Features the Holiday Lover Should Consider When Building a House

For those of us who especially love the seasons and holidays—for the spring sprucers and deck the hall-ers—there is perhaps no greater joy that comes from a new home than the beautiful blank canvas it provides for decor. Whether you host large gatherings or add each festive touch for your own enjoyment, a home you adore makes the process of decorating all the more special and exciting. And if you are one such lover of embellishments, why not think about the way you like to get creative when you’re creating the home itself? Today, we’re chatting about the features the holiday lover should consider when building a house!

#1 A Grand Staircase

There is something undeniably festive about garland and twinkle lights wrapping the railings of a grand staircase. It just feels warm and elegant all at once, and since it stretches above the eye line, it has a major effect in making a space feel fully decorated.

Add in the possibilities of seasonal and holiday-centric stair runners, and you’ve got a visual stunner for every time of the year!

#2 The Dining Room

when building a house consider a dining room

Photography by Tara Winstead

In many a modern home, casual open floor plans have taken charge. Gone are the days when everyone had a formal, Thanksgiving-worthy dining room. But we’d like to make the case for its return! And not only for those who might want to host that Turkey Day dinner.

For every season or holiday, the sophisticated dining room presents a canvas for some of the most beautiful decor possibilities. Think of glamorous chargers beneath festive plates or your best china. Even when you don’t have the full table set, timely runners can bring a fun touch to the space. We also love the idea of incorporating a bar cart into the dining room, for an added aspect of entertaining and more decor opportunities.

#3 Fireplace Mantels

a fireplace mantel when building a house for decor

Photography by Element5 Digital

Ah, who doesn’t want to incorporate an eye-catching fireplace into their home? Not only does a wide mantel represent the concept of home itself, via its status as the ancient “hearth.” It also invites tons of decorating creativity. Spooky garland for Halloween, candlesticks and pumpkins for Thanksgiving, twinkle lights, peppermints, and stockings for Christmas—the ideas go on and on! (Oh, we can’t forget some sweet bunnies in the spring!)

When building a house, be sure to ask your team about a fireplace mantel if it isn’t in the plans—even if you live somewhere that makes an actual fireplace somewhat useless. You can still have a fireplace façade! Or, you could always incorporate the essence of a mantel via a floating “television mantel” like this one from Wayfair.

#4 Built-In Shelves

One of the highlights of any holiday is the tchotchkes and trinkets we collect over time and unearth each year upon opening the boxes. It’s so fun to remember the time we bought this or that in a little shop with a loved one. Or maybe, we even have bits and bobs from childhood!

Although there are, of course, many places to display these throughout a home, we absolutely adore the idea of built-in shelves. When building a house, consider discussing built-ins for multiple rooms with your team. They can make for a beautiful fireplace or television surround in the living room, but would also suit a library or office space nicely. With your seasonal and holiday treasures in mind, try to make sure you include nooks of multiple different heights!

#5 A Front Porch or Stoop

Depending on where you’re building and what your other priorities for the land are, you might not decide to place high value on a porch or stoop. We completely understand, but we also encourage you to mull over the decorating magic they create before finalizing your decision!

From brilliant spring florals to beachy summer wreaths to stacked pumpkins, a little space by the front door can be the perfect spot for displaying all types of joyful decor!


The best part of building a house, whether you’re doing so from the ground up or via a semi-custom process, is making your home a place that perfectly accommodates your lifestyle. For the holiday lover, that includes decor opportunities! We hope you’ve enjoyed our take on the best ways to design a canvas for your seasonal creations.

If you’d like to learn more about how the process of crafting your home at Upper East River works, explore our home types or get in touch!

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