Holiday Hosting | Ways to Make Your House Guests Feel at Home!

1. Create a Welcome Basket:  An easy way to give your house guests a warm welcome is to provide them with a basket full of necessities and goodies, such as: fresh towels and facial cloths, travel sized body wash, bottled water, slippers, and, of course, chocolate.  You could even include a handwritten welcome note!


Photo via New Nostalgia                  Photo via Better Homes and Gardens

2. Provide a Vanity:  One way to free up a shared bathroom is to provide your guests with a space to get ready in their rooms.  If your guestroom tends to be a little dark, or you don’t have a mirror on the wall, a lighted makeup mirror will do the trick.  Make sure to leave a box of tissues and a small waste paper basket for makeup cleanup.

Photo via Martha Stewart

 3. Free up Closet Space:  A nice way to make your guests feel at home is to provide space for them to store their suitcases and shoes and to hang their dresses, shirts and pants. If your guestroom does not have a closet, you can place a few hangers on an over-the-door coat hook, and provide a chair or luggage rack for suitcases.  If your guests are staying more than one night, a small laundry basket and hooks to hang towels are always appreciated.


Photo via Martha Stewart                     Photo via

4. Freshen Up:  Even if your guestroom is kept tidy when it is not being occupied, it is always nice to freshen it up a few days before your guests arrive by circulating the air, washing the bedding, and giving the room a good vacuum and dusting.  We also recommend adding a little life to the space with freshly cut flowers (remember to check on them every couple of days to change out the water or remove wilted blooms as necessary).


                                                                                                       Photo via Plush Palate

5. Easy Breakfast Buffet:   A nice way to give your guests menu options and allow them to move at their own pace in the mornings is to set up a breakfast buffet.  On mornings where you don’t have much time to cook, you can simply display a variety of healthy cereals and granola, berries, yogurt, jams, bread or English muffins, hard boiled eggs, etc.  For a super easy baked-breakfast, we love World Market’s Sticky Fingers Scones (just add water!) with a little butter and creamy lemon curd. Mmmm…


Photo via World Market                                                 Photo via Sweet n Savory

6. Make Cabinets Snoop Friendly:  Some guests may peek out of curiosity (you know who you are!), and some may actually be trying to find something!  Whatever the reason, make sure your bathroom cabinets and cupboards are organized and tidy.  Place necessities in plain view (toothpaste, floss, nail clippers, q-tips, hair ties, etc…) and keep anything you wish to remain unseen in a basket in a safe place!

Photo via Martha Stewart Living

7. Leave Sticky Notes When Necessary:   Whether it’s a tricky lock on the bathroom door, or a shower that takes 5 minutes to warm up, posting a small, polite note is an easy way to inform your guests of some of the quirks that are a part of every home.  If there are any areas that could be dangerous, however, such as a loose railing or a steep stair, be sure to tell them about it while you are helping them get settled in.

Photo via Willow & Stone

8. Give the Gift of Autonomy:  Even if you are happy to wait on your guests every moment of the day, the less they feel they need to ask you for things, the better they will feel as house guests.  Anticipating their needs before they arrive will save them the trouble of asking (or looking through cupboards!), and will allow you to relax and focus on more important things.

For instance, if your house tends to get cold after you go to bed, providing them with their own space heater and extra blankets will give them the freedom to control their own room temperature.  If you know they are early risers and will need coffee before you can get out of bed, leave the coffee and filters in an obvious place near a couple of mugs. Or, if you know your guests like to read, leave a few books on the nightstand for them to enjoy.  You’ll never be able to think of everything, but it’s these little gestures that let them know you care.


Photo via Centsational Girl

9. Create a Custom Travel Kit:  For those of you who need to leave your guests to their own devices while you work or run errands, we love the idea of creating a package full of helpful travel information such as maps, transit tickets and directions to your favorite restaurants or local attractions.  Don’t forget the extra house key!


 Photos via Apartment Therapy

10.  Become a Zen Host(ess):  No matter how hard you try, or how many hours spent planning or cleaning in preparation for your guests, something unexpected will most undoubtedly occur.  Whether it’s a critical comment from a family member, a sudden plumbing issue, or a burnt entree, the key to being a good hostess (and avoiding a complete meltdown) is to find ways to cool off, or laugh it off.  Chances are, it will probably be a funny story later, so try not to make a big deal of it now.  Whether it’s taking your dog for a brisk walk, reading a book, or getting up early to take a yoga or a Bar Method class, the time you take to regroup and rejuvenate will benefit everyone!

Photo via A Charmed Yogi

Happy Hosting!

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