Entertaining friends and family can be no small feat. From creating a sociable space for friends to gather and finding a fun spot for nieces and nephews to play, to creating gorgeous table settings for festive family dinners, transforming your home into the perfect place for get-togethers takes time and thoughtful planning.
To help you make your home feel welcoming this season, we’ve gathered some stylish home décor inspiration to get you excited for the hosting holiday ahead.
Inviting living rooms
The living room. The place that sees board games, movie nights, and takeaway dinners. This room is integral when it comes to entertaining loved ones so making sure it’s warm, welcoming, and, most importantly, comfortable is key.
Central to creating an inviting living room is the sofa. Interiors and lifestyle blogger Jess Hurrell, aka @gold_is_a_neutral, explains that when it comes to approaching a space, making sure it encourages opportunities for memory-making is essential: “The most important thing about home for me is creating spaces that work for us as a family, and where we can create memories with our family and friends.
“We love to entertain, and the entire downstairs of our home is designed with that in mind, I can’t wait to be able to have friends and family over to make up for lost time!”
Choosing a sofa design that facilitates quality time together, be that through its size or shape, sets the tone when it comes to hosting over the holidays: “Our sofa.com modular Stella sofa takes centre-stage in this room. We chose it because we wanted something laid-back and big enough for us all to pile onto in the evening and weekends for family movie time, or gather with friends after dinner to enjoy a cocktail or two.
“I think if you create that atmosphere in your design then you’re half-way there and people will pick up on it. Our sofa is comfy, big enough for all the family, it doesn’t compromise on style and it makes people smile when they see it.”
Selecting the right sofa design is equally important for fashion and interior blogger Josie Fear, from @oldhouseourhome: ‘Charlie and I have always been the couple that have people over, whether it’s for brunch, dinner or just to spend the day together – we absolutely love to host! Whether it’s Christmas drinks or Charlie’s epic (and legendary!) Sunday roast, entertaining is something we both love to do and something that was so important to us in creating a happy home. We want our guests to instantly feel at home at our house, and I think we’ve managed to achieve this.
“Comfort has a huge part to play in creating a welcoming and cosy atmosphere, so we were really careful with choosing the key pieces of furniture for our home – we wanted traditional and timeless designs.”
With plenty of space and its sumptuous cushions, Josie’s Teddy 4 seat sofa in Royal Fern is an instant crowd pleaser for the festive period. Opting for a warm natural green fabric to help design a cosy interior and matching footstool to provide luxurious lounging for multiple guests, Josie effortlessly creates a welcoming environment for all of those holiday get-togethers.
The hub of the home, the kitchen is the liveliest part of your home. Whether you’re prepping for a feast, putting together some table snacks for everyone to enjoy, or dancing around the kitchen island as you top up friends’ and family’s glasses, the kitchen is the heart of any social event. To utilise the kitchen space to its full potential, design some areas in which you can comfortably gather and enjoy each other’s company while you perform all your host duties.
Radio presenter Jo Whiley (@jowhiley) achieves this by placing our gorgeously cosy Otto corner sofa in her kitchen space. Bright and luxurious, the Cobalt smart velvet is ideal for creating a party atmosphere without the stress of accidental spillages from overexcited celebrations: “My favourite room is our kitchen because it’s where all the action is! When we have parties it’s where the music is loud and the games are played and then the day after it’s the centre of some serious lolloping!
It’s always important to me to have places to sit and socialise both indoors and outside because fun and conversation are central to us all as a family. I adore bright colours and rich textures, and we’ve used these to create a home that’s all about fun and comfort.
“Velvet is my favourite fabric but with kids and parties and pets, I didn’t think it was an option but the smart velvet changes all that. It cleans up brilliantly no matter what’s thrown at it!”
The quickest way to your guests’ hearts? You guessed it. Social events would be nothing without the delicious dishes of fresh pasta, rocket, flavoursome roasts, and sweet strawberries. Fashioning a table to get your friends and family watering at the mouth starts with transforming your table into a scene of festivity.
The first step is the furniture. Selecting pieces that provide enough space for all the family at a moment’s notice is ideal if you’re a regular at hosting social gatherings. Opting for extendable tables is a smart way to transform your home into a perfect space for entertaining while also providing yourself with the option to contract the table to give yourself more space all year-round.
Next up is seating. Choosing a curved, cocooning dining chair is a guaranteed way to ensure support, comfort, and a night full of style. Enjoy some intimate conversation deep into the night with our Coco and Margaux dining chairs, and to create an even more relaxed social setting why not add a dining bench that can easily tuck under your dining table? Mix-and-matching types of seating is perfect for creating an informal, casual soiree.
From fresh and fragrant wreaths to ambient lighting, the art of tablescaping is the easiest way to set the tone for the evening of merriment and laughter.
For some inspiration for some stunning Christmas themed tablescapes, why not seek out the help from interior-obsessed influencer Vivienne Cutler and her step-by-step tutorial on how to create a beautiful table set-up with style and flair? Using our curvy and chic Darcy dining chairs, Vivienne stunningly showcases a festivity of elegant traditional style.
What’s a drink between friends? Celebrating the long-last catch-up with friends can only ever be done with a tipple or two, so why not utilise those cosy corners in your home for a couple of armchairs where you can clink glasses with your best friend?
Katie Woods, aka @comedowntothewoods, showcases the perfect set-up for celebrating with a Christmas cocktail by pairing the beautifully bright Descartes armchair in Peony with a fabulous brass side kick. Simple yet stunning and complete with gold accessories, transform your space into a spot fit for two by indulging in a couple of pieces to create a conversational corner.
For a more traditional style, our Claude armchairs are beautifully styled by @ourcheltenhamtownhouse to create a sophisticated and elegant space to socialise. Style with blush pink accessories and a soft, textured rug to create a cosy interior and spend the evening catching up over a relaxed game of chess (or a glass of wine and some nibbles, but maybe that’s just us!).
Of course, it’s not just the adults who will be having all the fun. Hosting over the holidays also means entertaining the mini versions of friends and family. One of the best ways to ensure little ones enjoy their stay is by transforming a small room or sparse corner into a colourful play area or room in which your children, nieces or nephews can have their own space to let their imaginations roam.
Colour queen Stacey Dyer (@end_of_the_row) cleverly makes use of our smart fabric range to make sure no permanent traces of playtime are to be found, except in memory: “The playroom is a space for the kids to enjoy and go wild, and I’ve designed the space to try to reflect this. Having a sofa that was firm enough to withstand jumping around and playtime was important, but we also didn’t want to compromise on style.
“The Snowdrop button back sofa was perfect, with a firm design but the added details of the button back that add a bit of fun. Again, it’s Smart Velvet, because we knew how easy this was to keep clean. The Paprika shade is wonderful. Fun, playful and although bold, it is so versatile. It currently sits next to a teal painted wall but would work against any neutral wall as a statement piece.”
You can also make the most out of the space by investing in dual-purpose pieces such as a sofa bed, providing your guests with a cosy spot to spend the night, just like Lucy J Whitehouse from @at_lucys_house.
Proving you don’t need to compromise on style when considering the functionality of a room, Lucy brings together pops of colour with contrasting textures and patterns to create a space with lots of snug appeal: “We had been on the look-out for a stylish sofa bed for years so when I realised that the Bluebell style also came as a sofa bed all my prayers had been answered! I had always adored the shape of sofa.com’s Bluebell sofa as it’s so billowy and inviting! Our playroom now doubles up as a spare bedroom for guests, so the Bluebell sofa bed fits the bill for both perfectly.”