It’s that time of year when everything turns all Christmassy, and owners of venues want to dress their buildings to impress visiting guests, but how do you go about this? If you are tired of tinsel, and really want to make a huge impression this year, you need to adopt the Christmas spirit and think carefully about how you are going to decorate your venue.

With the right selection of decorations, you can really wow your guests and create a fabulously festive feel throughout your building. As well as modern touches, it’s nice to add a few traditional features and create a welcoming sight for visitors to your business.

Most bars, pubs, restaurants and hotel chains are switching on to the idea of dressing their venues from mid-November onwards, and once they are in place, the decorations will remain on display until the last dregs of New Year fizz have disappeared.

Venue dressing can vary from one Christmas to the next, and depending on the type of image you want to portray this year, we suggest you follow these tips for a jolly holiday.

First impressions count

People like to be wowed at Christmas, so it’s important you make a positive impression before guests step through the entrance door. As guests arrive at your venue, make them feel welcome and get them into the Christmas spirit straight away by adding a few seasonal touches. This is easily achievable with some exterior decoration. Give your setting a festive feeling and think about dressing the exterior of the building with subtle lighting to create a warm and welcoming glow. You could add garlands of holly vine with bows attached, and drape them across windows and around support poles, then make use of exterior shrubbery by adding a few tasteful twinkling lights. Hang a mistletoe bundle from the door frame so guests can enjoy a few Christmas kisses after a mulled wine or two, and don’t forget to dress the door with a festive wreath to add a touch of tradition. If the exterior of your business looks enticing, people will be more eager to step inside to see more, and that’s brilliant for business.

Add garlands and twinkling lights to make your business look and feel festive…

Provide a warm reception

The exterior look of your building is vitally important as this gets people through the door, but once inside, you should continue the theme and provide guests with the warmest of welcomes. If you are lucky enough to have a large reception area, this lends itself naturally to many different types of decorations, and you can have fun dressing reception desks with artificial evergreens, and decorate them with traditional accessories such as berries, orange slices, pine cones or sticks of cinnamon, which add a fabulous festive fragrance. Do you have a log fire in your reception room? Make sure this is roaring, and guests can enjoy the crackle and the hiss as they gradually thaw from the freezing weather outside. Fireplaces are focal features inside receptions and interior rooms of venues, and you can make them look especially festive come Christmastime by adding winter décor that looks especially effective.

Make the most of mood lighting

Interior lighting is important for any venue in the midst of celebrating Christmas and can help to set the mood within a room. Candles, for example, create that fabulous flickering effect and coupled to a real log fire, they fill a room with a warm and welcoming orange glow. You can introduce seasonal candle holders to tables and make your own table decorations to complement the look, with artificial berries, twigs and cones. Large pillar candles also look especially effective, and you can place them on stands, position them around the hearth of a fireplace, or display them fully lit on top of the mantelpiece. Not only will the candles add a soft light to the room, they make it feel like Christmas!

Candles make a room feel Christmassy!!

Traditional colours are fine

You might be tempted to be bold and brassy with your chosen Christmas theme this year, and that is fine, but don’t ignore traditional colours which are always popular at this time of the year. Ruby reds, deep greens, gold and silver decorations have a rich and welcoming feel, there’s something tasteful and customary about them, and they suit many room styles, so should appeal to different types of customers. If you stick with these colours it makes it easier to dress your venue and keep the theme as coordinated as possible. Colourful Christmas ribbon in satin red and metallic gold makes a welcome addition to festive wreaths. You could also wrap it around stair rails, or add it to garlands fitted to handrails to give a staircase a festive feel.

If you have space for a tree, use it!

A Christmas tree can be a welcoming sight inside your venue, and if you have the room for something large and impressive, you can really go to town and dress the branches with a range of baubles and decorations. Think about where you are going to place the tree, and what types of accessories you want to use. We think warm LED lights are a good option to choose, but coloured lights are just as effective. Do you have a grand hallway in your hotel? If so, this could be the perfect location to greet guests as they step through the door with a towering fairy-topped tree. Or maybe you run a restaurant and want small artificial trees with lights displayed in tasteful locations around the business. Whatever space you have to play with, there’s always room for a tree of some size, and wouldn’t it look lovely with a few pretend presents placed underneath?

A traditional tree dressed with colourful decorations is a tasteful addition to any venue…

Be creative

When you are decorating a venue, try to be as imaginative as you can with features and accessories. Some of the best ideas are homemade, and they can sometimes be the perfect finishing touch. Quirky decorations can be just as effective, so don’t be afraid to get creative with wire and accessories if you want to make something magical that will have the wow factor. You can dress shelves and mantelpieces with small ornaments, hang snowflakes from windows, fill fishbowls with colourful lights, and create a stunning festive theme that’s sure to greet your guests with the essence of Christmas.

If it looks good, they’ll feel good

Christmas is the season of goodwill, and most people are in a jovial mood as they celebrate the season at many different types of hospitality venues. All it takes is a little bit of encouragement to get everyone feeling festive and in the party mood, and this is where good décor helps to create the ideal type of atmosphere.

Consider each room at your venue, and think about how you can dress this to create the perfect setting for a festive celebration. As long as it looks good, has the right mix of decorations and the atmosphere is warm, welcoming and most importantly, inviting, you can’t go wrong.