This hosting malarkey is a piece of cake – right? Friends, family, food and drink – what more do we need? If only. Yes, Kirstie Alssop has a knack for making hosting seem like a walk in the park, but for us amateurs, one wrong move and it can all come tumbling down like a game of jenga. Rather than running around frantically plumping up pillows last minute, act like Noah would and build your ark before the rain comes. Here are our golden rules to being the perfect host this Christmas.  

1.  Make a grand entrance

They say that your first impression is your last impression. So give guests something to remember by creating a grand entrance. A staircase entwined with fake foliage and holly will make a stunning impact. There’s nothing more appealing then entering a fresh smelling, well-lit home. Scented candles will create an inviting glow as well as diffusing a heart-warming scent around the room.

 

 

2. Create a dining room statement

As one of the main focuses of Christmas celebrations, the dining table is an area definitely worth paying some attention to. Table decorations should be alluring enough to draw the eye but not so overpowering they distract your guests mid-conversation. Combined accents of silvers and whites will create a chic but classic feel. Scatter silver berries across the table and throw in some traditional white candles for a rustic touch. Add a helping of glitter to complete the look. 

 

 3. Supply little extras in the bedroom

Let’s take a cue from the hospitality industry here, what’s noticeable about a memorable stay at a luxurious hotel? A bottle of water on the nightstand, chocolates on the bed, magazines on the side – it’s these sorts of little touches that leave a positive impression. It's quite simple really - treat your guests like royalty and you’ll go a long way. 

4. Create extra space in the living room

Seen as most socialising takes place in the living room, make sure that your space is in the right shape to handle a large number of guests. If you’re short on seating space, think of clever ways you can make room for more. An upholstered footstool could double up as a handy resting spot. Adding cushions to storage chests will also give guests a convenient place to perch. Likewise, squishy bean bags make great seating areas for little ones.  

 5. Pamper guests in the bathroom

The bathroom is the most trespassed room in the house when guests visit, so make sure it looks up to scratch - besides being clean of course. Spoil your guests with new fluffy towels and if you really want to push the boat out, stock up on indulgent toiletries to make their showering experience extra special. If your bathroom is feeling a little tired, a few subtle changes can do your space the world of good. Freshening up your bathroom could be as easy as placing fragrant flowers on the side or installing a brand new shower curtain.

For more hosting ideas this Christmas, check out our article 10 guest bedroom ideas to earn you some brownie points