Christmas is rapidly approaching, so if you’re the one doing the home hosting this year for family festivities, you might be wondering how you’ll fit everyone in. We have some quick tips on how to make enough space and create a perfect Christmas atmosphere.
Comfort and Relaxation
A general declutter in preparation for guests arriving is a great idea. You can create more floor space by removing items of furniture that aren’t strictly necessary. Anything that can’t be sat upon or have a glass and nibbles placed upon is fair game. So, look critically at bookcases, floor lamps, hobby and sports equipment, chests that won’t double as seats and even pet beds if they’re in living areas and take up floor space.
Instead of creating clutter in another room, put removed furnishings into a storage unit for safe keeping. There’s no point clearing one room if you lose space in another one.
Also, consider removing fragile items or decorative things such as family photo frames. Use the space cleared for festive decorations or create a pop-up bar for drinks and snacks.
If you worry about taking out lighting items, remember all the additional lights you’ll be bringing in anyway. Candles, fairy light garlands and tree lights will cheer up any darker areas, and you can hang those around the walls where they don’t take up floor space.
Use the extra floor space for large cushions that children can lounge on while watching TV, or for folding chairs for additional seating in an emergency.
Choose the Right Tree
The Christmas tree is arguably the largest seasonal item we bring into the house. It can easily overwhelm the available space and make the room feel cramped and claustrophobic.
There’s a huge choice:
- Living Trees – these are rooted so they don’t drop as many needles. If you choose a live tree, bear in mind they’re not meant to be in heated houses so try not to bring them inside too early. They smell gorgeous though, and don’t make as much mess as cut trees.
- Cut trees – most of the real trees available are cut ones. They’ll gradually die off, like cut flowers, showering the carpet in needles. They look amazing, and if you can put up with constantly vacuuming, can be a good choice.
When you’re choosing a living or cut Christmas tree, try and get one not wrapped in netting. The netted trees don’t let you see the shape, so you can never be sure you’ll get a pleasing tree when you unwrap it.
Alternatively, opt for an artificial tree. There’s loads of choice after all, and it’s easier to make sure you’ll get exactly the tree your space calls for:
- Choose a tall, thin tree if your space is small, but your ceilings are high.
- Choose a fuller, rounded tree if you have lots of room surrounding it.
- Choose a smaller tree you can stand on a sideboard or table if you don’t have much floor space.
Decorations and Colour
When it comes to festive decorations, for the tree and elsewhere, try and choose a theme with a limited colour palette. Too much clashing colour can make the space feel cluttered, whereas a unified theme draws everything together and seems to open up the area.
For instance, a warm, opulent, and traditional theme of red, gold and green can be ruined if you have random silver decorations. The opposite is also true; creating a cool, wonderland feeling with sparkling silver and shimmering blue will be lost if you start introducing red or gold.
There’s nothing to stop you bringing in different themes in different rooms, and it’s fun to make alternative atmospheres through the various rooms of the house. But sticking with colours and styles that harmonise with a chosen theme in single rooms is the best way of creating a festive atmosphere that does its job without dominating the space.
The Christmas Feast
It can be hard to fit everyone round a normal dining table, so why even try? An alternative is a hot buffet. Cook your traditional feast and arrange the dining table as you normally would, but without the place settings. Just leave enough room for a stack of plates and flatware as needed, then let everyone help themselves and sit where they like in the living room.
If that wouldn’t work for your family, an alternative is to have a separate table for children. Set it up close by, so they’re included, but with the special privilege of age-related table decorations and activities: maybe a colour-in tablecloth and artificial candles would make Christmas dinner even more exciting for them. A small table in the living room would mean they could also watch TV while they eat if you have no objection to that.
Making Christmas preparation as streamlined as possible creates less stress for everyone. Whether you choose to look for local self storage to take the overflow or you tame your Christmas colours for a more unified, spacious look, these ideas will hopefully give you some last-minute inspiration for ideas of your own.