Let’s be real: There’s nothing more nostalgic than cranking up your favorite Christmas tunes and breaking out the old heirloom ornaments. Holiday decorating is the ultimate way to tap into the holiday spirit instantly, and to keep it going. But all that putting up, tearing down and storing can add up to a lot of work. And with goodies to bake, presents to buy and wrap, holiday parties to attend, and visiting relatives to host, you want to make sure you spend the time you have wisely. The key is to work smart, not hard, and that means planning ahead, repurposing, and investing in a few quality pieces that will last you from Thanksgiving through Christmas and beyond. Read on; Furniture Fair has all the ingredients you need for holiday decorating success.

1. Create the perfect seasonal tablescapeWhen the holidays roll around, food is important, but so is a bit of extra flair on your dining table—make sure you have a big, sturdy one like this Madison County Dining Set made of solid reclaimed pine—to set the mood. A pair or two of stately candlesticks like this Aged Candle Holder from A&B Home look stunning when surrounded by a few of your prettiest Christmas tree ornaments and some seasonal greenery foraged from the backyard like holly branches, sprigs of evergreen, a few pretty pinecones: whatever you can scrounge up and shake off is fair game. Pick up a few spools of colorful grosgrain ribbon and tie large bows around your finds to pull it all together. Feeling inspired? Don’t stop with the dining table; this Old-World Tinley Park Accent Table with its graceful S-curved base is the perfect perch for extending your seasonal masterpiece.

2. Use an unconventional color palette. Christmas isn’t just red and green anymore. Your holiday colors can (and should) blend effortlessly with your home’s existing theme. If you’re already in the neutral zone, the color wheel is your oyster! Think burnt orange, classic violet, rich browns and warm metallics like rose gold and champagne. This purple Nyssa Table Lamp adds a sprinkle of sugar plum whimsy to a young one’s bedroom desk, while this Hudson Autumn Rug adds inviting depth and richness to your living or dining area. And if your holiday party guest list has you thinking it’s time for a seating upgrade, sectionals like this Shagreen Sectional with Ottoman in pecan can easily transition to spring.

3. Focus on longer-lasting elements. Create an overall seasonal vibe throughout your home, rather than taking a strictly holiday approach. Be strategic—stick with multipurpose components for the bulk of your décor, and make holiday-specific items easy to swap out, like decorative napkins and china sets. Making sure you’re well set up to entertain bigger groups of guests will pay off well beyond this season—bar stools like this Jenning Swivel Counter Stool can easily turn any counter space into a seating area, and underbed storage like this Athens Storage Bench where you can hide place mats and other small seasonal items.

4. Decorate your indoor trees. Instead of buying a live Christmas tree, which lasts only four weeks and then creates a huge mess of fallen needles you need to clean up, make a permanent tree the focal point of your living room and decorate it for each holiday. Add some string lights and subtle hints of tinsel that cast a soft glow and give off just the right about of glimmer. Create a Thanksgiving “thankful tree” by writing down what you’re thankful for on handmade paper ornaments and tying them to the branches. Come Christmastime, swap them out for ornaments, and voila! You’ve got yourself a Christmas tree. Investing in a high-quality silk like this Mini Aralia Tree in Square Metal Planter, or this Fall Birch Tree in Square Wooden Planter, saves you time and maintenance down the road. And there you have it! With a little foresight, your interior updates this holiday season can save you time on redecorating and freshen up your home in ways that will last for years to come.