No Room at the Inn

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, when everyone comes together to celebrate and have fun. As lovely as it is to see the whole family, if it is your turn to host your tribe, this can cause a bit of a space problem. Most homes simply don’t have enough room to seat or sleep all the guests that are arriving, how do you seat 10 people at a table designed for 6 and how do we cram in those very people onto a sofa for 4?

In this article we will give you some hints and tips on how to make sure everyone can be seated comfortably for dinner and have somewhere to sleep off the Christmas excesses.

Dinner Seating

Dinner seating can be a bit of an issue. There aren’t many people who have a dining table which is large enough for their extended family or have enough chairs for everyone. So, what can you do?

A simple but effective solution is to hire a table for the period, Furniture Hire UK have some very reasonable hire options for both tables and chairs alternatively, speak to your local town or village hall or community centre, even your local pub might have trestle tables and chairs they will be willing to hire out.

Another suggestion is to seat older children on a separate table. Use a garden table with a cloth over or if you have a decent sized coffee table, set them up in their own reserved spot.

Benches are a great way of easily extending your seating capacity, where you would have had 3 chairs you could now seat 6 people on a bench. Ikea have a range of benches the great thing about Ikea is they generally have everything in stock ready to take away with you, so no ordering times! Top tip: make sure the bench fits under the table otherwise people will struggle to reach their plates, measure between the legs of the tables before you shop.

If none of these seating options suit, then we are just going to have to wing it! Grab every chair you can no matter what it looks like. Do you have garden chairs?  Bring them in, wipe them down and use them, what about that chair you mainly use just for decorating? Cover it up with a nice blanket or throw and use that too. Don’t worry about having to mix and match, the most important thing is to have everyone seated.

If you genuinely don’t have enough room and can’t make more room, then why not turn dinner into a help yourself buffet? People can then mingle as much as they like and talk to everyone else present rather than having to shout across the table. OK, it might not be a formal, elegant dining experience but it is a lot more social and best of all you don’t have to worry about who doesn’t like stuffing or Brussel sprouts!

Are we sitting comfortably?

So, you’ve got your dining sorted but what about space for dad to sleep off his lunch in front of the traditional Christmas films whilst at the same time catering for everyone else? 

Large bean bags or even pillows and cushions are a great idea especially for the kids. They can happily lounge on a bean bag in front of the TV and free up sofa space for others. 

Remember that bench we mentioned for the dining table? Why not bring it in to the front room for people to sit on?  Put it against a wall if you can and add some cushions and you’re all set. You can do the same with the garden chairs too. After dinner simply move them into your front room and you will have plenty more seating. 

Do you have a garden sofa that you use on those glorious summer days? If you have room, why not bring it in and create another sofa for people to sit on. 

Sleeping Arrangements

It can be hard to imagine how on earth you will be able to accommodate all the extra people over the Christmas period ensure that everyone you love is with you and comfortable. If you don’t have enough beds for everyone, why not try some of these great tips?

Sofa beds are always a good “go to” for extra sleeping space. They can be inconvenient for those who want to go to bed early as you can’t very well ask everyone else to leave the room but for those with more stamina, they are a great option. An alternative to sofa beds is hideaway beds. These are small pull outs that are hidden away under an existing bed. Simply pull the bed out and voila, you have extra sleeping space.

Of course, another option is to “top and tail” younger children, you may have trouble getting them off to sleep but they will have lots of fun.

How about the sofa? If you don’t have a sofa bed, the sofa itself is always an option. Perhaps not the best solution for the taller folk in the family, unless you have a huge sofa, but certainly, with a duvet and a pillow it is a suitable temporary bed.

Blow up beds – clear the bedroom floor of all the children’s toys and you’ll be amazed how much space there is available. Argos have a decent range of airbeds of varying sizes, from single beds to a king sized one complete with headboard! A handy feature of shopping at Argos you can check online to make sure your nearest store has one in stock before you head out.

Do you have an accessible attic or even a cellar?  These are perhaps not the most traditional places to sleep people but, if they are suitably warm and well equipped then why not put an air mattress in either for those extra guests?

Whatever option you chose, just make sure you make your guests as warm and comfortable as possible so give them as many duvets, sheets and pillows as they need. If you think you may not have enough, ask your guests to bring some with them, they are family, they won’t mind! And, if all else fails, local hotels will usually offer a room only option for the Christmas period.