Now December’s here, it can only mean one thing: Christmas is coming. To get your home into the festive feel and prepare it for house guests over the holiday period, we’ve put together some top tips to get your home looking merry and bright…

1. Clear out the bookshelves

A minimalist design with touches of gold and silver ornaments will add an understated yet festive atmosphere to any room. Wrap books in leftover wrapping paper to give them a bit of sparkle and then stack horizontally for full effect.

2. Don’t pin your stockings

Instead of trying to stick a drawing pin into the mantelpiece to hang your stockings, use some festive hooks to both save your furniture and create a Christmas feeling in your living room.

3. Get the greenery out

Adding touches of green and gold to your home brings a level of festive style that’s still sophisticated. Wrap lights around wreaths to get the Christmassey colour combination, as well as adding some warmth to the room.

4. Fill the air with Christmas

Scented candles can add a more cosy and inviting atmosphere if you opt for a cinnamon or gingerbread based scent, and at Christmas time they can also double as a centrepiece if adorned with a mini wreath.

5. Get crafty with your cards

Instead of just sticking your cards on the fridge, get crafty and find an interesting way to hang them. Even just pegging them to a piece of string can create a festive bunting effect that will spruce up the room and show your friends and family you appreciate their well wishes.

6. Crack out the cocoa

Everybody loves a mug of something warm around Christmas time, and a hot chocolate station is a great way to invite guests to get creative and make themselves the perfect winter treat. Add jars of mini marshmallows, cream, and powdered chocolate to offer your guests all the trimmings. Similarly, a bar cart is crucial at Christmas time to display a section of festive tipples.

7. Fill the room

In a piece for House Beautiful, Bryan Rafanelli (The White House’s Christmas Designer) advised readers to “use objects with different heights to build a sense of adventure on the tabletop. Bringing the ceiling down with snowflakes and the table up with towering candlesticks isn’t just pretty, it also supplies a feeling of intimacy, which is crucial to a successful party.” Simple designs like these oversized stars and snowflakes (which you can buy on Amazon) adds something extra to the room without being too over the top.

8. Give a warm welcome

Make a festive first impression by decorating your front door/porch. Wreaths are an obvious must, but if you have any greenery by your front door, adding lights gives an instant Christmas glow. Lanterns, tea lights, and seasonal doormats are also a great way to get your guests in the Christmas spirit before they’ve even entered your house.

9. No fire? No problem

If you don’t have a working fireplace, you can still achieve a warm Christmas glow with gold glass terrariums and tealights.

10. Dress up the sofa

Christmas is definitely the time for snuggling up on the sofa for games, Christmas films, and opening presents – so make sure your sofa is spruced up with cushions and blankets. Inject red and white tones with greys to contrast for a cosy yet understated vibe.