The home is the hub of all this season’s festivities so you’ll want to ensure yours is well prepared for impromptu visitors and family gatherings, particularly if you have guests staying for Christmas. Create the warmest of welcomes for all your festive visitors with our room by room guide to getting your home ready for the big day.
The hall is the first room in your home your guests will see so don’t overlook it. Firstly make sure all clutter is out of the way. Piles of post, muddy Wellington boots – you want to banish anything that may dampen the Christmas spirit (‘tis the season to be jolly after all!). Once you’ve had a good clear up, it’s time to get creative. String festive ribbon down the walls to display your Christmas cards and decorate the space with fresh flowers to fill the home with a beautiful scent. A traditional Christmas garland makes a real feature of a staircase and a festive flower arrangement placed on the sideboard will create a great first impression. Make sure you have plenty of room to hang guests’ coats and scarves when they arrive too and – most importantly of all – don’t forget to tie a generous bunch of mistletoe above the front door!
The kitchen is usually a hive of activity over the Christmas period so get yours ready by having a good clear out in the weeks leading up to the big day. Start with the cupboards and take any unwanted items to your local foodbank, then make room in the freezer for any get-ahead cooking you want to do. Don’t neglect the kitchen in terms of decoration either. Carry your Christmas theme through by introducing a few festive textiles and some well placed decorations.
The Living Room
The living room is the obvious place to entertain family and friends but it may need a little rearranging if you’re going to accommodate your loved ones and that 6ft Nordic spruce. Be ruthless when rearranging the furniture to maximise space – can you live without that lamp for a couple of weeks? Is the coffee table in the way of the television? Make sure there are plenty of places for people to sit and relax comfortably – very important, especially if you’ve been overindulging on the after-dinner chocolates! And, if you’d prefer for the television not to be the focal point in the room, why not make the mantle merry and decorate it with a show-stopping garland? Serving drinks? Consider setting up a drinks station or trolley to save yourself endless trips to the kitchen.
The Dining Room
Dress your Christmas dining table to impress with a stunning centrepiece, beautiful tableware and coordinating textiles. If you really want to go to town (and why wouldn’t you?) make your own homemade place name cards and a festive favour for each guest as a treat. Crackers are an absolute must and, for extra theatre at the table, consider using sparklers, candles and dinner games to really get conversation flowing. See our top tips for dressing your Christmas table and be inspired by our Christmas table centrepieces ideas.
Give your guest room the boutique hotel treatment by layering the bed up with quilts, throws and cushions. Make sure you have all the bedside basics covered too– a reading light, box of tissue and clock. A few books to read at bedtime is also a lovely touch as is some homemade biscuits or chocolate truffles beautifully wrapped in cellophane.
Clear a shelf in your bathroom in anticipation of guests so that they have space to store their own wash bags. Don’t forget to stock up on bathroom essentials such as toothbrushes, shower gel and shampoo just in case your guests forget to bring their own. Make them feel right at home by providing freshly laundered towels and spa-style robes for your guests to relax in. It’s also wise to adjust the heating for your hot water tank so that everyone can enjoy a warm shower or bath without the hot water running out.
When the rush starts to set in to get the home ready for Christmas it’s easy to neglect your outside space. If you’ve got festive visitors, you’ll want to give them a warm welcome and one of the easiest ways to make a good first impression is by hanging a wreath on the front door. See our roundup of 11 of the most stylish Christmas wreaths for inspiration or, if you’re feeling crafty, make your own wreath by following our step by step tutorial.