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The same room and furniture set against different colors

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Cozy For The Holidays

Three easy ways to refresh your home.

The air is getting cooler, days are getting shorter and spirits are getting brighter. That

can only mean one thing — the holidays are coming. A time spent giving thanks, getting cozy and entertaining family and friends. 

In anticipation of the holidays, freshen up your decor with a few easy fixes. A simple way to completely change the look of a home is by switching out the rugs — some people even do it every season. We asked Tina Smart, owner of Area Rug Company (arearugco.com) in Birmingham, to recommend some easy tips for cozying up your home for the holidays.

Born and raised in Canada, Smart graduated college before joining her family’s area rug business, launched by her parents, who immigrated from India in 2010. After getting married, Smart moved to Michigan in 2016; when the pandemic created issues crossing the border

to get to her store in Canada, she decided to open up shop in Birmingham, launching the Area Rug Co. in 2021. 

“My vision when opening Area Rug Co. was to create an area rug showroom that offers the best of both worlds – the ability to choose from thousands of beautiful in-stock rugs or design a custom, handmade rug that is uniquely you, with the ability to pick the color, shape, size and material,” Smart says. “I am constantly adding new collections every few months so our selection will always be fresh, modern, and in-line with today’s trends.”

Each year, Smart visits India, where she chooses four to six collections of handmade rugs to feature in her store, with a focus on high quality, durability and affordability. Here are her top three ways to cozy up your space this holiday season:

CHOOSE A COLOR PALETTE

First question: Neutrals or colors? “Neutrals are more on trend this year,” Smart says, adding that more people are steering away from the cooler gray tones which were popular in years past and choosing instead a warmer neutral palette. “Look for more beiges, creams and browns,” she says.

Although neutrals are more on-trend this year, Smart advises not to be afraid of color. “It’s a

great way to warm up a space and it brings cheer,” she says, suggesting focusing on darker warm colors like burgundy and mustard yellow.

Lastly, winter white is always a classic. “I’ll be using a lot of white and gold this year,” Smart says. “These colors uplift any space and bring the winter indoors.”

CHANGE OUT THE ENTRYWAY RUG

“Rugs are the foundation of the room. They anchor the space,” Smart says. Swapping out the

entryway rug for something more festive is a great way to set the tone for the home. “It makes

a great first impression and gives guests a sense of the personality of the home right away,” she says. 

For those a little intimidated by color, Smart suggests trying a Bogota rug. “The colors are

more faded,” says Smart, “but they are a great way to incorporate color without overpowering the space.”

As a busy mom to a two-year-old daughter, Smart knows “my rugs will eventually get dirty.

That is why Area Rug Company only sources highly durable and easy-to-clean rugs.” This is

especially important to have in high-traffic areas like an entryway. 

ADD A LITTLE HOLIDAY CHEER TO EACH ROOM

Adding a little touch of autumn to each room can be an easy and budget-friendly way to add a festive touch to your home. Smart suggests swapping out simple items in each room for more holiday-inspired options, like the throw pillows on the couch and beds, the dining room centerpiece and the decor on the fireplace mantel.

Smart is also a fan of Christmas trees. “I put one in every room of my house,” she says. From small pre-lit ones in the bedrooms to a huge one in the great room, a beautiful tree  — or wreath of fall vignette — envelopes a home in warmth.

  • Layers of beige and white
  • The same room and furniture set against different colors
  • Tina Smart

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