How to optimise your house for pres, according to a celebrity expert

You can start by washing up

celeb Celia drinks home HomeSense house pre pre-drinks pres Sawyer

Glamorous TV interior designer Celia Sawyer offers her top tips on the perfect hosting environment.

So you’ve stocked up on drinks, kitted yourself out in your waviest threads and absolutely nailed the songs in your pres playlist.

But is your house really fulfilling it’s true potential?


Wiping down your sticky surfaces and a quick squirt of Febreze just doesn’t cut the mustard – TV personality Celia, from Channel 4’s ‘Four Rooms’ offers her expert advice to impress your guests.

Celia pic

Space creating tips

Ensuring your humble abode has enough room to host your guests is fundamental, so clear non-essential items off tables and chairs to make more room.

Celia states: “If you have a big mirror bring it through to the main entertaining area and lean it against a wall to add a sense of space and depth.”

A wide table surface area is also an essential for Beer Pong, Ring of Fire or any game of choice so make sure that all your mates can huddle round.

Investing in a fold away table set could be the answer to your prayers, providing surplus space to rest your bevs.

Transform your house for pres


This space creating little number  (available in HomeSense stores)

Seating etiquette

It’s universal knowledge that unless you’re an early bird, you won’t secure a sofa seat and will indefinitely be awkwardly perching or sat cross legged on the floor.

Cater for the late-comers by providing a variety of cushions, not only will they provide ease from the uncomfortable beer-soaked floor but will also successfully jazz up your living room by injecting colour.

Celia advises: “There are some lovely velvets on the market that don’t cost the earth, are extremely durable and look the part.

“Shop around for a velvet fabric which can be used on cushions and upholstery to really add a little luxury to your student pad; especially if it has a sheen it will look even more expensive than it really is.”

Transform your house for pres


These velvety wonders (available in HomeSense stores)


This jazzy duo (available in HomeSense stores)

Bean Bags also provide a simple solution to your seating problems. Just be sure to help your wobbly mate out of it when the taxis pull up – once moulded into one of these, there’s a chance they won’t get up again.


Get the best seat in the house (available in HomeSense stores)

Mood lighting

Stylish Celia says: “Lighting is crucial to setting the mood. Use dimmer switches where possible, or add down-lighters to create impact or draw attention to important areas or features of your room.”

The atmosphere of pres can rely heavily on mood lighting, steer away from Lava lamps that suggest 70s red velvet bedrooms and opt for something to get you in the mood for going out.

Eccentric feature pieces

Simple affordable tricks can be used to brighten up your dingy living room – averting eyes from the suspicious stain on the back wall or the crack working its way across the ceiling.

Flowers and plants are also simple ways of breathing life into a lacklustre room. Alternatively if living plants are too high maintenance for you, invest in a fake one that will last all year round.

Celia says: “Mirrors help make any room look and feel bigger – plus it will become a focal point as I guarantee people will take photos in it too.”

Additional feature pieces can also personalise a lifeless room by adding character.


Brighten up your living room with these letters (available in HomeSense stores)

Talking points in your room can also buy a few extra minutes conversation with the extra keen friend of your housemate who turns up ten minutes early.

Transform your house for pres

Kitchen protocol

Easy access to the fridge is also crucial and providing your guests with paper cups and plastic glasses will minimise disasters and less washing up to encounter hungover the following morning.


Celia says: “Shopping around is key to this industry; just because you see an item you love in Harrods doesn’t mean there’s not a cheaper alternative available elsewhere without sacrificing on the quality.

“I’ve always given the high-street time of day – you’d be surprised what you can find.

“I’ve had similar experiences at HomeSense and independent stores, proving shopping around is hugely important as you can still achieve the desired look without spending a small fortune – just open your eyes.”

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