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With many parts of the country most likely set for a New Year lockdown, celebrations from New Year’s Eve through to New Year’s Day will be taking place at home.
Like Christmas, it may not be what we had planned, but ringing in the New Year (and saying farewell to a challenging 2020) is something we’ll all want to embrace. We’ve got some tips to help you decorate your space at home and ring in 2021 in style; even if it’s virtually.
Decorate around the home
If you’re a party person, spruce up your home with some extra fun decorations. You may still have your Christmas decorations up, so utilise what you already have (especially any metallics or sequins). Alternatively, try adding some glitzy gold streamers or some sparkle-filled party poppers to your interiors.
When it comes to the hallway, you could string your Christmas fairy lights from the staircase for a sparkling display. Alternatively, hang up some sparkly bunting for an extra festive touch.
Don’t forget your Zoom corner for a virtual New Year’s Eve party
The idea of the Instagrammable wall and having the perfect backdrop has been a big working from home trend since the start of this pandemic, so ensure your background reflects the New Year festivities perfectly.
For a virtual party, Jess Martin, expert party planner at Ginger Ray, explains: ‘Switching up your ordinary home office decor and adding some NYE trinkets, such as glittery desk wear, a metallic mouse and some balloons can really help pull the party off the screen and into reality.’
Dress the table
Whether you’re having a New Year’s Eve party with your household, or you’re planning some virtual dinners, it’s a good idea to switch up your tableware as you prepare to ring in 2021.
‘Layer and dress the table with a mix of functional and fun accessories,’ says Rebecca Stanton, stylist at Dobbies. ‘Sparkling silvers with a clean white tablecloth will work well in a contemporary New Year’s Eve scheme.’
Another must-have for the dinner table is crackers – they’re not just limited to Christmas! Invest in some eco-friendly alternatives, either recyclable or reusable.
‘Laying out a full cutlery set for each course will add a more formal feel to the occasion but also serves another helpful styling purpose, adding a framed structure around each setting. The eye is in the detail and the addition of a “plate centrepiece” will draw the eye inward, creating a focal point for those ever-important Insta snaps,’ explains Rebecca.
For additional decoration, simply try flowers or foliage. Rebecca suggests pairing crisp white dining ware and clear glass with Lambs ear plant, and sprigs of fresh Rosemary and Eucalyptus to bring the outside in, creating a naturally sophisticated feel.
And, finally, set the mood! ‘No festive setting would be complete without the final addition of some magical tealights or candles to add some extra sparkle,’ says Rebecca. ‘Creating a cosy setting for celebrations, scented candles will fill the room with a fragrant ambient glow.’
Get out the drinks trolley
For at-home entertaining, you’ll want to invest in a drinks trolley or bar cart. Opt for a two-tier design so that you can fit more drinks and garnishes on. Get some bar cart organising tips here from The Home Edit’s Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin. And get some expert advice here on styling a drinks trolley.
Enjoy virtual beverages
And no New Year’s Eve party is complete without a bottle of bubbly but a great idea is a virtual cocktail-making class. Your friends and family can all get involved virtually, just decide on a few recipes beforehand so that you can all enjoy a tipple at the same time.
Jess adds: ‘If you’re feeling daring and want to lead the cocktail making session on the call, you could even try a few nifty tricks and test out your mixologist skills. Make your drinks that little bit extra by adding a showstopper decoration such as a sparkler.’
On New Year’s Eve…
• For the first time ever, Scotland’s flagship Hogmanay event (the famous Hogmanay street party and spectacular firework display) is moving online. You can enjoy the celebrations virtually over three nights at edinburghshogmanay.com.
• French composer Jean-Michel Jarre will play a set inside France’s Notre-Dame, virtually. It will be streamed for free across social media platforms and on VRChat. Read more.
• Enjoy a song and dance in your living room with some TV countdowns. Tune in to Alicia Keys Rocks New Year’s Eve on BBC One from 11.30pm or Jools’ Annual Hootenanny on BBC Two from 11.15pm.
On New Year’s Day…
• Watch a movie together: thanks to apps such as Teleparty (formerly Netflix Party), you can watch Netflix films together virtually – just download the extension on Google Chrome, invite your loved ones to watch a film and you’re good to go. Talk via the chat box so you can discuss scenes as you watch.
• For games, try Kahoot! for a virtual quiz suitable for all the family. Each person can select a quiz category that they want everyone to play, or you can create a round specifically about your friends and family.
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