Is the thought of the Christmas invasion getting you in a fluster? Family, friends we love them all but it can get a little overwhelming preparing for the big day. I was lucky enough to ask Freedom’s Homewares Buyer, Vanessa Rothery for some timely advice.
It’s only a few weeks until Christmas. What are your top tips for getting my home guest ready?
Get busy and get decluttering! Pack away all those things that don’t need to be out – whether it’s the tower of ironing, the pile of bills, or even just the few random bits and pieces around the house – decluttering can open up spaces and give the illusion of organisation. Try some new cushions to freshen up the living room – and even the spare bed. I like to rotate my cushions around the home, and add a couple of new ones to add some colour or pattern to a space. This adds a freshness to a space and can bring in some on-trend colours on a budget. Fresh flowers are also an easy way to bring life into your home. I’m a fan of flowers all in the same colour, en masse. I love styling them all on the table in small votives/vases. That way they can stay on the table during the meal. Holly Hipwell of The Flower Drum did a great event for us recently, each guest had a bunch of ranunculus on their place setting. It was a nice way to set the table – and guests took home their posy at the end of the lunch. Such a simple idea – that can be done on a budget, and is memorable.
It’s my first Christmas, well the first time I’m having all the family over for Christmas Day. I’m excited and a bit frightened. I don’t have enough chairs. Don’t even get me started on plates, glasses. What if someone wants to stay? Help. What can I do to make sure things run smoothly?
Mix and match your dinnerware to avoid having to invest in a whole new set. Just buy a couple of new key pieces like servingware. Our Host range – oak timber boards look amazing – and Scandi-chic for laden with seafood, cheeses or even ham or turkey. I love handmade place cards – or try the flower setting idea using a luggage tag to write the guest’s name – or I really love the look of our Quintessential decorations acting as a napkin ring. Each guest could take their decoration home as a memento! If seating is limited, we’re fans of getting a couple of extra stools – like the Tapas, that can be pulled up around the table – and when not in use look perfect as a bedside table. Or our Jupiter chairs come in a fun colourful range, and are stackable – it’s a budget-friendly way to bring in some extra seating when you’re entertaining. If someone else wants to stay – and space is at a premium the Sleepover ottoman is great. By day it’s an ottoman, by night you can just flip it out – et voila, a comfortable bed that will make your guest feel perfectly at home.
I’m time poor and a little strapped for cash after all the gift buying and grocery shopping. What are the little touches I can do around the home to make things special for my guests?
Fresh flowers are a must, even if they’re just a cheap bunch from the fruit and veg shop. Even pots of herbs look good on the table – plus they’re practical! If you have some nice greenery in the garden – such as oak leaf or camellia, that looks beautiful too. Candles make dinner tables feel really special and intimate, but I’m also a fan of our string lights trailed down the middle of the table. It looks so pretty, a modern-take on the fairy light. And always, always put a fresh handtowel in the bathroom.
I’m in a flap. I’ve left it all too late. There’s only a day or two left. If I only had time to do one thing to make me look like the Queen of Christmas hosting what would it be?
Pop on the Christmas carols, put the champagne in a bucket of ice, set the table with your favourite pieces, add some flowers and paste a smile on your face. At the end of the day everyone’s there to see you – not to judge your home, so have a great day and don’t stress! Oh and pour yourself a glass of bubbles too. Happy Christmas!
This is a sponsored post in partnership with Freedom.