Author: Rhoda Parry

Invited your friends and family for the holiday season, but the house isn’t looking tip top? It's the classic concern for many a host in the run up to the festivities. You want your home to look and feel fabulous, but you’re not sure how and where to start.

“As an interiors' pioneer for more than 150 years, we know a thing or two about how to achieve the wow factor when entertaining at home,” says founder of Warner House, Lee Clarke. “In our experience, get the social spaces pitch perfect and you’ll set the scene for a vibrant and convivial Christmas and New Year.”

Count down to the holidays by refreshing communal areas, such as the dining room, living room, guest bedroom and restroom. A quick lick of paint, a show stopping accent wall, a glorious spread of cushions or a suave new lampshade are just some of the quick-fix ideas to lift spaces. When filled with confident colours, decorative patterns and elegant finishing touches, guests will feel spoiled and special.

Follow our simple style tricks for congenial and beautiful home hosting...


Get guests in the mood

Spiced Clove Paint

Dining rooms are so important at this time of year, bringing your guests together for late-night dinner parties and all-afternoon celebration lunches. It’s well known in interior design circles that deep tones bring atmosphere and intimacy to proceedings. Paint walls and wood work in one enveloping moody shade, such as mocha, plum or a blue-black, and you’ll create a relaxed cocoon that will allow the crowd to feel high-spirited and conspiratorial.

Spiced Clove paint was used by @thegarthhome to wrap a fine dining space (shown). Note how it’s been layered with black upholstered chairs to deepen the resonance and underlit with ambient flickering candles and a roaring fire.

Warner House Spiced Clove PaintWarner House Spiced Clove Paint
Warner House Plum Velvet PaintWarner House Plum Velvet Paint
Warner House Cheapside PaintWarner House Cheapside Paint


Plump up sofas

Warner House Sofa and Blind

Ask an interiors’ stylist for a festive living room quick-fix and they’ll shout ‘sofa cushions’! Head to the jewel shades of emerald, ruby, topaz and sapphire for a sumptuous festive effect that will instantly make a sofa feel super glamorous and uber comfortable. For an all-out maximal arrangement, bravely mix exotic patterns, shapes and sizes, fringing and pompoms in the form of Ananas Teal Cushion, Bukhara Multi Cushion and Leopard Noir Cushion.

If your taste leans towards a modern classic Christmas, make a beeline for piped cushions in Starlight Raspberry, Knotted Sash Love and Starlight Ivory for a sparkly and ribboned cushion arrangement that hits the perfect red and white note for the season.

Warner House Starlight Raspberry CushionWarner House Starlight Raspberry Cushion
Warner House Knotted Sash Love CushionWarner House Knotted Sash Love Cushion
Warner House Starlight Ivory CushionWarner House Starlight Ivory Cushion


Position furniture for conversation

Warner House Luxury Sofas and Seating

Arranging furniture is a real art, especially if you have multiple generations on your invite list. Your aim is to create pockets of seating where groups can sit and converse comfortably. In a drawing room or open plan space, symmetrical arrangements work the best. Position sofas and armchairs facing each other to ensure everyone feels part of the bonhomie (shown here is the Babington sofa). Pull stools into the space to seat unexpected plus-ones and centre a coffee table or upholstered ottoman in the middle where drinks and canapes can be reached easily.

Warner House Large Peonies Armchair

Accent chairs in large scale prints, such as Large Peonies Ochre (shown), make excellent use of unused or awkward corners, allowing people to perch or take a quiet moment.


Serve drinks cordially

Warner House Fleurs Exotique Teal Wallpaper

Christmas cordiality starts with a carefully-placed cocktail station. Occasional tables and trolleys come into their own at this time of year as multifunctional surfaces that can handle all the needs for imbibing your guests – from pre-lunch aperitifs through to post-dinner snifters.

In this room by, an easy-to-put-up accent wallpaper, Fleurs Exotique Teal, makes a rich red tropical backdrop for a dark and handsome side table arranged with beautifully labelled spirit bottles and petit fours so that visitors can help themselves!


Liven up guest rooms

Warner House Starlight Raspberry Roman Blind

Guests staying over? Simple decor revivers are an excellent way to make a jaded sleepover space feel hotel-worthy. Sky blues and deeper teals are a faultless choice for a spare bedroom as they are welcoming and calming, as shown here by the @exmoor_forest_inn where Summerby Wedgwood Wallpaper is used.

If existing window treatments are looking tired, an elegant and cost-conscious fix is to firmly tack onion fringing, such as Onion Fringe Blue, to the inner and outer edges of curtains or the bottom of a blind. Introducing a new lampshade, a duo of decorative cushions and a pile of freshly laundered towels are also miracle workers for instantly elevating the ambience. As a final finishing touch, pop a Warner House notebook on the bedside table as a thoughtful guest gift.


Add allure to a restroom

Warner House Georgiana Olive Wallpaper

Worrying about the all-important smallest room in the house? Guests will need to freshen up throughout their visit so impress them with a memorable decorative look that feels fine and fancy.

A small space holds a bold pattern beautifully; blurring the boundaries and injecting impact. Look to large-scale wallpapers like @renovation_by_the_river, such as the classic English toile Paradiso Teal, or Georgiana Olive with its elegant, stylised poppy design, both wallpapers that will immerse the room with fluidity and character. Embellish with a dazzling mirror that will bounce the light around for flawless lipstick and makeup retouching. Fragrance the air with delicious winter-scented and flickering candles as a final flourish.

Christmas is all about creating a memorable atmosphere in which your guests feel loved and entertained. We hope these ideas have inspired you to create the perfect scene for joyful gatherings and get-togethers.


About the author

Rhoda Parry


Rhoda Parry has spent her media career reporting on the best of interior design and decor. She is the former Content Director of Ideal Home, the UK’s best-known media brand, and its sister titles, 25 Beautiful Homes and Style at Home. Previous to that, Rhoda was the Editorial Director (Homes content) of Homes & Gardens, Livingetc, Ideal Home, Country Homes & Interiors, 25 Beautiful Homes, Style at Home and Woman & Home. Rhoda has also held the Editorship of Country Homes & Interiors, 25 Beautiful Homes, 25 Beautiful Kitchens, 25 Beautiful Gardens. She is a seasoned journalist with a nose for what's new, now, and forever in the world of homes.