The Christmas party period is a time of ‘just the one’ turning into ‘one more round of shots’, of ‘home for tea’ quickly becoming ‘last train home’. It’s also the season for hosting; for every party that gets out of hand, for every ‘Fairytale of New York’ belted out at closing time, there’ll be a friend asking if they can crash on your couch. It’s important then, to wear that ‘hostess with the mostest’ crown with pride. With that in mind, here are 5 IDEAL ways to turn your house into a haven for hosting.

HAVE A WELL STOCKED LARDER

If friends and family are going to drop by without warning, then it’s important to be able to provide an impromptu feast. Stock your fridge with hard cheeses and chutneys that last for months and keep a loaf of bread in the freezer so you can throw together a festive cheeseboard. There’s no harm in keeping a few emergency pizzas in the freezer too. And of course, make sure you have a couple of bottles in the wine rack at all times.

No stomach rumbles louder than that of the hungover house guest. And in the age of ever evolving dietary requirements, it can sometimes be hard to cater to and satisfy each visitor’s wants and whims. It’s important then, to have a well-stocked larder of variety and good taste. Where once fry up items would have been sufficient, and your guest will have been sent on their way bloated and gaseous, now you’ll need all bases covered. So, vegan croissants, caffeine-less tea, gluten-free bread, organic sausages made from tofu…..you get the picture. But let’s be honest, having a few berocca and paracetamol in will probably do the trick if you don’t have the fridge space for fussy eaters.  

SMELL SAVVY

Unexpected guests mean you don’t have the usual time for a tidy, a wipe down of surfaces, a straightening of lines and burning of incense. All this will be forgiven if your place smells nice; it’s often the first sense that’s activated. And first impressions count, right? Have some scented candles in and ready to be lit, employ a plug-in air freshener, and keep the bins emptied. Oh, and keep a window open in the bathroom. Simples.

GET A SOFA BED

All this talk of full bellies and undisturbed noses, but what of the actual sleep itself? ‘Crashing’ on the sofa is for university students, and top to tailing in bed works for neither party. Instead, invest in a sofa bed, such as these from the guys at Dwell, that can be called upon when visitors need a good night of Zzzs. They’re also great for saving space in the home, not requiring a whole bedroom to be devoted to hosting guests, and also not taking up the same space a bed does.                 

CLEAN LINEN & TOWELS AT THE READY

You don’t want to be fumbling around, scrubbing stains out of your only spare sheets at the last minute. It’s always a good idea to have a couple of reserve sets of sheets around for guests, as well as towels. There’s nothing better than a hot shower the morning after the night before, to wash away the ills of the previous evening’s play.

STOCK UP ON TOILETRIES

Finally, not many of us carry a toothbrush, deodorant and tampons around with us, expecting to be staying out ‘till morning. Perhaps the most welcoming touch of all is having toiletries stocked up for all eventualities. That way, the morning is a smooth, enjoyable ride.

 

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Rachel is the beauty and fashion director at IDEAL. She loves trying new products and is an avid fan of London's fashion, from the high end to the high street.