Above, the rustic-chic décor in the SoHo House cabins in Oxfordshire, England (as seen in Architectural Digest) transitions effortlessly from fall to the holiday season.

Though it seems far away, the holiday season is really just around the corner. While you don’t have to skip ahead to the winter when fall has just started, right now is a very good time to prep your home while your calendar is a little lighter. We don’t mean bringing out the holiday decorations–instead, take the opportunity to assess all the spaces in your home that will soon be graced with the presence of guests. Here are a few things to do now, well before you send out that first invitation:

Declutter, declutter, declutter.

Whether it’s the dining room (like the glamorous one above by San Francisco design firm Johnson Sokol, featured in Domino), spare bedroom, the entryway, or your living room, take advantage of guest-free time to assess what you do and don’t need in each space. Another bonus to decluttering now: It gives you plenty of time to decide if you’d like to consign any items with Viyet. For less-than-perfect items, you’ll also beat the rush to donate, maximizing the chances that someone will be able to use your donations.

Transition your décor from summer.

While you’re already working in fall accents, choose a few accessories that will also work well during the holiday season. Specifically, luxurious throws and gold accents. Also, look for cushion covers in faux fur, velvet, chenille, and cashmere. They’ll look great with fall textures, but will go far in giving your home a festive look during the holidays. Also, don’t overlook patterns that can also work in both fall and winter, like the gorgeous plaid in this North Carolina bedroom featured in House Beautiful.

Define spaces with area rugs.

An area rug will help define your living or dining spaces (even more so if you’re working with an open floor plan, like in this space spotted in Lonny), while also making the room feel cozy and inviting.

Look for new hosting must-haves.

Now’s a great time to order a fabulous new bar cart or great new barware–and to test them all out before your first cocktail party of the season, of course. We especially love the unexpected shape of the Mid-Century Modern Lucite, Brass, And Mirrored Glass Bar Cart.

Stock up on vignette-worthy accents.

Vases, candle holders, small sculptures, and other accents will bring that special touch to your holiday arrangements. The Asta Antler Objet from Kravet would lend itself beautifully to many holiday vignettes.

Upgrade your powder room or guest bath with accessories.

Luxuriously fluffy towels and stylish bathroom accessories make guests (and you!) feel pampered. This vintage glass toilette set would make a great addition to any bathroom while adding a fun touch.

Re-think your entry décor.

This space is the first thing guests will see when they enter your home. Guarantee a great first impression by incorporating new lighting (if needed) or a standout piece of art, like “Hyperion” from Visual Contrast.

Stock up on hostess gifts.

Though a bottle of wine is always welcome, take a look at some of the very stylish gift ideas we’ve covered in our Things We Love series–like the Maine candle by MCMC fragrances mentioned in our September column. Browse more Things We Love columns now. »

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