Make your home a great place to party: Christmas with Cheska Hull

'Tis the season to be savvy for Made In Chelsea's Cheska Hull. Decking the halls of your Yuletide party pad shouldn't break the bank, she tells Amira Hashish
Cheska lying on sofa under fur throw with Christmas tree and gifts
© Matt Writtle
Cheska Hull is planning to spend the festive period in London this year
For reality TV star Cheska Hull it's time to celebrate: she has secured a contract for the third series of Made In Chelsea, bagged a handsome boyfriend, model Richie Elms, and found a flat with her best pal Ollie Lock.

Like so many of her friends she has put the flat-buying plan on hold until there is a property climate change, but is planning to deck the halls of their rented pad and have a party.

"My friends and I normally go to our family homes in the country at Christmas but it's been a year of cutbacks and so a lot of us are staying in town to work. We are all going to hold parties and we want our apartments to look amazing."

With the highest-ever numbers of young Londoners renting their homes we teamed up with stylist to the stars Simon Stewart, director of luxury interiors brand Charles Burnand, to create a special renters' guide for a festive home makeover that won't leave drawing pins in the ceiling or (mostly) break the bank.

GET COLOUR CREATIVE: Traditional colours work best. Reds and greens should be the staple, but you can create different looks every year with accents changing from red, green and gold, or red green and silver. Metallics look fabulous in candlelight.

Fireplace with Christmas decorations
Tiebacks and trimmings: from ribbons to wreaths, VV Rouleaux (vvrouleaux.com) in Sloane Square and Marylebone stocks the little details for the finishing touch
MAKE IT PERSONAL: Cover your Christmas table with home-made crackers. You can buy kits online (from £2.99 for six; partypieces.co.uk) and put in your own personalised gifts. To make people feel wanted and for an extra dinner-party touch, cut out your own placecards from coloured cardboard and write your friends' names on with gold or silver pens.

SOMETIMES, THE ONLY WAY IS CANDLELIGHT: Whether you choose a cluster of tea lights or lead crystal hurricanes, candles are a must. For maximum impact group them together. Invest in the best-quality candles that your budget will allow, as they burn better, smell nicer and their scent lasts longer. The DL&Co Jardin Fruitier range not only look divine, they smell delicious (from £20; charlesburnard.com).

GET SMART WITH ART: Pick the right festive prints to add that cool edge to the décor. Cheska wanted the bespoke Swarovski horn wall art (£1,500; charlesburnand.com). But a striking photograph can be just as effective. Photo library Getty has a great selection of images with winter themes available (from £250; gettyimages.co.uk).

IT'S NOT CHRISTMAS WITHOUT A GARLAND: A garland is a must, and you can make them so glamorous. For the budget version buy an artificial blank garland and just add decorations such as sprayed cones, which you can tie on with fine wire or twine — or use good old Blu-Tack. Push into the Blu-Tack some tangerines and holly. But if you are feeling flush, Jennie Mann will make a beautiful garland for you from £20 a foot (jenniemann.com).

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MAKE THE TREE YOUR CENTREPIECE
A fresh Norway spruce smells wonderful. You can buy one from any garden centre but, as a general rule, be ready to pay about £20 for a basic three-footer. The secret, Cheska discovered, is to pile on the sparkle — more is definitely, erm, more. Buy loads of good-quality soft-white lights, as many as you can afford. Homebase has a huge range (from £3.99; homebase.co.uk). Lucky Cheska had the help of Charles Burnand's bespoke styling service.
GO CRAZY WITH COSY CUSHIONS TO CUDDLE
A top accessory for a cosy Christmas (which you can use all year) is a fun and stylish cushion. Cheska splashed out on hers: "I adore the alphabet cushions from Jonathan Adler and I can rearrange them during the year," (£110 each; jonathanadler.com). But for more affordable cushions to cuddle up to, go to Homebase for its red "Love" option (£9.99) or to good-value Matalan for a mongolian red faux fur version — a bargain at only £8 (matalan.co.uk).
SO NICE TO TOUCH
Smother sofas in soft fabrics - texture is key to the luxe look. Mix faux fur throws with a few metres of smooth metallic fabrics tucked among the cushions - buy inexpensively off the roll at Peter Jones or John Lewis (johnlewis.com). The White Company makes a sumptuously soft faux fur throw in chocolate and almond (£100; thewhitecompany.com) or Next has a similar, more budget-friendly range (£40; next.co.uk).
SPLASH OUT ON 'CHAMPAGNE'In a moment of madness Cheska fell for champagne tumblers — the decadent 24 caratedged Sieger Sip of Gold version (middle) at £140 from Charles Burnand (charles burnand.com). She also loved the LSA Savoy coupe champagne glasses, also from Charles Burnand (left, £36 for a pair, as before). Good glasses make good-value fizz taste outrageously expensive. Have a ridiculously huge supply of Pommery POP Champagne (far right, £15, johnlewis.com) nicely chilled before your thirsty guests arrive.
STOCKINGS
Christmas would not be complete without a stocking. But rather than the traditional red felt option, branch out with one of Sarah Perry's personalised, embroidered designs — big style on a budget (£29, notonthehighstreet.com).
BARGAIN HUNT
Check out Homebase, where these Elements zest bubble-base wine glasses are £3.99 each (homebase.co.uk).
BAUBLES
High-end baubles and decorations from Georg Jensen (Johanne Heart Christmas Decoration, pictured, £30) and Vera Wang (Wedgewood Snowflake Relief Bauble, £25), are bestsellers at John Lewis this year. But you can create a similarly luxurious look for less with the John Lewis Diamanté Wreath Tree Decoration (£3) and the John Lewis Crackle Bauble in Cream (£3.50). Find out more at johnlewis.com
BE CREATIVE
Take a woodland walk to find holly, twigs and pine cones, then buy a can of glitter paint (£6.98, diy.com) and get spraying. Tie cinnamon sticks with red ribbon and hang them on your tree. Buy bags of walnuts and bright-orange clementines and throw them down the centre of the dining table between clusters of tea lights (from £3.50 for eight; amazon.co.uk).
TABLE DRESSING
Accessorise with silver and gold metallic bowls for drama on the festive table. The Conran Shop's brushed brass range (conranshop.co.uk) has everything from apple boxes to dessert dishes (from £35).


Cheska wears: Ariella Couture gold dress (£650, ariella.com). Brilliant Inc ring (£495, bybrilliant.com) and Roamer Swiss Elegance watch (£295, roamer.ch). Hair by Neville Hair & Beauty (nevillehairand beauty.net). Make-up by Bella Campbell (bellacampbell.com). Slipper chair by Morrow (£1,350, uk.jonathanadler.com)


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