1. Light the way
Every good host knows that the perfect party atmosphere starts with the right lighting. Short days and long nights may make for a dreary commute in early December but come the end of the month it's just the excuse you needed to indulge in cosy flickering candles and fireside glows.
Whilst every Festive movie may tell you that it's not really seasonal atmosphere unless you have an abundance of pillar candles and a real open fire to snuggle down in front of, at RoomLab we're a little more practical. This year we're swapping out real candles and fire-hazard anxiety for strings of soft fairy lights. Don't you just love the playful sparkle of these mirror ball ones from RoomLab supplier Habitat - so perfect for subtle New Year's Eve glamour.
Discoball 20 LED mirrored ball garland from Habitat, currently available for £14 (rrp £20) through your RoomLab Design Package.
If you're in need of a little more light (there's nothing celebratory about bruised shins), opt for a table-sized lamp with a totally covered bulb; this option from RoomLab supplier Lombok is hand-finished and lends a diffused Eastern glow that's cosy in any season.
Hinh Table Lamp Large from Lombok, currently available for £38 (rrp £95) through your RoomLab Design Package.
And for the real fire? Cancel the chimney-sweep and switch on Netflix's 'Fireplace For Your Home'. Available in three versions, it's a 90 minute recording (we keep ours on a permanent loop) of a real fire - all the atmosphere with none of the clean-up!
2. What happens behind closed doors
Sure, the end of December is traditionally a time of excess and you may well want to stock up on drinks in preparation but that doesn't mean your space needs to look like an off-licence. Swap crowded counters and stuffed shelves for the simple storage solutions of some dedicated bar furniture. Named after the roaring twenties' favourite wild child, we're obsessing over the deco vibes of the Zelda Bar Cabinet from West Elm. The clean lines and closed doors lend an air of functionality that's suitable all year round but don't be fooled - she's all party on the inside.
Shelves add an additional layer of storage space that allow you to stock up on your festive favourites (plus the dedicated hooks keep your once-a-year-please-be-careful-and-put-it-down-gently glassware safe) and the broad laquered top is the perfect surface for a stylish serve without any of the fear of water damage. What more could you want?!
We're covering ours with vintage glassware, seasonal flowers, and carefully tarnished trays for a look that's just one Old Fashioned away from perfect decadence.
Zelda Bar Cabinet from West Elm currently available for £629 (rrp £899) through your RoomLab Design Package.
3. Through the good-looking glass
It's hard to keep the classy feel in place when Steve from nextdoor insists on shunning your carefully hand-mixed cocktails in favour of his favourite bottles of cider but there's no need to create a neighbourhood divide. It's so easy to find great glassware at low prices (perfect for when the dancing gets a little too spirited and a crash or two occurs); decant the drinks to maintain an air of elegant consistency no matter what the tipples of choice are.
We love the light-refracting delights of these crinkle-cut glasses from RoomLab supplier West Elm - the sharp angles will bounce an enticing glow onto the faces of party guests and their incredibly low price point will leave you able to relax and toast to the health of your friends and family without worrying about breakages.
Bormioli Cassiopeia Glassware from West Elm, currently available for £3.60 (rrp £4) through your RoomLab Design Package.
If you're planning to serve cocktails to your guests but don't want to spend all night in the kitchen muddling sugar, consider pre-mixing some elements of the drinks and setting up a DIY station where people can add the final step themselves. Mix ingredients in advance and store them in a goregous decanter with a hand-written label of instructions on how to create the perfect pour and get delicious drinks and a piece of entertainment in one. Go full on Gatsby with this set of 5 from Eichholtz or dip your toe into the hosting water with these cork-topped carafes from Habitat.
Eichholtz Decanter Set Of 5, currently available for £292.50 (rrp £325) through your RoomLab Design Package.
Judson Clear Glass Decanter With Cork Stopper, currently available from £13.50 (rrp from £15) through your RoomLab Design Package.