Have yourself a cosy little Christmas

Have yourself a cosy little Christmas

14th December 2016

Christmas means full-on family and friends time, so we’re here to help you make the most of it with some hilarious games, must-watch DVDs and boredom-busting activities. So snuggle up on the sofa and prepare to get your Christmas cosy on, fun style.

Christmas. The chestnuts are roasting, the fire is roaring… and we’re all looking forward to a couple of days of festive family fun. So here are just a few ideas for the best new games, DVDs and activities to keep you entertained through to New Year and beyond. What are you waiting for? Grab a comfy seat on the sofa and let the festivities begin…

1 The best new family board games

It just wouldn’t be Christmas without a brilliant board game or two. We’ve picked out three Christmas crackers of games for you, all guaranteed to get everyone (yes, even your grumpy granddad) in the holiday spirit.

  • Obaba Llama Charades for the 21st century, you win this game by finding the rhyme in time. It might be Piglet eating a Twiglet, Angelina Jolie making ravioli or soon-to-be-ex-president Obama riding that llama – go on, you know you want it!
  • Say it, Don’t Spray It Admit it, you’ve always wanted to shut your sister up on Christmas Day. Now you can. Everyone pops in a mouth guard (yup, like at the dentist) then your teammates have to decipher the phrase you’re mangling. As much fun as Pie Face but a lot less mess.
  • Simon Swipe The 1980s classic Simon game (link here for those too young to remember!) updated for the tablet generation with touch screen technology. Keep up with the flashing lights and noise combos if you can.

games

The best seat in the house?

Team board games mean players sitting together, so we’d recommend a couple of extra-large sofas around a coffee table for maximum comfort while thrashing your opponents! The Louvre, with its button back and wide cushions, would be ideal.

louvre_3a_louvreplainandpattern_redcombination_view1

2 The best new family-friendly DVDs

You’re all podged out from your Christmas lunch – so now’s the perfect time to pop on a DVD and relax on the sofa with a big box of Quality Street (save the purple ones for us please!).

  • The BFG Voiced by über-actor Mark Rylance, the BFG is another Roald Dahl triumph in film form. Follow Sophie’s adventures in Giant Country as she battles to stop nasty child-eating giants (it’s not as scary as it sounds, honest). PG rating
  • The Jungle Book Live-action version of the classic animated movie that retains all the charm of the original while ladling on the adventure, excitement and fun of Mowgli’s jungle adventures. PG rating
  • The Best of Strictly Come Dancing – Len’s Grand Finale Celebrate the end of Len Goodman’s reign as king of the Strictly studio with this feature-length DVD of his best (and worst) bits of the top dance show. Definitely one to watch when Nana starts demanding another sherry! U rating

dvds

The best seat in the house?

Family movie time means everyone cosied up together with a big bowl of popcorn, so corner or modular sofas are the film fan’s way forward. Choose one with a chaise or, better still, a recliner like the Carmelo, and you’ll never want to get up again. Thank goodness for remotes, eh?

carmello_gm_palatial_tan_view1

3 The best family fun activities

So you’ve watched a film and played a game but you still want more? Here are three Christmas-tastic activities to keep the whole family amused (and that won’t break the bank).

  • Pin the nose… on the reindeer How lucky that Rudolph has a nose just perfect for pinning. Channel your inner Picasso and create a picture of Rudy (without his snout, natch), then cut out a few circles from card and paint them red. Add some Blue Peter style double-sided sticky tape to the back of each ‘nose’, pop a blindfold on the first player, give ‘em a spin and away you go. The kids will love this version of the classic party game.
  • Christmas quiz Everyone loves a festive quiz and challengethebrain.com has lots of Christmassy ones you can print out, including Christmas movie trivia (don’t worry, you can download the answers too!).
  • Christmas karaoke Give your lungs a workout with the Christmas-inspired song list from YouTube channel Sing King Karaoke. Yell along to classics such as Rocking Around the Christmas Tree, Wham’s Last Christmas or Justin Bieber’s Mistletoe (sorry, we said classics, didn’t we!), as the words bounce over your screen in true karaoke fashion.

The best seat in the house?

If you’re going to be singing about mistletoe (and wine, don’t forget the wine!) then you’re going to want to be cosy with your loved one… so a cuddler chair or sofa could be just what Santa ordered. And for singing superstars, the Starlet (apt name or what?) ticks all the boxes.

starlet_1gpb_starlet_charcoalcombination_oc101

#FlavoursofXmas

We've been sharing our favourite Christmas flavours over the last few weeks, but we want to see some of your festive touches that you love to add to the home this time of year. It could be:

  • Your favourite candles 
  • Your snuggly blankets 
  • Your Xmas tips 'n' tricks 
  • Your DIY Christmas decorations

However you're getting festive at home, we want to hear from you. To get involved, share your image using #FlavoursofXmas on Instagram or Twitter. Our favourite festive image will win a HUGE £1,000 to spend at dfs. Now that would be a nice Christmas present! But be quick you will need to upload your ideas and #FlavoursofXmas on social by 22nd December to be entered into the draw. Full T&Cs can be found HERE.

Back to homepage

foc

Fun and festive table ideas for Christmas wow!

Fun and festive table ideas for Christmas wow!

2nd December 2016

Just in case Santa didn’t leave quite enough presents, here are some fab Christmas table ideas you can make to surprise and delight your guests when they sit down for the festive feast!

Christmas is certainly the season to be jolly, and there’s nothing jollier than sitting down to a beautifully laid Christmas table and finding an extra little present waiting for you. Usually associated with weddings, where the bride and groom give them out as a thank you/souvenir of the big day, favours are now finding their way on to the Christmas table too. So if you want to be on the nice list this year, here are a few fabulous favours you can try for yourself… wow factor guaranteed!

Candy cane placeholders

Simple yet effective, tie two candy canes together with some sparkly ribbon, hand-write your guest’s name on some matching card and pop one at each seat. Super sweet!

Candy canes

Homemade crackers

The original table favour, it wouldn’t be a proper Christmas without pulling a cracker or two! All you’ll need are some toilet roll tubes, wrapping paper and matching ribbon – cracking idea, or what? Personalise the gifts inside to match your guests for a special surprise! 

EatingSpace_DIYChristmascrackers_Cameo_RT crop

Citrus scented table centre

For an eye-catching and nose-pleasing centerpiece, simply pile kumquats or clementines in to a glass trifle bow and add a few sprigs of pine. Add a festive candle for some ambience!

Kumquats

Scandi-style Christmas trees

Simplicity is the essence of Scandi style and Christmas table decorations don’t come much simpler than these. All you need are some pieces of craft card –patterned to match your Christmas scheme or plain for you to decorate yourself – and a pair of scissors (told you they were easy!). Cut out pairs of triangles, and then make a slit from the bottom of one triangle to the middle (make sure to get it central or you’ll end up with a wonky tree) and from the top point of the other triangle to the middle, then slot the two together.

Triangle trees

Christmas tree ‘confetti’

Got a load of paint swatch cards from when you redecorated the lounge that you don’t know what to do with? If not grab some coloured card and get crafty! Grab yourself a Christmas-tree-shaped craft punch (other seasonally shaped punches are also acceptable!) and stamp out a load of Chrimble confetti to scatter over your table. Works with last year’s Christmas cards too.

Xmas tree confetti

Bauble ‘chandelier’

For the full 360° gorgeous Christmas table effect, make sure your guest have something lovely to look up to… literally! Hang a selection of pretty Christmas baubles on lengths of coordinating satin ribbon and drape them from the light fitting over the table. Perfect way to re-purpose old Christmas decorations into something beautiful.

Bauble chandelier

We'll be sharing our favourite Xmas flavours over the next few weeks, but we also want to see some of your festive touches. It could be:

  • Your favourite candles 
  • Your snuggly blankets 
  • Your Xmas tips 'n' tricks 
  • Your DIY Christmas decorations

However you're getting festive at home, we want to hear from you. To get involved, share your image using #FlavoursofXmas on Instagram or Twitter. Our favourite festive image will win a HUGE £1,000 to spend at dfs. Now that would be a nice Christmas present! You need to upload your images by 22nd December to be entered into the draw. Full T&Cs can be found HERE.

Discover all of our favourite #FlavoursofXmas on our latest Pinterest board!

Back to homepage

 

How to sparkle with gorgeous Christmas lighting ideas

How to sparkle with gorgeous Christmas lighting ideas

30th November 2016

It’s nearly time to get your twinkle on, so here are some simple yet stunning ways to trip the lights fantastic this Christmas.

You may not feel up to challenging the Gay family of New York state who hold the Guinness World Record for decorating their home with over 600,000 lights (we don’t envy their electric bill!), but there’s no getting away from the fact that Christmas and lights go together like mince pies and brandy butter. So here are six quick and easy ways to add some festive twinkle to your home this Christmas…

1 Make a wall display

  • Gather your favourite Christmas cards
  • Print out some fun and festive polaroid pictures of your guests
  • String of fairy lights
  • Craft pegs
  • Wall pins

Who says Xmas cards are a thing of the past? Not us. Display yours in style with our fairy light wall! How abut adding a personal touch for your guests by printing our your favourite polaroids or pictures and adding them to the string of lights! Get creative with your patterns too – you can zig-zag like we did, or even make a Christmas tree shape and peg the cards where the baubles would sit.

Wall of lights

2 Mirror magic

Mirror, mirror on the wall…how do you make the room look so big? By draping fairy lights over myself of course! Why have just one string of Christmas lights when you can cheat it with reflections and make it look like you have tons of sparkle going on? This is a great way to brighten up a gloomy corner or add interest to a bare wall – and if you sit mirrors opposite each other, you’ll have twinkly Christmas decorations to infinity and back.

Mirror with lights

3 Get twiggy with it

Tangled fairy lights? Don't waste your time untangling - add some rustic logs or twigs in a slatted box for a fire-y effect! This magical, rustic design is the perfect festive centre-piece to any room. All you need is a wooden crate, some twigs or small logs and a string of Christmas lights. Add it next to the fire for a fire-y focal point!

Twigs and lights fake fire

4 Stairway to holiday heaven

Wrap a prelit fake-fir garland around the banister and rods of your staircase for sparkle where you might not expect it. Add extra Christmas oomph with some hanging decorations such as these lovely Scandi-inspired hearts, and turn your stairs from functional to fabulous.

Stair garland

5 Wow wreath

Great for indoors or out, this oh-so-pretty (and simple to make) sparkle wreath we found at modflowers.co.uk is a modern take on the traditional holly and ivy affair. Simply loop wire lights into a circle and secure with some garden twine for the perfect Christmas decoration.

Sparkle wreath

6 Shining star

Create your own Christmas star by whitewashing some thin branches and tying them together in a star shape. Then simply wrap some Christmas lights around the points for a super-quick Scandi-inspired statement piece.

Star

We'll be sharing our favourite Xmas flavours over the next few weeks, but we also want to see some of your festive touches. It could be:

  • Your favourite candles 
  • Your snuggly blankets 
  • Your Xmas tips 'n' tricks 
  • Your DIY Christmas decorations

However you're getting festive at home, we want to hear from you. To get involved, share your image using #FlavoursofXmas on Instagram or Twitter. Our favourite festive image will win a HUGE £1,000 to spend at dfs. Now that would be a nice Christmas present! You need to upload your images by 22nd December to be entered into the draw. Full T&Cs can be found HERE.

Discover all of our favourite #FlavoursofXmas on our latest Pinterest board!

Back to homepage

#FlavoursofXmas

#FlavoursofXmas

18th November 2016

It may still be November, but we know that some of you are already starting to get in the mood for Christmas. There's only 36 days left until the big day, after all (maybe even less depending on when you read this).

You might just be enjoying a wintery hint of cinnamon, or going all in and starting to get the decorations out. However excited you are, those flavours of Xmas are just irresistible. 

We'll be sharing our favourite Xmas flavours over the next few weeks, but we also want to see some of your festive touches. It could be:

  • Your favourite candles 
  • Your snuggly blankets 
  • Your Xmas tips 'n' tricks 
  • Your DIY Christmas decorations

However you're getting festive at home, we want to hear from you. To get involved, share your image using #FlavoursofXmas on Instagram or Twitter. Our favourite festive image will win a HUGE £1,000 to spend at dfs. Now that would be a nice Christmas present! You need to upload your images by 22nd December to be entered into the draw. Full T&Cs can be found HERE.

Here at HQ we made our very own #FlavoursofXmas with these fun DIY Snow Globes. Learn how to make yours in 5 easy steps!

LivingSpace_Snowglobe_Cameo_RT crop

Maybe your expecting guests this season?! Beat them to asking for the wi-fi password with our free print out! Simply re-size and pop in a photo frame, perfect for any room: PRINT HERE

SleepingSpace_WiFiCode_Cameo_RT CROP

Why not add some Christmas sparkle to the table this year - with our fun Christmas tree napkins! Watch our step by step to discover how to create yours:

Discover all of our favourite #FlavoursofXmas on our latest Pinterest board!

foc

Back to homepage

DIY: Homemade Snow Globe

DIY: Homemade Snow Globe

14th November 2016

Christmas is just around the corner and one of our favourite things to do in the run up to the big day is some DIY festive crafting! We wanted to share with you one of our cutest Christmas hacks from our latest shoots... the snow globe!

We all love the festive sparkle a snow globe brings! We couldn't believe how easy these beautiful keepsakes were to make until we had a go here at HQ! It really is simple - follow our 5 step instructions to create your very own snow globe.

Here’s what you will need:

  • Mason jar - or any jar with a lid (even a jam jar... just make sure you wash it first)
  • Plastic animal, trees, snowman... in fact anything you want to put inside your snow globe
  • Waterproof glue
  • Glitter
  • Glycerin
  • Ribbon and string of bells to finish the jar (optional)

snow globe

 

Instructions:

  1. Using waterproof glue, glue your snowman (or chosen accessory) to the inside of the Mason jar lid. Leave to dry completely. Depending on the glue this could take up to 24 hours - please check! TIP: try glue-ing your accessory to a small block or platform if there is small details you may not be able to see them when the lid is secured!
  2. Fill your Mason jar with water, glitter of your choice and a few drops of glycerin. TIP: the glycerin will help to create a slow swirling effect when the snow globe is shaken.
  3. Assemble your snow globe by placing the lid on the jar and then screwing the cap on. TIP: always make sure the lid is secure before turning the snow globe upside down! Glue-ing the lid on is always an option to avoid any possible leaks!
  4. Add a string of bells to the lid of the jar to create a festive sound when the jar is shaken! TIP: add a ribbon and bow and give your homemade snow globe to a friend or relative as a gift.
  5. Turn your Mason jar over... shake and enjoy!

Our favourite uses for the snow globe:

  • Give them to friends and family as a homemade gift - you could even add your snow globe to a hamper filled with their favourite treats!
  • Add to the mantlepiece for a super cute festive decoration
  • Make mini snow globes and place one in each guests table place setting on Christmas day - personalise to each guests favourite colour or character
  • Personalise your snow globe with names and initials for an extra special surprise

LivingSpace_Snowglobe_Cameo_RT crop

For more Christmas inspiration check out our #FlavoursofXmas Pinterest board.

Follow us on #FlavoursofChristmas on Twitter & Instagram for competitions and more festive fun!

Back to homepage

Why everyone needs a sofa bed at Christmas!

Why everyone needs a sofa bed at Christmas!

8th November 2016

Need a little extra sleeping space for your guests this Christmas? A multifunctional sofa bed – in a multifunctional room – could be just what Santa ordered.

Not everyone has the luxury of a spare bedroom ready and waiting for overnight guests. And this is especially true at Christmastime, when family and friends descend en masse, all of them (not unreasonably, some might say) expecting somewhere comfy to sleep.

Enter the sofa bed… the queen of multifunctional furniture. Way more comfortable than a blow-up mattress, and space-saving to boot (well it does combine two of the biggest bits of furniture in most homes into one handy package), it’s the idea solution for Christmas and beyond.

Multifunctional furniture for multifunctional spaces

By its very nature, the sofa bed combines two functions into one (sitting and sleeping, in case you were wondering what else we might be talking about!). But why stop there? Why not double-duty your sofa bed AND the room you put it in, for maximum versatility and practicality?

From living room to guest room

If you’re going to be using the sofa bed as an actual sofa when you don’t have guests for Christmas, then the lounge is the obvious place to house it. And for even more bang for your space-saving buck, look for a sofa bed that comes with hidden storage too… like the Lydia Chaise End 3-Seater Sofa Bed from our gorgeous House Beautiful range.

Lydia chaise open shot for living room section

That chaise isn’t just great for stretching out on to watch It’s A Wonderful Life on Christmas Day… it’s also the perfect place to stash the duvet and pillows, clearing clutter and giving you more space to entertain your guests. 

WIN the Lydia! As a special Christmas treat, we’ve got one of these fab sofa beds up for grabs – scroll down for more details on your chance to win a Lydia sofa bed!

Make your office work harder

Many of us use the spare bedroom as a home office, but it’s really annoying to have to edge round a full-size bed to get to your desk. A sleek sofa bed like the Sonique would look stunning in any office, giving you somewhere for colleagues, the family or even the pet dog to sit when you’re working, and quickly converting into a super-comfy double for family and friends during the festive period.

Added bonus: your desk can also be used as a dressing table when the sofa’s in bed mode. So that’s double, double-dutying, then!

sonique_hero

Sleepovers sorted!

Kids love having friends sleep over during the Christmas holidays… so it makes sense to have somewhere comfortable in their bedroom for them to crash on (we would say sleep on, but any parent can tell you that sleeping isn’t usually on the agenda!). If you don’t have the floor space to fit in a sofa bed, you could always go for a day bed like the Madeline, with a trundle bed that slots tidily underneath. Just warn Santa not to tread on any sleeping children when he drops off the pressies!

madeline_viewroomset

Kitchen comfy

They say the kitchen’s the heart of the home, so if you’re lucky enough to have one big enough to fit a comfy sofa in, why not make that a sofa bed instead, so your kitchen becomes a truly multifunctional space? It’s a nice place for your guests to sit with a drink while you’re making Christmas dinner, and when you’re guest-free, you can relax there with a coffee and a good book. A compact design, like the Oracle, with its sleek cream leather design, would work in both a classic and a contemporary kitchen space.

oracle_2b_oracle_cream_view4

 

WIN! WIN! WIN!

So now you know that you can fit a sofa bed anywhere in your home, we’re giving you the chance to win the House Beautiful Lydia sofa bed and your choice of Dulux Amazing Space paint to create your own magical space this Christmas.

Lydia Xmas shot for Win panel

One lucky entrant will win the ‘look’ from our Christmas Magical Spaces shoot (above) – that’s a Lydia Right Hand Facing Chaise End 3-Seater Sofa along with 7.5 litres of Dulux Amazing Space paint in your colour of choice. All you’ll need to add is the Christmas tree! You can enter here… good luck!

For more winter style inspiration, including a round up of some of our favourite sofa beds, check out our new Style Sourcebook, online now.

Back to homepage