I was in shock this past week when I saw the Christmas stuff in the stores already. With all the warm weather I had forgotten that it is already October.

There are only eight weeks left until Christmas! This is the time of year that many people go into a full-blown decorating panic. Everyone wants their home to look its best for hosting family gatherings and holiday parties. The problem is, you are not alone and there is always a huge rush on furniture, flooring and custom draperies. So if you have missed the deadline for holiday delivery on your special order items, don’t worry. There are things you can do to dramatically change the look of your home, even last minute, for that special event.

Draperies are one of my favorite ways to spice up a room. Terrific looking windows can really make a space. You can purchase fabulous ready-made panels or roman shades in many fabric options. Look for rich velvets and microfibers to capture the feel of the season. There are many wallet-friendly places to get nice-looking window treatments, including Target and JC Penny.

A great way to change the look of your home is to rearrange the furniture. Swap out pieces from different rooms. Move a plant from your living room to your bedroom. You can also rework the layout of your furniture. Consider taking a piece or two out of a room to create more space. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Set a floral arrangement into a new vase or urn, cut down a sheet and use it as a shower curtain, or use a stack of books as an accessory on a table.

You might be surprised at the effect new pillows can have on a room. They are an inexpensive way to add color and play up the mood of a room. Don’t be afraid to buy pillows in daring colors, patterns or textures. Try mixing up the sizes of the pillows you buy for a dramatic look.

Changing your lighting is also a simple way to update the look of your room. Installing a dimmer gives you flexibility with the amount of light you have. You can add lamps or change your lampshades for a new look. Also, replacing light bulbs can change the amount and color of light you are getting. Traditional light bulbs cast a yellow light. There are newer “true light” bulbs that produce a bluer light. Just swapping the types of bulbs out can noticeably change the way the colors in your rooms appear.

One more fun trick is to rotate items in a collection. If you collect teacups, for example, try packing several of them away and reorganizing. That way you have the rest on display. Then, in a month or so, get out the packed up teacups and mix up the grouping again. Also try relocating the collection for a new twist. This is a nice way to make sure you really get to appreciate the beauty of the items you collect and ensure they are not overcrowding your space.

So don’t panic. It is possible, even at the last minute, to make a big decorating impact on your home for the holidays.

Julie Chrissis is a professional home stager and interior decorator based in Nashua and Malden, Mass. She can reached at