With expectations dialled up to the max, even parties planned with the best intentions can sometimes end up feeling a little flat on New Year’s Eve – and often it’s the more relaxed events that have the best success. If you’re planning a low-key celebration at home with your family, there’s no reason you can’t still pull out all the stops. Get set for the countdown with these entertaining essentials.

A moodboard of glassware images, featuring patterned wine and champagne glassesA moodboard of glassware images, featuring patterned wine and champagne glasses

Glassware

Are you popping the cork on a bottle of champagne come midnight, or saying “cheers” with a cheeky cocktail or two? Whatever your tipple of choice, be prepared to raise a toast with an assortment of glassware to suit every drink. Serve a medley of festive fusions in your jazziest Martini glasses, appease wine lovers with goblets for every grape or let the bubbles flow with elegant champagne flutes. And for those who take their drink neat? A tumbler is the only answer.

A moodboard of festive images. The image on the left shows a karafe, patterned glassware and a chinoiserie-style teapot; the image on the right is patterned cocktail glasses on a drinks trolleyA moodboard of festive images. The image on the left shows a karafe, patterned glassware and a chinoiserie-style teapot; the image on the right is patterned cocktail glasses on a drinks trolley

Bar Accessories

Conquer your cocktail trolley and choose bar tools designed with entertaining in mind. Start with the essentials: you’re not going to get very far without a bottle opener. Once opened, keep your chosen drink fresh with a stopper, or decant into an elegant carafe and turn your favourite beverage into a design feature. No space in the fridge? Stick it on ice – an ice bucket, filled and placed in the centre of your dining table or home bar, will keep your bottle cool all night long.

A moodboard of images, showing a pile of Christmas crackers on a bench, decorated with fairy lights; and a tablescape with floral candelabraA moodboard of images, showing a pile of Christmas crackers on a bench, decorated with fairy lights; and a tablescape with floral candelabra

Decorations

For those who don’t like to cling onto their Christmas tree for as long as possible, New Year’s Eve presents the perfect opportunity to repurpose your decorations for the festivities. String baubles onto house plants – eschewing typically festive colours in favour of more NYE-appropriate rainbow brights and glittering metallics – and wrap fairy lights around bannisters or garlands of faux foliage. If you’ve adorned your front door with a wreath, reuse it indoors by laying it flat on a console or dining table and filling its core with an LED pillar candle.

Two festive tablescapes; one feratures blue and white chinoiserie-style tableware, and the other features a white bowl sat on a rattan plate and decorated with a feather and a namecardTwo festive tablescapes; one feratures blue and white chinoiserie-style tableware, and the other features a white bowl sat on a rattan plate and decorated with a feather and a namecard

Tableware

If you’re seeing in the New Year with a delicious feast, create a sense of occasion with your finest tableware. China sets in playful prints will add a fun twist to your tabletop, while giant chargers in opulent hues lend a festive touch to canapés. Bring out your best table linens to protect your furniture from inevitable spills, and finish the look with name card holders, napkin rings and complementary coasters.

Two images showing a selection of tortoiseshell and a nature-inspired candle and tealight holders, with lit candles in themTwo images showing a selection of tortoiseshell and a nature-inspired candle and tealight holders, with lit candles in them

Candles

Flattering on both a home and its inhabitants, candlelight casts a golden glow on everything – and everyone – it touches. Set the tone for the evening ahead with candles – both decorative and scented – placed on dining tables, mantelpieces or coffee tables, and pair with soft accent lighting for the ultimate ambience. Worried about an open flame? Seek LED alternatives that look as good as the real thing.