With only a few days of cold weather to warn New Yorkers this year, the holidays snuck up on many of us.
Now starts the scramble to make the home cheery and bright in time for guests to start arriving for holiday visits and parties.
We asked city décor experts for tips to make it easy and affordable.
Hang a wreath
Sean C. Juneja, co-founder and CEO of the SoHo-based interior design company Décor Aid, said to start your home's holiday theme at the entrance by hanging a wreath on the door, decorated with a big ribbon.
"The best way to decorate a wreath is to keep it simple," Juneja said. "With a checkered ribbon, maybe in red and white - they look very elegant and can separate you from the neighbors as well."
Another good place to a hang a wreath is the window, according to Betsy Helmuth of Affordable Interior Design, who recently published the book "Big Design, Small Budget: Create a Glamorous Home in Nine Thrifty Steps." That way you can hang it from a curtain rod to avoid nailing a hole in your door and passersby can see it from the street.
Accent your tables
For entertaining, Helmuth also is a big fan of ribbons.
"You can tie a chunky ribbon around your coffee table, wrap it up like a gift," she suggested, adding that the same idea can be applied to a chunky ottoman.
Helmuth also suggested using a pashmina or plaid wool scarf as a table runner, or getting chalkboard paper with chalk in festive colors (laylagrace.com currently sells a kit for $37) and using it for a buffet.
"I love cutting a long strip of chalkboard paper over your buffet or console table or kitchen island, wherever you're laying out the food," Helmuth said.
For accents on the rest of your tables, Juneja recommended heading to the holiday markets in Chelsea Market, Union Square and Bryant Park to pick up some holly, evergreen branches, pinecones, ornaments and poinsettias.
Dress up your plants
Since poinsettias come in plastic pots with cheap foil paper, replace them with ceramic and other warm-textured pots (Home Goods has them for under $4), Juneja said. Add burlap for warmth.
Take the holly and other accessories and put them in cloches and glass vases as centerpieces for coffee and side-tables.
And to decorate according to your culture, "you can fill them up with whatever you like in terms of your history," Juneja said. "They create beautiful vignettes, side-pieces that really grab attention."