All we want for Christmas – from our homes


There’s no denying that many houses come into their own at Christmas – whether it’s adorning everything in warm twinkling lights, having a steady stream of guests who fill your sitting room throughout December, or carefully unwrapping precious decorations that have been safely stored in your ever-useful attic.


As always, we’re all about celebrating our homes, so we’ve asked our Area Heads – from Scotland down to the South West – to share what it is about a home that makes all the difference at Christmas.


First impressions count

Kate Eales, our deputy head of residential, is all about first impressions. “An impressive front door lends itself perfectly to a gorgeous seasonal wreath. Fresh foliage, dried oranges or pinecones, and some deep red ribbon gives your home a festive facelift and is a lovely welcome for your guests.” 


The practical one

We all need a pragmatist in our lives and Edward Church, who covers Kent, appears to be the Christmas one. He argues that having more than one oven – and even an extra dishwasher – makes hosting family and friends that little bit easier. Whether it’s being able to cook all the food at once or avoiding a chaotic kitchen by getting everything clean and tidy as you go, it’s a fast-track ticket to a smooth-running Christmas lunch.


To health and happiness

What’s more festive than a Christmas spent in the Scottish Highlands? We love the long winter nights, toasty log fires and snow-capped mountains that you get north of the border. Kevin Maley, head of Scotland & the North, likes to make the most of his spectacular winter surrounds with a Christmas morning run around Inverness. Unsurprisingly, following his outdoor pursuits, he requires warming up afterwards, so he thinks a sumptuous bathroom where you can have a restful hot bath post-run is the key to a glorious home at Christmas.


Location, location, location

Charlotte Moxon, our head of regional new homes, also agrees that Christmas is in fact a time to get out of the house and enjoy the great outdoors. Based in the Chilterns, she loves a crisp country walk and is lucky enough to have the aptly named Christmas Common on her doorstep. A bracing stroll from here around the Greenfield circular route lets you enjoy some of the best of Oxfordshire’s countryside – before returning to a warm home to thaw out!


Mark Dalrymple’s Christmas tree at Egland House, bought through Strutt & Parker in 2014 


A classical Christmas

It can be hard to escape clichés at Christmas, but Oliver Custance Baker, who heads up the National Country House Department, doesn’t shy away from them. He’s all about a grand drawing room during the festive period: think a great roaring fire, a perfectly decorated – and oversized – tree in the corner, and plenty of space to seat the family.


Sip, sip, hooray

The festive season gives us all an excuse to celebrate and Daniel Burstow, who leads our Surrey offices, thinks the fun begins at home. He believes a wine cellar – full to the brim with bottles, of course – is one of the highlights of a home during a season of entertaining. Who are we to disagree!


Chestnuts roasting

There can’t be a much better smell than chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Alex Barton, who heads up the Cotswolds & Southern region, is all about making that a reality at Christmas with a great open fire on the day itself. That’s why he loves an impressive fireplace in a house – the mantlepiece can be adorned with a festive garland, while a glowing log fire is the perfect accompaniment to present opening and chestnut roasting.


A walk in the… sea

As head of the South West & Waterside region, it’s no surprise that Richard Speedy is a fan of homes by the water - regardless of whether it’s 3 or 30 degrees. A coastal home means that if you’re hardy, you can easily ‘enjoy’ a sea swim over Christmas – a sure-fire way to reinvigorate you after hibernating in front of the fire! Need some persuading? Paignton’s Walk into the Sea event takes place on Christmas Day each year, with hundreds of fundraisers breaking the ice (so to speak!) together.


It's all in the detail

Father Christmas might prefer the chimney for his descent, but James Gow – head of London sales - loves a good staircase. Whether it’s in a grand home or a city centre townhouse, he believes a well-decorated staircase can add real glamour to a home at Christmas. Opt for a lush garland on a sweeping staircase, or twisting sparkling lights on a straight one, and you’re guaranteed to feel festive every time you have to nip upstairs.


Never understated

“A perfectly landscaped garden with a lawn flat enough for croquet in the summer makes for perfect landing for sleighs on Christmas Eve”, says Simon Roberts, head of Home Counties North & East at Strutt & Parker. For the few who have the boast-worthy claim of a helipad in their grounds, there’s even the option of going all out and repainting the ‘H’ with a ‘S’, so that Santa and his sleigh don’t miss their stop.


If you’re feeling inspired, take a look at what these teams are currently listing across the country here.

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