Ready to become the ultimate host? We've got you covered with some pro tips on how to transform your home into the perfect social space, ready to welcome guests with open arms.

 

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1. It's all in the layout

Post image landscape (95)-2Image credit: My Bespoke Room

Pop up bars and home DJ booths might be the first thing to spring to mind when you think about creating a home fit for entertaining but trust us - it's a clever layout that will really get your guests mingling. (Don't worry though - pop up bars come later!)

6 days a week it makes sense to have all seating facing the TV but for gatherings but it's a real conversation killer. Instead, position your sofa and armchairs facing inwards so that your guests face each other. Also, make sure they're close enough that your guests can hear each other over the music. 

This layout can sometimes look like the furniture is floating randomly in the middle of the room. You can make this look purposeful by creating a clear 'zone' for the area. Large rugs work brilliantly as a visual boundary. Also, make sure you leave enough circulation space around the furniture so that guests can easily move from room to room.

It's also very important to consider the size of your room and choose furniture that fits that space and doesn't take up too much of the floor. Having furniture that is too big for your space will create clutter and remove the flow.

Picture this – you’ve got a large L-shaped sofa and then a sheepskin rug by the fire. Would adding an ottoman in-between give people a place to perch and chat while someone else is lounging out on the rug and the sofa’s already occupied? Or is there room for an occasional chair or two so there’s another pocket for your guests to gather?

For larger gatherings, consider adding in smaller separate seating areas too. This enables guests to break off into smaller groups for one-to-one catch ups.

 

2. Separate work and play

Post image landscape (100)-2

Image credit: My Bespoke Room

You often hear us talking about how to zone your home, and there are so many ways to do this effectively. 

Zoning your home with paint, flooring, rugs and partial room dividers are brilliant ways to easily differentiate your social home hub from your private working space. 

Zoning with accessories and lighting will set the mood for the function - i.e. music posters and a drinks cabinet with some cool lighting suggests that this room is probably for socialising. Typology prints and task lighting will say: this space is strictly work only. 

 

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3. Go with the flow

Bright open plan kitchen

Image credit: My Bespoke Room

Whilst you want different spaces for different activities, it's important to keep a 'flow' throughout the house, especially if you wish to entertain in multiple rooms which aren't currently connected. 

Section with glazing instead of doors, so not to block the connection and light, and continue similar décor throughout. This makes it clear where guests can go and where they probably shouldn't venture off to. 

 

4. Take the party outside

Garden furniture inspiration | Outdoor social area

Image credit: My Bespoke Room

Glazing is the perfect way to separate rooms and spaces whilst keeping them connected. If you wish to have indoor/outdoor entertaining, then bi-folds or other glazing between the garden/terrace and the kitchen/dining/living space is a brilliant solution. 

You don't need a massive extension to implement this. You could include French doors, install bi-folds or even go for a modern conservatory like the one above. Throw open the doors and your guests will have more room to throw some serious shapes.

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5. Extra bums on seats 

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Image credit: My Bespoke Room

It's important to have lots of additional seating, or furniture that can become occasional seating at the drop of a hat when you do have guests around. 

These can be adjustable bar stools, pouffes, footstools, bespoke benches, ottomans or just an accent chair. There are plenty of ways to include extra seating that doesn't get in the way, or need to be put away when you don't have guests. 

 

6. Set the mood with lighting

Eclectic living room with warm lighting

Image credit: My Bespoke Room

Setting the mood is super important when entertaining and nothing quite puts an end to a party like switching on a bright light like they do at a bar's closing time!

Ambient lighting is key - just think about the soft glow in your favourite bar or restaurant for inspiration and how they use different levels of lighting to achieve it. A ceiling light is just a small part of a successful lighting scheme. You’ll want to make sure you also have mid level lighting in the form of standing lamps and wall lights as well as low level such as table lamps and even candles.

Lamps, whether floor lamps or table lamps, will get their glow in the morning, noon and night to add softness to your room, so add a good few into your living room. The key’s to have layered lighting at different heights so your lighting flows and isn’t too heavy at any one level. And look into switching up your light switch to a dimmer if you can to give you more control over the brightness of any ceiling and wall lights. 

 

Watch our film with the bright sparks from houseof on how to light your living room:

 

7. Fun focal point

Industrial home mini bar

Image credit: My Bespoke Room

Depending on the entertaining space, it's always fun to have a quirky or different item or area that defines the room. This may be a home bar, a cabin in the garden next to a beautiful wood-fire oven or a projector and screen if you're hosting a cinema party! 

After all, who needs to spend a small mortgage on cocktails when you make them yourself at home?! Having a makeshift bar in your living room is always going to be a hit. Bar cart, section of a bookcase styled with bottles of this and that, a side table packed with mixers and cocktail paraphernalia – anything goes.

Time to practice your bar flair - you'll have them forming a (not so) orderly queue in no time.

 

Make your home the ultimate social space. Book your room design from £395:

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8. Declutter

Colorful living room with eclectic gallery wall

Image credit: My Bespoke Room

The golden rule before entertaining – have a good, old-fashioned clear-out. It’s good for the soul, it’s cathartic, it’s cleansing and your living room will feel like there’s a summer breeze flowing through it even when the windows are shut. You can then go forth, decorate and prepare for when the compliments roll in about ‘what you’ve done with the place!

 

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9. A fresh lick of paint

three quater painted wall | dark blue paint ideas

Image credit: My Bespoke Room

Where better to start than with paint? One of the most transformative (and cost-effective) updates you can make to your décor is a lick of paint. It will press the reset button and shake you and your home out of its lockdown state. Fancy tapping into the Japandi interior trend or giving your living room a Scandi style makeover? Paint can take you there in a heartbeat. 

Even if you were one of those who went big on home updates this time last year when we were all adjusting to spending so much time indoors, the ways that you can get creative with paint are boundless. How about painting your woodwork or fireplace surrounds to introduce another accent colour? Or if you have a feature wall, a year’s not too soon to try a new hue. Did you leave out your ceiling last time?

Don’t forget that it’s your fifth wall and can work wonders when it’s given some TLC, whether that’s through light paint colours to make a small room feel larger or a patterned wallpaper that can make your palette feel super immersive. Talking of wallpaper… 

 

10. Liven up the room with wallpaper

Chimney flume with wall paper

Image credit: My Bespoke Room & dasilvadesign

Gone are the days where wallpapering a room would cost an arm and a leg and feel a bit on the scary side to undertake yourself. Lick's wallpaper collection is all about ease – easy to hang, easy to care for, and easy to be around. 

As much as a patterned cushion, an ikat footstool or vintage kilim rug will bring character and colour into your living room, wallpaper takes that energy to another dimension. If your living room’s on the snug side, going all in with a busy pattern will actually work in your favour; it’ll feel all the more cosy and intimate. 

 

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