Is it me or has 2019 disappeared before our eyes in a flash? It doesn’t seem like five minutes ago that I was pulling on my winter coat and battling the dark mornings, but here we are again.
The end of the year often marks a special milestone. What have we achieved in the last 12 months, what life events have happened, and, in the world of home renovations, have we completed what we set out to?
Christmas is also often the date by which a new kitchen, bathroom, or redecoration project should be finished. It’s an elusive time when those renovating push towards completing the last few details in order to have everything ready to welcome friends and family. I even find that home design decisions are frequently based around Christmas, too: the new oven should be big enough for the turkey, the dining table to seat at least 10, or the layout of the open-plan downstairs needs to suit not only daily life but catering for the masses as well.
They say staying in is the new going out, and I say as much as I love exploring new places, trying out foods and enjoying a fancy cocktail (or two), there’s something to be said for an evening spent in your own home, surrounded by the familiar, your family and friends (not to mention your favourite home comforts and winter TV).
We all know the months leading up to Christmas can get a bit frantic with dates set for get-togethers with loved ones and catch-ups with those we don’t see very often. I know my diary is looking full, but many of those meetings are now taking place in a home rather than the latest hotspot bar or restaurant.
I asked around the team, the office and my own social circle and it seems staying in for at-home entertaining is much in favour. Plans are in place for gingerbread house building with the kids, drinks and canapés round the neighbours’ as well as family dinner parties.
With this, though, comes the need to create spaces that are perfectly suited to staying in – from ensuring enough seating, creating zones for cooking, eating, drinking, games and making sure there’s a comfy corner for lazing around when stomachs are full. That means a kitchen layout that flows seamlessly from cooking to dining (without you feeling left out when you’re cooking); appliances that can handle the feast of all feasts and have functions that you find easy to use; welcoming spare bedrooms equipped with comfy beds (I am yet to find a sofa bed that is truly comfortable – recommendations welcome).
I think it’s good to remember that although you need the perfect space for visitors to stay during the holidays, your spare bedroom should also ideally serve a useful purpose all year round – whether as a kids’ den, home office or organised laundry room.
If you’re planning a new project, mid-way through or looking for ideas, it pays to think about what you’ll need at Christmas as well as other months. I’m thinking staying in for house parties year round instead of night’s on the town, you?
Featured image: Party decorations, from £5.40 each, Gisela Graham.