Christmas Homes that are ‘Guest Ready’.
Traditions and Rituals for Festive Interiors

The festive season is upon us and no doubt you are starting your preparations for the big day. With food to organise, gifts to buy and decorations to hang, it’s difficult to know where to begin. 

Getting your home ‘guest ready’ is the perfect place to start; turning your home into a welcoming, cosy Christmas retreat for your visitors and guests.

We asked two interior bloggers how they made their homes ready for Christmas. 


Sarah Mailer from interior design and lifestyle blog Girl About House always considers scent alongside her beautifully on-trend metallic interior décor:

“When preparing for guests, the smell of my home is as carefully considered as the look. Alongside fresh flowers (my staple), I opt for wintery scents – cosy and enveloping, with notes of leather, amber, pine and ginger. Essentially, anything smoky and woody is ideal and I burn scented candles endlessly during the winter months. Candlelight is eternally flattering and sets the mood for relaxing evenings in with mulled wine and great conversation.

Metallics also work incredibly well to welcome guests and enliven your space. I mix metallic finishes across ceramics, tableware, glassware, textiles and trinkets – no need to match! Layering warm coppers, gold and champagne silver on my dining table is a failsafe move and adding a sprig of eucalyptus to each place setting completes the look.

Replace light, summer blankets with chunkier, knitted throws to create a cosy atmosphere - embracing texture is central to establishing a comfortable and homely environment at this time of year. This extends to selecting bedding and towels for your guests – comfort is key. Complete with a homemade bake or box of chocolates, a great playlist and a stack of your favourite board games!”


Melanie Lissack from Melanie Lissack interiors gave us some gorgeous inspiration on the perfectly seasonal trend of foliage and flowers to decorate with:

“During the last week of November, I dry out hydrangea heads and orange slices ready for the all-important Christmas door wreath! I tend to make it and put it up the second week of December so it is still looking fresh for Christmas. The decorations in the house tend to go up at the same time.

I focus on areas of the house that I dress for Christmas rather than the whole space. I love to use a mix of real flowers and purchased Christmas decorations over the fireplace. I use eucalyptus for the smell and Holly sprigs with Christmas decorations nestled in the middle.

At Christmas it really is all about the tree. Each year I buy one or two new hanging tree decorations so every year when I unwrap previous years all the memories of Christmases gone by come flooding back. Some years I like to be more traditional, some years more trend-led - it all depends on how I feel that year! I've recently really got into paper pom poms - I like large ones in deep burgundy and gold to just place in the corner of the room, they feel modern and traditional at the same time.”

What are your own traditions for getting your home ready? Share in the comments below and don’t forget to visit us on Facebook for your chance to win a pampering pack of goodies for you and your guests.

For tips on now to make your festive preparations go without a hitch along with some ideas to ensure you make some time for yourself, explore our Festive Countdown on our Facebook page.

About Sarah Mailer

Sarah is an interior designer and creative director of Sarah Mailer Design, an interiors studio based in Hertfordshire, UK. Working in and around London on residential projects, Sarah brings a classic yet contemporary aesthetic into her clients' homes.




About Melanie Lissack

Melanie is a double award-winning interiors and home, DIY and decorating blogger and freelance interior decorator and stylist.  She loves colour in interiors including blues, greens, pinks, golds and greys, and is not shy of a heavy pattern.