Stylish ways to prepare your home for Christmas

If you’re entertaining over the festive season, make sure you are prepared for guests with this round-up of clever ideas

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Switch sofa-bed in Duck Egg by House at John Lewis, H73xW198–273xD145cm, £1,550

Make sure you have enough seating

Extra guests need extra seating, both in the lounge and around the dining table (especially if you have bought an extendable dining table and don’t have enough seats). Get ahead of decorating trends and provide extra seating this Christmas by investing in the Goldie armchair in Mustard, which perfectly emulates Dulux’s Colour of the Year 2016 – Cherished Gold. Upholstered in Pure Belgian linen, the classic wing-back-style chair measures H110xW85xD85cm and costs £600 at

mustard yellow Goldie armchair

Use smart technology to organise the festive season

Triby face bleu drapeau

It also comes Spotify Connect enabled, with an FM/DAB radio, Wi-Fi speaker and Bluetooth so you can connect to your smartphone and make hands-free calls while cooking. A private HD voice line linked to an app lets you call friends and family using your internet connection, plus the app can be used to message directly to the Triby’s digital display screen – great for task reminders. It costs £159 from Amazon

Prepare your coffee station

Be ready for the after-dinner coffee round with a designated coffee station on your worktop. Use a large tray to corral a few mugs, tea and coffee, your coffee making equipment and a stylish biscuit jar. This gold Linea cafetière from House of Fraser is right on trend with its metallic finish and Art Deco stylish. It makes up to eight cups of coffee and costs £35.

Want to make barista-style milky coffees? See our coffee machine review here.

house of fraser gold art deco cafetiere


Create space with an extending table

Not all of us have room for a large dining table, and come Christmas it can be far from relaxing to have the whole family crammed around a small table. A standard extending dining table is perfect, but if you want something even more compact try an extending console like this one from Furl. The console measures just H75xW90xD47cm, but extends into a 239cm long 10-seter dining table when you want to entertain but has two other shorter table lengths. It costs £2,200.

Furl console to extendable dining table

Update your guest room

Don’t make your guests feel like they are being put up in the spare room, surrounded by junk with your back-up bedlinen. First, make sure everything you store in your guest bedroom is adequately stowed away. Leaving some drawers or cupboard space free for your guests will mean they can put their things away and feel at home. A simple way to update a guest bedroom with a bright new look is to invest in colourful bedlinen. This Julianna range by Christy is inspired by the fashions of the 1950s, including Dior’s New Look, and features pink and pistachio tones digitally printed onto cotton sateen. A double duvet costs £99 and Oxford pillowcases are £35 per pair.

Christy Julianna double duvet with oxford pillowcases

Try a modular sofa

Adapt your seating arrangement easily with a modular seating system like the Loft Mylo range from Marks & Spencer. It includes an individual armless chair and corner unit, which can be arranged to any size or configuration to suit your space or party size. Available in Soljen Plain Grey (shown), Charcoal or Ivory, the H69xW68xD85cm chairs cost £199 each, and each H69xW85xD85cm corner unit is priced £249.

Marks and Spencer corner unit with armless unit

Install a hot water tap

Great for preparing hot drinks for guests, a boiling water tap is a must-buy for a modern kitchen. New to Caple’s extensive kitchen range, the Vapos 3-in-1 Quad tap can supply cold, hot and 98°C water at the pull of a lever. The reserve tank can hold 2.4 litres of hot water and features a cool-touch spout so it’s safe if there are children around. H41xD19.5cm, it costs £919.

Caple Vapos Quad 3-in-1 hot water tap

Add a home bar

Lugging bottles in and out of the kitchen every time you have guests can be tiring, so buy a bar cart or create a home bar section on a dresser or console in your lounge or dining room. Or, if you have room for dedicated drinks storage, keep wine and spirits in good supply for guests this holiday season in the Puccini drinks cabinet, £1,999 from John Lewis. Measuring H168xW96xD47cm, it has a walnut veneer and iron frame.

John Lewis Puccini drinks cabinet

wine saver from Eurocave

wine saver from EurocaveGenius wine saver

Portable heating

Need a secondary heat source for the guest bedroom or living room? The Dimplex Microstove is the ideal quick-fix solution as it costs just £69.99 and you simply plug it into an electricity source. Measuring H42xW35xD22cm, it has a realistic log fire visual effect.

dimplex electric portable heater

Invest in a sofa-bed

Sofa beds are a great option for a spare room that is used as a snug, home office or cinema room through the year, but as a guest bedroom come Christmas time. Be ready to sleep extra visitors and make a style statement with the Pillowtalk sofa-bed, designed by Sir Terence Conran. Available in eye-popping shades, including chartreuse, pink, red, and blue velvet, it costs from £2,055 for a three-seater sofa measuring H75xW232xD89cm, from Content by Terence Conran.

Chartreuse velvet pillow talk sofa bed by Terence Conrarn

Add a butcher’s block

Perfect for extra storage, a way to serve nibbles, or for additional worktop space, a portable butcher’s block in an ideal addition to your kitchen when you’re entertaining. Ikea’s Skogsta in acacia wood features a hardwearing top, plus shelving and a bar to hand teatowels or utensils. It measures H92xW64xD60cm and costs £200.

Ikea butchers blog