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<p>(BPT) - Holidays are when most people open their homes for friends and family. Sharing the season&rsquo;s greetings is always the priority but these gatherings are also an opportunity to show off improvements made during the year.</p><p>This is one of the reasons that autumn is a popular time for home improvements. Fifty-two percent of homeowners plan to make home improvements this fall, according to the leading real estate website Zillow. It is also a great time of year for deals as retailers unload inventory to make room for new styles.</p><p>Creating a warm and inviting atmosphere includes much more than just poinsettias and Santa Claus centerpieces. There are a number of affordable steps homeowners can take to add a real &ldquo;wow factor&rdquo; to their holiday entertaining.</p><p>Kitchen updates</p><p>The kitchen is commonly one of the busiest rooms during the holidays. Since guests often gather there, it makes sense to make the space the focus for a few improvements before the holidays. Simple and inexpensive updates, such as adding new knobs and handles to cabinets or installing a new backsplash, will make a big difference. Stylish new light fixtures can also give your kitchen a quick facelift that will impress your guests.</p><p>Install hardwood floors</p><p>The warmth and beauty of hardwood floors can transform the look and feel of your home to create a space that will stun your guests. And unlike carpet, hardwood floors do not stain or wear as easily from inevitable spills and foot traffic that the holidays bring.&nbsp;Moreover, carpet traps dust, pollen and other particles that can cause allergies and respiratory issues.</p><p>Visually unique flooring options such as <a href="http://www.lumberliquidators.com/ll/s/Bellawood%20Bamboo" rel="nofollow">Lumber Liquidators&rsquo; Bellawood Bamboo</a> bring together both the aesthetic and practical advantages of hardwood flooring. This flooring carries a 100-year transferable warranty that assures these benefits will be sustained for a lifetime of holiday gatherings.</p><p>De-clutter</p><p>It&rsquo;s important to create inviting open space for guests to enjoy. De-cluttering bookshelves and removing miscellaneous furniture can help make a room feel larger and more open, and will allow room for festive seasonal decor. Spending time to organize the refrigerator will make space for any holiday dishes a guest brings.</p><p>Improve the entry</p><p>The front entry provides the first impression of a home, so it&rsquo;s important to create a stylish, cared-for and welcoming look. Homeowners can complete small projects outside, such as updating house numbers, painting the front door and creating holiday-themed arrangements. Simple decor updates just inside the door &ndash; such as adding family photos and new rugs &ndash; will add a warm and personal feel.</p> <img src='http://www.brandpointcontent.com/printsite/ImageWriter.ashx?articleid=18091&memberid=8729' border='0' width='1' height='1' />

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