How To Create A Guest-Ready Home This Season


With the holidays in mind, we tapped some of our favorite experts for their design tricks to create guest-ready spaces primed for entertaining. Among our picks: welcoming entries, oversized sofas and a super luxe candleholder. Take a look at these spaces and products that are ready to party.


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For this Parisian duplex apartment, Moscow-based Rosko Family Design fashioned a space equally fit for relaxing and entertaining. A mammoth plush sectional provides abundant seating, while deep charcoal walls create an atmosphere of intimacy. The piece de resistance, though, is a stunning mural, inspired by a French heirloom, that dominates the room. “Based on a vintage Gobelins tapestry, it serves as both artistic statement and tender family tribute,” says designer Anatoliy Roskovshenko.

PHOTO: Courtesy Rosko Family Design


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New York designer Philip Gorrivan incorporated color and pattern to create a jewel-box effect as one approaches the living room in this Toronto town house. “Every room should have its own narrative that tells a story, as well as communicates with the other rooms in the house,” he says. Here, Gorrivan used black trim to frame the doorway to the living room, which draws the eye in with a bold canary wallpaper. “Transitions beckon visitors to step from one room to the next, allowing the story to unfold,” he says.

PHOTO: Michael Graydon


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Based on the visual impact of this foyer in Winnetka, Illinois, Chicago-based designer Julia Buckingham knows how to make a dramatic first impression. “Artful accents and materials infuse life and interest to the space,” she says. She also used herringbone flooring, high-gloss white trim and coordinating chandeliers to unite the spaces of the entire entry hall. “Blending furniture and fixtures from the past with those of today creates a look that is timeless,” she adds.

PHOTO: Eric Hausman


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Designed by Dan Yeffet, these handsome candles, known as photophores (Greek for “light bearer”), are painstakingly carved from marble, such as Calacatta, Nero Marquina and Portoro. The sculptural objets suspend capsule candles, which dispense four distinct original fragrances developed by famed perfumer Barnabe Fillion.

PHOTO: Courtesy Ooumm


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From tapas-and-wine gatherings around the kitchen island to a low-key film screening with friends, these days entertaining goes beyond the sit-down dinner, so even kitchens and media rooms need to put their best face forward. Atlanta-based interior designer Melanie Turner‘s spaces celebrate architectural details–such as the barrel vault and arched doorway in this stunning kitchen–as well as pay homage to nature through earthy, neutral hues, as in the screening room at right. Here, Turner shares her approach.

On designing for a crowd: “I like to have at least two separate conversation areas in a room. There should be no more than 3 feet between two people when they sit to converse, so movable seating is important,” she says.

Getting the right mix: “Start with a uniform background or canvas, and stick to one color for simplicity. Then, add a large one-of-a-kind piece–for instance, lighting or accessories. I love beautiful art, which also helps separate your home from others.”

Photo: Emily Jenkins Followill


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Sitting around a roaring fire is par for the course at holiday gatherings, and a showstopping mantel ensures guest will be mesmerized by much more than glowing embers. Hand-carved from Cabouca limestone, the Castello is the latest collaboration between Chesney’s and New York designer Alexa Hampton. The mantel’s detailed, rounded arch and interlacing latticework were inspired by a Tuscan palazzo of Moorish Revival design, bringing an air of exoticism to your hearth.

Photo: Courtesy Chesney’s


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A supersize sofa needn’t have a hulking profile. Case in point: the chic, velvet-covered Mayweather sofa from KGBL. At 10-feet long, it goes the distance in accommodating a crowd, but its sleek silhouette, with delicate bronze legs and abstract tufting, proves that heavy lifting can be done in style. Down-covered cushions provide a comfy perch for hours of cocktails and conversation.

Photo: Courtesy KGBL