Firstly, we sincerely apologise for mentioning Christmas in October however, we're coming from a good place, we promise! We're here to make sure that this year, the festivities don't catch you off guard and you're prepared, organised and most importantly, relaxed and calm.
4 top tips to get organised
Before we get into our favourite thing to talk about, the interior, we need to make sure you're organisationally prepped. I.e. Do you have the faintest idea about your Christmas plans yet? Don't panic! It is still only October, the perfect time to start the process before you get caught in the winter whirlwind. If you don't know much other than the fact you will be hosting, then pens at the ready, this is for you...
1. Plan early
Remember when Benjamin Franklin said 'by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail'? Well, we're not saying that if you don't have a plan in place, you're going to fail at Christmas, because no one fails at Christmas. What we are saying is, a plan will ensure (hopefully) that it's smooth sailing to the 25th December.
Plan who's visiting in the holidays, how many you have to cook for, where you'll be dining, where guests will be sleeping and who you need to buy presents for. Those are the big things, then you can get into the nitty gritty and smaller details such as shopping lists and prepping the spare room.
2. Make a list
Lists will be your best friend. Lists are the perfect way of getting ideas and the overwhelming feeling like you have too much to do, out of your head and onto the page. By creating lists you're making your plans (if you followed step one, you've already made them) digestible, achievable and clear.
List the people you're catering for, the rooms that need organisation/changes and the 'to-do' lists for each hosting element. It sounds a lot, but trust us, it will definitely make hosting more manageable.
3. Be realistic
We're going to refer to the all important SMART criteria. This is used predominantly for goal setting, but if your goal is to serve up a delish Christmas dinner, put up your guests in a 5* bed and breakfast worthy spare room and ultimately, be the hostess with the mostess, then it's a criteria to live by.
If you've forgotten what it stands for, don't worry, we've got your back: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. Here, we're focussing on the 'attainable' part. If you live in a one bed home, and the closest you have to a dining table is a two seater breakfast bar then we don't recommend volunteering to host Christmas dinner for the extended family.
Work out, realistically, how many people you can cater for, and how many people you can have stay. Remember, you don't need guest rooms in order for people to be able to comfortable sleep over (we'll get onto this later in the post!), however, you don't want to be stepping over bodies crammed on blow up mattresses on the way to kitchen to make a morning cuppa.
If you have a study or spare room that's not yet equipped to double up as a guest room, we can help you design, create and order all the furniture for a dual-function room that works for you and your guests. If you want to book a call to chat about our design and personal shopping services, just click the button below.
Budgeting leads on nicely from being realistic. It's not just the food and the presents you need to account for, but if you need to quickly update your home so it's ready for Christmas then you may need to budget for new furniture items or extra seating. Alternatively, you may have the infrastructure for guests but you want to give them a special 'I'm on holiday' feeling, and this is easily done with finishing touches. Again, it needs budgeting!
Our room design service and mini makeovers (great for those finishing touches) are perfect as your designer will source furniture and furnishings to fit within your budget, saving you the headache of searching for all the items in separate places and then having to do the maths yourself. In a rush? We even do an express service to get your room design turned around within 5 working days! Check out our services via the button below.
Now time to get into the nitty gritty of getting your home ready for hosting during the holidays...
The dining room
Aka the location of the main event. You may not have a dedicated dining room, or you may have to relocate to a different room to cater for the extra guests, either way, you need measures in place to make sure you don't have people sat on a wobbly stack of cushions or some people having to eat in separate rooms, that's not the Christmas way, is it?
Image credit: Home Stories A-Z
You're probably thinking, the main furniture? Well duh, dining table and chairs! However, your current dining dynamic may not be prepped to host. You may need, for example, additional seating or an extendable dining table.
Extendable dining tables are perfect for looking gorgeous all year around whilst being the perfect size for a family of four (or however many you have!), come the holiday period, you can extend it to fit all those extra family and friends! Furniture design has come on so far, you wouldn't even know it was an extendable table - it's like magic!
When choosing your dining room furniture, it can be quite overwhelming. What finish do you want the table to be? What shape? What's the most practical? What works for your home? What style?
Then, there's the chairs. Do you want chair or bench seating? Upholstered, metal or wood? What is comfortable and stylish? Can you mix a couple different styles?
These are all questions that your designer can collaboratively work with you on to help you choose dining furniture that is perfect for you and your home. Get in contact via the button below if you want all that hassle taken away.
Extra bums on seats
So, you're not hosting extra people but you don't want to fork out on a whole new set of dining chairs, nor will you have anywhere to store them after Christmas? Don't panic, eclectic is in. Mix and match with existing (or new) occasional chairs that can sit elsewhere in the house for the rest of year.
Do you have a hallway bench or a storage ottoman at the end of the bed? Do you want one? These are great to include at the dining table for extra seating. Adjustable breakfast bar stools can also be taken down to dining height and office chairs can be a welcome extra at the dining table - if it's a swivel number, make sure to put the most responsible member of the group on this chair, otherwise the dinner could descend into chaos after all your hard work!
Dressing the table
Image credit: happygreylucky.com
This is the really fun part: those finer details that make all the difference and can be an opportunity to get your creative juices flowing and show character and your personal style. Think about cutlery, serviettes, table runners/clothes, glasses. Do you have a colour scheme in mind?
You could dive head first into the finer details with name cards, or fun games to play over the course of the meal. How about writing a phrase inside their name card that they have to try and slide into conversation unnoticed during the sit down dinner?
Top tip: when it comes to decorative finishes and accessorising, don't go for really tall table decor, this way the table can still look beautiful, but you can see who you're sat opposite!
Love decorative finishing touches in your home? We offer a mini makeover design package that is perfect for styling. Head over to our website to learn more about what's included in our flat fee packages.
The living room
Image credit: Erika Interiors
How do you spend your Christmas evening? Snuggling up and watching a film with your partner or family after a Christmas dinner? Drinks and games with the extended family? Either way, your living room has got to be ready to accommodate your festivities.
Image credit: Studio Mcgee
Last orders for sofas before Christmas are imminent! Do you have the perfect comfortable sofa to escape to, away from the madness of the Christmas period yet?
Our designers are experts in sourcing the perfect sofa for your room, your style and your needs. Messy children, cats and dogs, large family? They can find it. Have you suddenly realised that your living room isn't equipped to deal with any extra people in the home, or do you just want an update to impress guests?
Either way, our design team can help you have a speedy turnaround, professional design and the free personal shopping service is there to help with deliveries before the guests start arriving. Yep that's right, Christmas has come early for you 😜 Chat more to us about our services by booking a FREE call to talk about your project.
Image credit: Maison De Pax
How's your living room looking for people to collapse into a chair after a big Christmas dinner? It might get a bit too cosy when it becomes a bundle on a two-seater sofa.
Don't fret! There are loads of ways to incorporate extra seating into the living room with both new and existing furniture. Occasional chairs, armchairs, ottomans, benches, floor cushions (you could even grab the beanbags from the kids rooms), just to allow for more bums on seats.
Struggling to make room? Move items like coffee tables away from the centre to give more room for people to move about and find their comfy spot, likelihood is they won't move much after!
Looking at your occasional (fold-out camping chairs) and thinking they don't look that cosy, nor that enticing? Chuck a faux sheepskin, cushion or throw onto the chair - it makes all the difference.
Want help with the finer details? Our Mini Makeover package (only £95) is brilliant for those finishing touches. Click the button below to hear more about our services.
Image credit: Beauty For Ashes Home
Who doesn't love Christmas decorations? Warm lights, a full tree, red and gold or green and silver baubles and flickering candlelight all play their part in creating a comfortable and warm atmosphere.
However, we do need to be more sustainable, therefore it's time to ditch the tinsel (we never liked it anyway) and shift more towards natural or timeless Christmas decorations.
Pinecones, garlands, frosted eucalyptus and green foliage are all great bases to build on with LED lights, hanging decorations and ornate pillar candle bases to create the perfect cosy and seasonal finish.
Image credit: My Lifestyle Memoir
You're super lucky if all your family are local, however, most people travel far and wide to visit their loved ones for the holidays. But, where are they going to sleep? Great, if you have a spare room. Don't panic, if you don't.
A comfortable stay
Image credit: Apartment Apothecary
Make your guests feel welcome with a clean and prepared guest bedroom. Beautiful fresh bedding on comfy pillows and a cosy duvet are always a winner, but it's those little details that can make the room feel all the more inviting.
Ambient lighting, empty storage to put their bits and bobs, a mirror, flowers or greenery - maybe even throw some small Christmas decorations in to continue the festival feeling.
Fancy a bit of help revamping your spare room? Our Mini Makeover package is the perfect fit. Click the button below to have a free call with a member of a friendly team to talk about your little project.
Makeshift spare rooms
Image credit: Pinterest
Don't have a dedicated guest room? Don't worry. Studies, playrooms, media rooms or even landings can be transformed into a welcoming spare room with just a few minor changes.
Sofa beds, ottomans that magically spring out into beds or daybeds are perfect for these occasions. All year around they're a cosy and non invasive seat in the room, come Christmas, they're a comfortable place for your guests to rest their head!
Dual-function rooms are the answer if you're a bit strapped for space. Drop us a message at email@example.com or give us a bell at 020 3904 3800 if you need help transforming your study into a spare room your a playroom into the perfect pit stop for your guests on their holidays.
Adding some hotel luxe
Image credit: Remodalista
As you know, we love finishing touches - they really complete a room! Ensure your guests feel like they're having the 5* experience with the finer details. Chocolates in the their room, fluffy dressing gowns hung on wall pegs, a tray with a couple of pretty teacups and a kettle to make tea.
Think about those lovely little touches that you adore when you're staying in a hotel and incorporate them into your guest room!
We hope you're feeling a bit calmer. If you're still panicking that your home is no where near ready for hosting, we're here for you! Give us a call on 020 3904 3800 or drop us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can see how we can help you out.