40 easy style up­dates

Clever tricks and smart buys

Ideal Home (UK) - - Contents -

From best buys and clever tricks to mini decor projects… this is our roundup of the sim­plest, quick­est ways to make your home more beau­ti­ful now

1 Dress the table for a party

MAKE MEAL TIMES MORE MAG­I­CAL BY ADDING A SPARKLY RUN­NER, BAT­TERY-POW­ERED FAIRY LIGHTS AND A FEW PA­PER PARTY HATS AND POPPERS TO THE TABLE TOP. Lus­tre wine glasses and Cham­pagne flutes, both £20 for four, all Dunelm

2 Fill vases with lush green­ery

FOR A CHIC BUT SUB­TLE WAY TO FES­TIVELY DEC­O­RATE A SIDE­BOARD OR MAN­TEL­PIECE, DIS­PLAY SPRIGS OF EU­CA­LYP­TUS IN GLASS VASES OF VARY­ING HEIGHTS. ADD SIL­VER OR GLIT­TER SPRAYED THIS­TLE IF YOU STILL WANT TO ADD A BIT OF SPARKLE TO THE AR­RANGE­MENTS.

3 SPRUCE UP PLAIN

TABLE­WARE

To give a plain white set of crock­ery a more cel­e­bra­tory feel at your next din­ner party, in­vest in some spe­cial place mats to glam up the table top in an in­stant. Go for match­ing coast­ers to re­ally ramp up the bling. 4 dim the lights for a cosy glow To cre­ate an at­mo­spheric evening table cen­tre­piece, sit can­dle hold­ers and can­dles of vary­ing sizes along a sim­ple table run­ner, for a su­per flat­ter­ing glow. 5 HAVE AN OPEN BAR Fill a drinks dis­penser with a pre-mixed cock­tail so guests can help them­selves to a top-up. Try Ikea’s For­froskn­ing jar with tap, £16, and at­tach a lug­gage la­bel with a list of the in­cluded in­gre­di­ents and al­co­hols.

6 GIVE DOORS A

FES­TIVE FLOUR­ISH

Swap the tra­di­tional Christ­mas wreath from the front door for a more un­der­stated of­fer­ing, once it nears New

Year’s Eve. Or hang sim­ple wire star wreaths, like this one from Waitrose & Part­ners, from bed­room, bath­room or kitchen doors to keep the fes­tiv­i­ties flow­ing through­out your home.

7 LIGHT UP WIN­DOW FRAMES

Se­cure swags of fairy lights in place around a win­dow frame with clear hang­ing hooks, £4, Home­base. 8 LET YOUR

GUESTS HELP THEM­SELVES Pile up golden cake stands with both sweet and savoury canapés and let guests nib­ble as they please, so you’re free to min­gle. Vin­ter 2018 three-tier serv­ing stand in gold, £19, Ikea 9 Go for golds STICK TO THE SAME COLOUR SCHEME AS YOUR DEC­O­RA­TIONS WHEN LAY­ING YOUR DIN­ING TABLE, FOR A STREAM­LINED AND SO­PHIS­TI­CATED FEEL. ADD CAN­DLE­LIGHT AND SPRIGS OF FO­LIAGE TO COM­PLETE THE LOOK. 10 Swap in some sparkle EN­SURE YOUR LIV­ING ROOM HAS JUST THE RIGHT LEVEL OF GLAM­OUR FOR EN­TER­TAIN­ING GUESTS, BY ADDING TOUCHES OF BLING WITH SE­QUIN COV­ERED CUSH­IONS, METAL­LIC LANTERNS AND TWIN­KLING FAIRY LIGHTS. 11 PASS OUT PA­PER PLATES Save on the wash­ing up (and the bro­ken glasses) by us­ing fancy pa­per plates and cups at your next soirée in­stead. Gin­ger Ray has a great se­lec­tion of party-per­fect op­tions to en­sure they fit your scheme.

12 WHEEL OUT THE WHISKIES

Rather than up­root guests fol­low­ing din­ner, why not bring the late night drinks to them? Load up a bar cart with a se­lec­tion of aper­i­tifs, ice and your best glasses and let the party con­tinue. Gold mir­rored drinks trol­ley, £99.99, Home­sense 13 Greet guests with gifts FOR FRIENDS VIS­IT­ING LATER IN THE HOL­I­DAYS, STACK THEIR GIFTS ON A TROL­LEY RATHER THAN LEAV­ING UN­DER THE TREE, AND WHEEL OUT WHEN THEY AR­RIVE FOR A WARM WEL­COME. 14 DIS­PLAY CARDS ON STRING Make a sim­ple gar­land by peg­ging cards to a length of string with washi tapedec­o­rated pegs. Fin­ish it off by ty­ing mini baubles in-be­tween the cards. 15 Dis­guise a makeshift table WHEN YOU NEED TO JOIN TWO TA­BLES TO­GETHER FOR AN EX­TRA LONG DIN­ING TABLE, COVER THEM WITH A SMART, OVER­SIZED LINEN TABLE­CLOTH. THE TEX­TURED SUR­FACE WILL HELP HIDE ANY GAPS, BUMPS AND JOINS.

16 Hang a wreath chan­de­lier AT­TACH LENGTHS OF RIB­BON TO AN OVER­SIZED FAUX WREATH AND HANG FROM HOOKS IN THE CEIL­ING. WIND FAIRY LIGHTS, FRESH GREEN­ERY, PINECONES AND BAUBLES AROUND THE WREATH FOR A STUN­NING DIS­PLAY. 17 SHOW OFF YOUR SKILLS Im­press guests with your mixol­o­gist skills and cre­ate a be­spoke cock­tail just for them. As long as you have the right ‘kit’ even a sim­ple mo­jito will go down a treat.

18 Wel­come guests in style GET YOUR VIS­I­TORS IN THE PARTY MOOD BY DEC­O­RAT­ING YOUR FRONT DOOR WITH BAL­LOONS AND DISCO BALLS, SET­TING THE SCENE FROM THE MO­MENT THEY AR­RIVE. USE CLEAR FISH­ING WIRE FOR A SLEEK FIN­ISH.

19 UPSTYLE A GUEST ROOM

Add a spe­cial touch for vis­it­ing friends and fam­ily by leav­ing VIP treats on the bed – a set of mini toi­letries, a rolled-up towel and mini box of choco­lates will give them a ho­tel ex­pe­ri­ence.

20 PRETTIFY A FAUX WREATH

Dec­o­rate a plain wreath with real flow­ers­some­thing as sim­ple as gyp­sophila will do the job. Wind craft wire around the stems and the wreath to se­cure the sprigs.

21 dress the man­tel­piece

Cre­ate a pretty dis­play with some mer­cury house tea light hold­ers, pop­ping LED tea lights in­side for a warm glow that’s a safe al­ter­na­tive to can­dles. 22 SWAP THE BED LINEN Give a guest room a sim­ple makeover for the sea­son by swap­ping the usual bed­ding for a win­try de­sign – a sub­tle tree print will cre­ate a calm Scandi look or go for clas­sic tar­tan.

23 Keep the table sim­ple FOR A PARED-BACK DIN­NER TABLE THAT WILL LET THE FOOD SING, GO FOR SIM­PLE WHITES, CLAS­SIC CUT GLASS GLASS­WARE AND A FEW VASES OF FRESH FO­LIAGE FROM THE GAR­DEN. 24 DEC­O­RATE WITH FLOW­ERS A fresh bou­quet of flow­ers in the hall­way, in the liv­ing room or even in a guest bed­room will cre­ate a beau­ti­ful dis­play and add some life into your home. White Christ­mas bou­quet, £35, Waitrose & Part­ners 25 GO BIG ON BAL­LOONS Cre­ate an eye-catch­ing dis­play of he­lium-filled bal­loons above the din­ing table. Move to the makeshift dance floor once your guests have fin­ished din­ner.

26 Dare to go dra­matic

FOR A MOD­ERN, SCANDI FEEL, CHOOSE BLACK DIN­NER­WARE, GLASS­WARE AND TABLE LINENS. IT WORKS WON­DER­FULLY WITH GOLD AND COP­PER AND WILL MAKE FRESH GREEN­ERY POP AGAINST IT. ADD PLENTY OF CAN­DLE­LIGHT TO WARM UP THE LOOK.

27 Fix up the guest room USE LIT­TLE TOUCHES TO MAKE YOUR GUEST BED­ROOM FEEL FES­TIVE. DEC­O­RATE THE WALL WITH MINI WREATHS, PUT SCENTED CAN­DLES BY THE BED AND LEAVE A BAS­KET FILLED WITH TOI­LETRIES AND TREATS. 28 GLAM UP GLASS­WARE Added shim­mer will not only make the table look fes­tive – it will also give your party a sense of oc­ca­sion. There’s no need to spend a for­tune on ex­tra sparkle – Wilko has a great bar­gain se­lec­tion!

29 SERVE DRINKS IN A PINEAP­PLE

Not only do these pineap­ple cock­tail cups make great gifts for your guests to take home with them – they’ll add a sense of fun and frivolous­ness to your party. Pineap­ple cock­tail tum­bler, £30, Not-an­other-bill

30 WRAP PRESENTS IN NEWS­PA­PER

If you run out of fes­tive giftwrap at the eleventh hour, use news­pa­per or fab­ric in­stead. Tie with twine or string and add a sprig of fo­liage from the gar­den for a rus­tic look.

31 Mix up crack­ers

DON’T WORRY ABOUT HAV­ING A MATCH­ING SET OF CRACK­ERS ONCE IT GETS TO NEW YEAR’S EVE. SIM­PLY USE UP THE LEFT­OVERS FROM THE HOL­I­DAYS AND KEEP THE DIN­NER­WARE AND LINENS SIM­PLE.

32 DEC­O­RATE GIFT BOXES Cre­ate unique boxes for foodie gifts by spray­ing old bis­cuit tins with chalk­board paint. Sim­ply write a mes­sage or draw a cool Christ­mas de­sign on the front us­ing chalk.

33 UP­DATE

DIN­ING CHAIRS

Save guests from hav­ing to sit on the emer­gency stools or gar­den seat­ing by up­dat­ing your din­ing chairs ahead of time, to en­sure ev­ery­one gets a proper seat at the din­ner table. Ikea has some­thing to suit ev­ery style to guar­an­tee happy meal times. In­dus­triell chair in green/black, £80, Ikea 34 Make fresh wreaths US­ING GREEN FLORIST OR CRAFT WIRE TO SE­CURE, FASH­ION A LOOP OF EU­CA­LYP­TUS, IVY OR EV­ER­GREEN AND AT­TACH A LENGTH OF TWINE TO THE TOP TO HANG IT. WEAVE IN A FEW BERRIES OR LEAVES FOR COLOUR. 35 IN­VEST IN SOME TABLE BLING Make plain white din­ner­ware pop by adding gold ac­cent pieces. They’ll make the table look fes­tive, but are per­fect for spe­cial oc­ca­sions all year round. Set of two Cham­pagne flutes, £14.99, Domu 36 Build a cute snow scene Fill a glass ter­rar­ium or hur­ri­cane jar two-thirds full of fake snow and add mini for­est trees on top. A cou­ple of Lego men and women will keep the kids happy too.

37 Get ready to party

BAL­LOONS ARE A GREAT WAY TO GIVE YOUR HOME THE PARTY SPIRIT IN AN IN­STANT. GO FOR GOLD CON­FETTI FILLED BAL­LOONS, £3.49, FROM GIN­GER RAY, AND FILL WITH HE­LIUM ON THE MORN­ING OR AF­TER­NOON OF YOUR DO.

38 ADD SOME PRETTY LIGHTS

Noth­ing gets your home party ready like twin­kling lights do. Hang these hoop de­signs in a clus­ter of three in the win­dow, from the ban­nis­ters or over a man­tel mir­ror for a sparkling dis­play. 39 Make presents Mag­i­cal Add a lit­tle per­son­alised love to gifts or place set­tings with hand­made rus­tic-luxe la­bels. Use a gold pen to write on torn wa­ter­colour pa­per and dip into glit­ter. 40 Make twigs twin­kle GATHER FALLEN TWIGS AND GIVE THEM A FES­TIVE MAKEOVER BY SPRAY­ING THEM WITH GLIT­TERY OR METAL­LIC SPRAY PAINT. AR­RANGE IN A VASE OR HANG OVER THE DIN­NER TABLE AND WEAVE IN SOME FAIRY LIGHTS TOO.

Pep­parkorn vases, from £6; Smy­cka ar­ti­fi­cial eu­ca­lyp­tus, £2.50 a sprig; Strala LED light­ing chain with 160 bat­tery op­er­ated lights, £12; Vin­ter 2018 can­dle dish in gold, £9, all Ikea

Sil­ver beaded place mats, £20 for two, Laura Ash­ley

Wire star with fo­liage, £12, Waitrose & Part­ners

Ophe­lia chan­de­lier, £180, Abi­gail Ah­ern range; Nordic smoke glasses, £7 each; black cut­lery, £35 for 16 pieces; sil­ver and white nap­kins, £10 for four; all Deben­hams

Raskog trol­ley in dark blue, £50; gift wrap, from £4 a roll, Ikea

Kitchen Craft cock­tail set, £24.99, Very

For sim­i­lar bal­loons, try New Year bal­loon bunt­ing, £6.99, Gin­ger Ray

Rein­deer can­de­labra, £20; eu­ca­lyp­tus and pinecone gar­land, £30; Re­ac­tive table­ware, from £5; gold cut­lery, £35 for 16 pieces, all Deben­hams

Hang­ing stars, £25 each; ar­ti­san bowls, and din­ner plates, £12 each, all The White Com­pany

Gold ef­fect glass­ware, from £5; gold ef­fect table­ware, from £6, all Ge­orge Home

Gold spot Cham­pagne flutes, £6 for two, Ge­orge Home

Strala LED ring shaped pen­dant lights, from £18 each, Ikea

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