How To Create A Great Party Home On A Budget | Expert advice from Joanna Thornhill

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Mismatched tableware can create a less formal look
For a decadent but coordinated look, try mixing from two or three different sets, layering a plate from one, then placing a different plate and soup bowl on top.

Use vintage pearl necklaces as alternative napkin rings
Not only will this bring a little more glitter to your table, but they can also serve as bonus gifts. Simply wrap them around your towels then add a sprig of foliage for an extra touch of style.

Add character to your table with small figurines
Arrange small vintage figurines along your table among foliage cuttings and Christmas baubles. Ideal for entertaining the youngest.

Create a cake stand or raised presentation plate
Place a cute vintage dish on an overturned glass bowl to display heart-healthy festive fruits and nuts.

To turn the stand into something more permanent, attach the underside of your plate to the underside of a bowl (make sure it has a flat base) using superglue or epoxy glue suitable for ceramic applications.

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Transform a glassed-in bookcase by adding second-hand fabric to the interior of its doors, allowing you to use it as storage for items you might not want to show off.

  1. Cut two lengths of fabric slightly longer than the height of each door and approximately 1 1/2 times the width of each door.
  2. Hem on all sides, incorporating a small channel at the top and bottom (if you don’t have a sewing machine, using iron-on canvas would work as well).
  3. Screw metal sheer “eyes” into the top and bottom corners of each door (on the inside), then cut four lengths of sheer wire slightly shorter than the horizontal spaces between the eyes.
  4. Thread the yarn through the top and bottom of each panel, tie a mesh curtain hook at each end, then secure it in place by hanging them in the eyes.

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A mini Christmas tree can create a striking centerpiece on a sideboard or table, or be used as an alternative tree if you’re short on floor space.

  1. Gather some garden twigs and place them in a container (we used a vintage coffee maker, picked up from a BHF store), then decorate with light balls.
  2. For an extra touch of glitter, try spray painting your twigs with glam gold or sleek silver.

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Room dividers are back in fashion as many of us are looking for ways to cut out larger spaces for multiple uses. We found this striking design, in trendy rattan, at a BHF store and used it to create a walk-in closet in a bedroom.

Think outside the box when it comes to keeping your room clutter-free. A vintage bamboo magazine rack works great as a shoe rack, while a vintage suitcase provides convenient storage for extra clothes and bed linen.

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You’ll often find charming vintage suitcases in BHF stores – turn one into a fun ‘lucky tub’ for the kids this Christmas by filling it with shredded paper, then burying a bunch of wrapped little gifts in it. And after Christmas, it could also be used as a fancy place to store toys.

When it comes to shopping for gifts, buying used items is a great way to find something unique and personal. If you are lucky, you may be able to find vintage toys from your own childhood that you can give back to the children in your life. You can even enhance the gifts in your charity shop by creating your own bespoke box or gift basket, using a selection of in-store finds based on a particular theme.

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Buy with us this Christmas

Every item sold helps fund our life-saving research into heart and cardiovascular disease.

To support the BHF in your festive purchases, all you need to do is:

You can also help inspire others by sharing your findings on social media using #BoughtAtBHF.

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