Thanksgiving is nearly a week away – the holiday season is practically here! Beyond the sparkling decorations and shopping sprees, the holidays are really about spending time with the people you love. Co-workers and friends gather to make themselves merry and spread good cheer. Relatives travel across the country to celebrate together. The only hitch to all of this festive fun? Someone has to host all of these folks!

From out-of-town guests to work Christmas parties, brunches with friends to New Year’s cocktails, a lot of people could be marching through your house between now and the end of the year! Is your home ready for it? If not, don’t fret, there are tons of design changes you can make to improve your home’s entertaining ease! Read on below to discover our top 4 suggestions.

Open Layout. Nothing make’s a home feel spacious more than an open layout! Taking down walls and joining rooms together is not only more convenient for hosting (no more lonely cooks!), it also provides a natural flow for events. Evenings can move freely from appetizers to dinner to dessert and drinks, all while remaining in the same room.

Separate Guest Quarters. Obviously, a huge pre-curser to this strategy is having the square footage for it, but if you do it’s a real game-changer! Accommodating out-of-town guests or family is no small undertaking, a little extra breathing room is helpful for all involved. Designate a specific bathroom and bedroom for guests, one that’s far from your private space. Finally, add a few personal touches, fancy towels, treats, or bath products, to make those spaces feel special.

Lower-Levels that Party. Another fantastic way to up your home’s hosting cred is to trick out your lower-level. Basement bars, game rooms, and home theaters are all excellent additions to any home. Lower-level party spaces are also a smart strategy for families that need ample hosting areas. The adults can gather upstairs for an elegant dinner party while the kids gather below for a casual movie night; win, win!

Invest in the Kitchen. Our final piece of advice for anyone looking to improve their home’s hosting mojo is to focus on the kitchen. Nine times out of ten where do people end up when you have them over? The kitchen! Kitchens are the heart of modern homes; they’re where folks always seem to end up gravitating. Invest your remodeling resources in bettering your kitchen – you won’t regret it!