A Winter Welcome, L.A. Style

Take cues from Nicole’s California Christmas fete, and create a comfortable and cozy lounge space for your holiday gathering.

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While much of the country spends the holiday season snuggled up indoors with cable-knit sweaters and cocoa, Californians are taking their eggnog with a side of sunshine. But that doesn’t mean a holiday in L.A. can’t be cozy. Fashion icon Nicole Richie, creative director of House of Harlow 1960, is known for her sweetly stylish winter get-togethers that ooze holiday charm while making the most of her warm-weather surroundings. Follow her lead and use these tips to create a holiday party with cool California style.


Create lots of seating spaces.

To encourage conversation, Richie likes to group furniture into several areas, encouraging guests to mingle and move from one spot to another.

Bring on the plush rugs.

Because she has a no-shoe rule at home, Richie is a fan of soft, cozy rugs in every room. In addition to feeling soft underfoot, rugs soften the lines of the rooms and help put guests at ease.

Let the party sprawl.

Richie adopts a “my house is your house” policy when it comes to parties, encouraging guests to gather and lounge wherever they please. Slipcovers on the sofas mean guests can nibble and sip–and kids can romp–without worrying about the furniture.

Stock up on blankets.

L.A. has its share of chilly nights, so Richie keeps a pile of cozy blankets on hand for her guests, who snuggle up (instead of packing up) at dusk. Throw blankets of varying textures also help to create a layered look on indoor and outdoor seating, which helps create a cozy atmosphere.

Don’t forget the candles and flowers.

Richie knows that a good get-together enchants all the senses, from a bouquet of fragrant blooms on the table to flickering candlelight glowing on the edge of a room. Come winter, fresh pine garlands and wreaths lend a fresh seasonal aroma to her gathering spaces.

Incorporate conversation starters.

Having houseguests provides an opportunity for Richie to spotlight her varied and eclectic collection of home accents, from sparkling pyrite and crystals to art books. Not only do these items ground seasonal decor items like garlands and ornaments, they act as conversation starters for her guests.