a luxurious Bed & Breakfast!”

Lauren Murphy

Want to Learn More?

Whether you’re looking to spruce up your home for the holidays, or hoping to get your home ready to sell, the experts at LAH Real Estate know all the tips and tricks to turn your house into a home!

Reach out to the team at your local branch to get started:

What are your go-to tips when readying your home for guests? Tag us @bhamnow to let us know.

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  • Tennessee native who fell in love with Birmingham during college. Graduated from Birmingham-Southern College in 2019. Passionate about Birmingham and its continued growth.