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  • It's Not All Tinsel and Baubles
It's Not All Tinsel & Baubles

It’s not all tinsel and baubles

At this time of year, we’re bombarded with images of beautifully colour co-ordinated Christmas trees, homemade gingerbread houses and rustic wreaths and table centres made from freshly foraged greenery. But we all know that getting ready for Christmas is so much more than just the decorations.

As a Designer, there is nothing I love more than seeing other people’s homes dressed for Christmas as it’s often the one time of year that you truly feel able to ‘be yourself’ in terms of decorating. You tend to forget trends, turn a blind eye to whether those ancient decorations work with your current décor and fully embrace the spirit of the festive season and what it means to you and your family. And that’s exactly how it should be. So I’m not going to show you how to create the perfect Christmas dining table but I am going to share a few tips on making your festive season less frazzled and more fun.

Plan ahead

Don’t plan any major renovation work to your home in December as this is a sure-fire way to send those stress levels through the roof. If you haven’t got round to doing all those maintenance jobs, just add them to the list for next year.

Think about who will be visiting and who may be staying with you and prepare accordingly.

Clearing away clutter frees up space for decorations and the all-important tree. It also means you’ll have space for extra seats you may need. Once clutter free, a thorough clean prior to the festivities will mean more time to relax. Think about using a cleaning company or setting aside time one weekend and delegating tasks to everyone in the family.

The kitchen

This will be the hub of operations and therefore needs to be Christmas ready. Also, make sure that your oven is ‘turkey ready’; on Christmas Day you don’t want your house full of previously cremated food smells so it’s worth investing in a pre-Christmas oven-clean. Think about clearing out food cupboards and getting rid of any out-of-date tins and packages. This will make room for all that extra food. Do the same with your fridge and also decide if you need extra fridge space for food and drinks. This is something that could be set up in your garage or utility room. With all those visitors and house guests descending you may run short of crockery, cutlery and glasses so disposable items may be an option.

Guest room

Have this ready. Launder the bedding, make sure there’s space in the wardrobes and don’t hide the towels. Leaving out a few books and magazines and, if possible, the option to make tea and coffee will mean your guests have space for time alone. This can sometimes be mutually beneficial.


Change hand towels frequently, stock up on loo roll regularly and make sure there’s space for extra toiletries.

Also think about where you will put all those extra coats, hats and shoes that may end up littering the hallway.

Finally, don’t spend your Christmas in the kitchen or cleaning up after people. Delegate chores, make sure everyone rolls their sleeves up to help, and ENJOY!!