Char Cowan is the design principal and Carol Hill is the creative director of Canvas, which provides interior designs for model homes by Irvine Pacific and several other coastal California homebuilders.

As interior designers, we love decorating our own homes for the holidays. It brings a special joy. Try these tips to make your home even more festive this season.

1. Create a welcoming experience at your door with planters potted with fresh greens and aromatic wreaths. Give your front door a good cleaning and make sure you have a well-lit porch.

2. Your entry vestibule sets the decorating scheme for the rest of your home. Engage all the senses. Have your FUN! favorite holiday scent lit, and make sure your console has fresh flowers in your favorite vase.

3. To create a festive mood, have your favorite holiday music playing in the background. Use your vintage albums on a vintage-inspired turntable.

4. The holidays are for celebrating, so stock up on essentials. A bar cart is a great way to serve garnishes and sprigs of evergreens. Offer holiday glassware filled with your own signature cocktail or punch.

5. Don’t forget the kids! Offer them a platter of cookies and hot chocolate to drink. No waiting for water to boil. A Smeg Electric Kettle will fill those holiday mugs in no time. Leave it on the countertop for a great pop of color.

6. Purchase a few extra ottomans to place near your cocktail table. Everyone will have a place to sit if you include large floor pillows for the kids; they want to be included in the conversations too!

7. During the holidays, keeping your home tidy from everyday clutter is a breeze if you have large baskets to contain it all. Think toys, books, maga- zines, throws, pillows … you get the idea.

8. In Southern California, we are lucky to enjoy outdoor dining all year long. Don’t be afraid to set out your best china. Make sure there is plenty of lighting by adding candles and lanterns. If there is a chill in the air, place an embroidered throw over the back of each chair and, after dinner, gather around the fire pit to stay cozy.

– Char Cowan and Carol Hill, Canvas Interior Design