Elevate your space – top ten tips to prepare your home for guests

Ready for Christmas? You should be!

Ready for Christmas? You should be!

The holiday season is almost upon us, and that means gatherings, festivities and the joy of welcoming friends and family into our homes. As an interior designer, I understand the importance of creating a warm and inviting space for your guests. In this edition of our top ten tips interior design series, let’s explore the key things you need to do to prepare your home for holiday guests.

  1. Create a Cozy Atmosphere: Set the tone for a welcoming space by incorporating cozy elements. Add soft throws, plush cushions, and warm lighting to create an inviting ambiance. A well-placed rug can also bring warmth to any room.
  2. Festive Decorations: Embrace the spirit of the season by incorporating festive decorations throughout your home. Think beyond the traditional tree and consider wreaths, garlands, and twinkling lights entwined on twigs to infuse holiday cheer into every corner. Paper decorations can look amazing and if you don’t want to buy new then you can make them yourself from old book pages for a traditional and homely look.
  3. Guest-Ready Guest Room: If you’re hosting overnight guests, ensure the guest room is a comfortable haven. Fresh linens, extra blankets, and thoughtful touches like a small vase of flowers or a scented candle can make all the difference. Keep personal belongings to a minimum in your guest room so they really feel like it’s their space. Those hotel miniature toiletries you’ve been hoarding from your travels are great for guest rooms too and will make them feel extra special.
  4. Stock Up on Essentials: Anticipate your guests’ needs by stocking up on essentials. Ensure there are enough toiletries, towels, and spare bedding. Don’t forget plenty of snacks, drinks and easy to cook food that doesn’t need much attention, so you can focus your time on your guests instead of the kitchen.
  5. Functional Flow: Evaluate the flow of your living spaces to accommodate socialising. Arrange furniture to encourage conversation and ensure there’s enough seating for everyone and somewhere to set down drinks and nibbles. Create cozy nooks for intimate conversations. Adding a throw to the arm of each chair makes it convenient for guests to wrap up if it’s a little chilly.
  6. Entertainment Hub: Provide entertainment options for your guests. Whether it’s a well-curated playlist, board games, or a movie night, having entertainment options ensures everyone has a good time. There are fantastic little projectors and pop up screens available nowadays which are great for movie nights or creating a child friendly crash space for little ones/teens whilst the grown ups enjoy cocktails and chat.
  7. Signature Scent: Engage the senses with a signature holiday scent. Candles, diffusers, or potpourri with seasonal fragrances can add a layer of warmth and nostalgia to your home. We’re often nose blind to our own natural home scent (wet dog, sweaty sports gear or cat litter tray anyone…?) and you don’t want to put your guests off at the doorstep. My absolute favourite natural diffusers are the ‘relaxing’ scent by Valentiner Designs in Marlborough.
  8. Thoughtful Lighting: Lighting can significantly impact the mood of a space. Incorporate a mix of ambient, task, and accent lighting to create a welcoming and well-lit environment. Change up your lamp bulbs for 2400K so they emit a warmer, yellower glow on these dark winter evenings.
  9. Prep the Kitchen: The heart of any home during the holidays is the kitchen. Ensure it’s well-stocked with essentials, and consider prepping some make-ahead dishes to minimize stress and allow you to spend more time with your guests. Give it a deep clean ahead of the holidays, not forgetting shelves and cutlery drawers.
  10. Personal Touches: Finally, don’t forget to add personal touches that reflect your style and personality. Whether it’s a gallery of family photos, handmade decorations, table place settings or a personalised welcome sign, these elements make your home uniquely yours.

Remember, the goal is to create an environment where your guests feel comfortable, appreciated, and part of the holiday celebration. By incorporating these tips, you’ll not only showcase your passion for interior design but also create lasting memories for everyone who enters your home this holiday season. Cheers to a joyous and beautifully decorated home!

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