A Few Ways To Keep Overnight Guests At Your Door
Whether you’re waiting for a few hours or a full week of company, these professional tips, tweaks, details and ideas for greeting houseguests will make them feel very welcome, without making you feel like a concierge. Entertaining guests definitely requires some preparation, but don’t drive yourself crazy. A good rule of thumb: treat your guests as you would want to be treated in someone else’s home: a little coddled, but mostly made to make you feel content and welcome. Here’s how to prepare your guest room, kitchen, dining room and family room to accomplish this.
Creating a luxurious guest room
Interior designer Young Huh says go through the basics including an iron, spare hangers and an alarm clock to subsume your favorite quality bed and breakfast. Bonus points for water, a box of chocolates or mints and a note with a Wi-Fi password. Overnight guests will view a simple setup of hand sanitizer, hand cream and other toiletries in case they forget theirs.
To prevent guests from tripping over suitcases, Joanna Goddard of A Cup of Jo advocates placing a luggage rack in guest rooms. In your guest bathroom, “always, always pull out extra toilet paper and plungers, because there’s nothing harder than having to ask,” she says.
To be more thoughtful, carefully store “just in case” medications (ibuprofen, indigestion pills), feminine hygiene products and bandages, and stitching kits for clothing emergencies.
Build a cozy bed
To make your guests feel like they’re sleeping in a five-star hotel, upgrade your bedding. What’s the secret to a hotel bed? It’s all about the layers. Start with a set of breathable sheets, then add a cozy touch, such as a comforter or a sparse duvet. Skip a spare blanket, a bottle of water and an alarm clock to complete the luxurious holiday atmosphere.
Self-catering planning allows you to prevent playing short term chef. For breakfast, make and freeze waffles a day or two before guests arrive; in the morning, heat them up in a 200 F oven and serve them with fresh berries, chocolate chips, pomegranate seeds, whipped cream and syrup, says Catherine McCord of Weelicious.com: “Kids can get a kick out of making edible art projects. ” Or try a yogurt station with ingredients like hemp seeds, nuts, honey and chopped fruit. Finally, finish up in the designated coffee and tea area, which is stocked with cups, spoons, milk frothers and sweeteners. Come lunchtime, the sandwich bar is popular. And for off-hour snacks, a basket of snacks in the pantry or fridge can take the guesswork out of what’s fair game to eat during the day.
Decorate the dining room
With a few strategic table setting tips to ensure a warm, cheerful meal, Food52 co-founders and CEOs Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs advocate for plain linen fabric that is 10 inches longer than the exterior on each side. Wash and dry it to create intentional wear along the cut edges. When you set the table, don’t worry if you don’t have enough matching china, Huh says. Either mix and match the two groups evenly (salad plates in one group versus dinner plates in the other), or spread the mismatched parts throughout the table, sticking to a divergent palette to make it look even. Set up the serving dishes the night before and put a note on each dish with the menu items you plan to serve inside. hesser and Stubbs divide each dish into two plates or bowls so that everyone at the table can easily access them.
Moving your dining and entertaining space outdoors – or even to the garage? We’ve got great decorating and heating tips right here.
Make the family room fun
Don’t have a game room? No problem. Let the kids and adults amuse themselves in the designated recreation area. Recreation specialist Pamela Salzman says to have a basket with games and a few decks of cards for those who don’t have scheduled activities. McCord likes to set up an arts and crafts station with wooden picture frames, stickers and instant cameras for taking photos to put in the decorated frames. Designate a puzzle corner – with a card table, a 1,000-piece puzzle and good lighting – so anyone can jump in at any time.
Place floor pillows and a basket of fuzzy blankets to make watching movies more fun. Add a festive vibe to bedtime drinks for all ages – supply hot chocolate with mint stirrers during the holiday season or carbonated lemonade with fresh berries during the warmer months.