Get Your Home Guest-Ready for the Holidays on a Budget

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The holidays will be here before you know it! If you’re a homeowner in San Diego looking to spruce up your space to prepare for guests but don’t have the time or budget for a major renovation, don’t worry. There are plenty of simple, cost-effective tasks you can tackle over a weekend to make your home more comfortable and inviting for holiday hosting.

Refresh Your Bathrooms

Bathroom interior. Green wall blend perfeclty with white storage cabinet and white washbasin stand with toilet

The bathrooms in your home see a lot of use, especially during the busy holiday season when guests may be staying for multiple days. Make sure your bathrooms make a great impression by focusing on quick updates that have an outsized impact.

Add new lighting: Proper illumination can make a bathroom feel bright, clean, and spacious. Replace outdated fluorescent bulbs with LEDs that provide natural white light. Increase the wattage in overhead fixtures or sconces to reduce shadows.

Cost: $10-50

Install a new mirror: An old, worn mirror makes any bathroom feel dated. Hang a new mirror with integrated lighting to instantly modernize your space. Go larger than the existing mirror to make the room feel bigger.

Cost: $50-200

Update accessories: Replace tattered shower curtains, invest in plush new bath mats, and declutter counters. Store excess items, leaving out only beautifully coordinated accessories.

Cost: $50-150

Do a deep clean: Scrub surfaces, clean grout, and sanitize all areas. Make sure exhaust fans are working properly. A thoroughly cleaned bathroom feels brand new.

Cost: $0

With some new lighting, mirrors, accessories, and a good scrub down, you can transform your bathroom into a relaxing oasis for less than $250.

Stage an Inviting Entryway

The entryway sets the tone when guests first arrive. Make a great impression by spending an afternoon sprucing up and decorating your home’s entrance.

Add seating: Give guests a place to remove shoes with a small bench, stool, or pair of classic wooden chairs. Include a tray for keys and sunglasses.

Cost: $50-300

Increase storage: Maximize vertical space by mounting hooks for coats and installing cubbies for keys and change. We’re Stylish hallway interior with large mirror and storage bench near light wall likely headed for a wet winter in San Diego, so providing a place for umbrellas is also a good idea. It’s important to get organized so everything has a place.

Cost: $30-100

Lay down a rug: Place a durable, easy-to-clean rug to define the entry space and reduce tracked-in dirt. Choose a low-pile rug or machine-washable doormat.

Cost: $30-150

Show your style: Add decorative touches like framed prints, greenery, bowls for keys, and a unique lamp or pendant light. Show off your personality.

Cost: Variable

With extra seating, new storage, a fresh rug, and stylish accents, you can make your entryway warm and welcoming for holiday celebrations.

Illuminate with New Lighting

Lighting has a huge impact on the ambiance of a space. Swapping out a few outdated fixtures for new, stylish ones can instantly modernize your home.

Kitchen pendant lights: Replace basic ceiling flush mounts with mini pendant clusters or a statement-making multi-light pendant to create an inviting kitchen focal point.

Cost: $30-300

Overhead dining fixture: Choose a dining chandelier that aligns with your decor style, from glamorous and traditional to vintage and modern.

Cost: $150-500

Sconces: Purchase affordable plug-in wall sconces or consider hardwired versions to permanently install on walls between studs. If wiring a new light fixture, be sure to hire a licensed electrician and get any required permits. Place sconces throughout main living areas and bedrooms. Use stylish lamps on side tables too.

Cost: $25-150

Outdoor lighting: Line walkways and illuminate patio seating with string lights and lanterns to extend holiday cheer outside.

Cost: $25-150

New lighting is an easy way to update any room and set the perfect ambiance for holidays and year-round entertaining.

Stage Special Holiday Touches

Add festive flourishes throughout your home to excite guests and get everyone into the holiday spirit. Little touches go a long way!

Mantels: Adorn fireplace mantels with greenery, ribbon, stockings, and holiday art. Anchor decor with candlesticks for warm glow. For homes without fireplaces, create a similar focal point by decorating built-in shelving or installing new floating shelves. Style with holiday decor and candles to set a festive mood.

Cost: Variable

Festive pillows and throws: Purchase removable seasonal slipcovers to easily dress up existing pillows for the holidays. Look for machine washable options to keep clean. Fold throws at the ends of sofas and beds to add cozy accent.

Cost: $10-50

Serveware: Break out festive dishware, glassware, napkins, and table runners. Check Kobey’s swampmeet or secondhand stores like Goodwill to find interesting vintage pieces to amp up your style.

Cost: Variable

Scented candles: Nestle low-smoke candles throughout main rooms and enhance the atmosphere with notes of pine, warm cider, and vanilla. Be sure to keep a close eye on open flames, especially in homes with kids or pets. Extinguish candles before leaving a room.

Cost: $5-15

With just a little holiday cheer sprinkled around your home, you will surely delight guests this season.

Set the Scene in Your Dining Room

Beautiful holiday table setting The dining room is the heart of any home during the holidays. Set the stage for memorable meals and conversations with a few styling upgrades.

Clean surfaces: Clear clutter from the table, sideboard, and buffet. Clean wood pieces and shine glasses for a polished look.

Cost: $0

Iron linens: Crisp napkins, fresh tablecloths, and pressed linens feel luxurious. Use cloth napkins in holiday colors.

Cost: Variable

Create a centerpiece: Search online for tutorials and instructional videos. Purchase affordable accents like botanicals, berries, pine cones, candles, and other decorative items from a store like Michaels or Hobby Lobby.

Cost: Variable

Soften overhead lighting: Install a dimmer if the overhead fixture is too harsh. Supplement with table lamps or sconces for ambiance.

Cost: $25-100

Play music: Create playlists for background holiday tunes throughout the season. Upgrade old speakers for improved sound.

Cost: $50-500

With a few simple upgrades, your dining room can provide a beautiful place for friends and family to connect this holiday season.

Bring Joy to Your Kitchen

The kitchen is the workhorse room during the holidays. Make yours more functional and inviting with these easy tips:

Organize supplies: tore lesser used items and declutter your countertops. Clean out old or expired items from cabinets and organize your pantry so staple ingredients are easily accessible. Keep only essential tools and appliances out for easy access.

Cost: $0

Clean appliances: Empty the fridge, wipe down exterior surfaces, dust the top of cabinets, descale your kettle, and do other less-frequent cleaning chores. A clean kitchen helps everything run smoothly.

Cost: $0

Upgrade lighting: Add task lighting over main work areas. Under-cabinet lights improve visibility for food prep and clean up.

Cost: $25-100

Maximize seating: Use built-in seating like barstools at islands and banquettes. Pull in folding chairs or a bench when additional seating is needed.

Cost: Variable

Meal plan: Plan out menus and prep what you can beforehand. Do as much of your major cooking as possible a day or two before guests arrive.

Cost: $0

With good prep and organization, your kitchen will keep humming along deliciously all season long.


The holidays will be here before you know it, but there’s still time to get your home guest-ready on a budget. Focus on quick updates like new lighting and fixtures, refreshed bathrooms, festive styling, holiday accents, and organization. With a thorough cleaning and some new holiday sparkle, you can spruce up your space just in time for celebrations with family and friends.

For major remodeling projects like a kitchen remodel, bathroom renovation, or whole home remodel, contact our team of experts at Kanna Construction and Remodeling. We serve homeowners throughout San Diego and can help you achieve your dream home with our award-winning design and remodeling services.