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I love having people to stay, but equally I know that getting ready for visitors can add a little stress into your life. This weekend I had guests and for the week prior to their arrival I was busy checking ‘what’s on in my city’ websites, booking dinner at my favourite restaurants, arranging site seeing trips - but hey, wait a minute, first there was a house to prepare.
I love to entertain & want my guests/family/friends to have a cosy/fun/wonderful experience staying at my house. Whilst it’s all very well for someone like me, who revels in playing host, I appreciate it induces hives in others. Having visitors should be FUN, so let me help by sharing some tips to help you Prepare Your House For Guests.
Make your entrance inviting
Clean up the doorway and consider re-potting some flowers (I chose vibrant pink dahlias and they looked stunning and classy). Flowers always make people smile, and will instantly warm up the front of your home.
Next, move to the rooms, in which your guests will be spending the most time: the guest room or house (if only?), the guest bathroom and common rooms, like the living room and dining room. Truly, there is nothing like a house guest to light a fire under your unfinished design projects! But now isn’t the time to reorganise your entire home or think of cleaning rooms from top to bottom. If you’re short on time, place clutter in boxes or bins and store them in a closet or garage.
Prepare the guest room
Steal style from boutique hotels, to turn your spare bedroom into a five-star getaway. This means fresh linens (anything from The White Company) towels, extra pillows, plenty of closet and drawer space, and fresh flowers on the nightstand, is always an appreciated touch. Sounds a little extravagant? Buy a bunch of roses from M&S and split them into bud vases (why limit the flowers to just one room?). Try to provide as much space as possible for guests to spread out and make themselves comfortable. A full-length mirror is preferable, so that they can see their entire outfit when dressing; but, at the very least, provide a mirror large enough that they can do a quick face/hair check. Magazines!
The most forgotten items when travelling are toiletries. Therefore, stock the bathroom with all the necessities (and maybe a few luxuries); toothbrushes, toothpaste, razors, shaving cream, shampoo, conditioner, face wash, lotion, perfume, and soap; and may I suggest buying small individually wrapped soaps to avoid the half-used-leftover-from-the-guests-full-of-germs-before-soap (gross). Fresh Towels – Just like the linens (cough, The White Company), be sure to wash towels prior to a guest arriving, so they smell extra fresh. Extra Toilet Paper – There’s nothing worse than running out of toilet paper at someone else’s house and not being able to find a spare roll! Make sure you have easily accessible extra toilet paper on hand.
De-clutter, fresh flowers (lots of them), candles, throws, cushions, magazines, music – job done.
The Great Outdoors
Don’t forget your outdoor space. One thing I relish most, about warmer weather, is the ability to spend more time outside. Nothing could be nicer than lounging on your patio with your guests. Just do a quick once over, and check everything is clean and cobweb free. Sequins outside? A few glitzy throw pillows instantly dress up your outdoor seating. Placing floral arrangements on your tables is an easy way to make your whole space feel special. A couple of votive candles, a nice bottle of wine, magazines and—voilà! — You’ve created a beautiful outdoor oasis!
Ready The Drinks (more important than ANYTHING above)
After planes, trains, and automobiles your guests will likely be pooped from the travel, so greet them with a drink (preferably champagne) and a proper toast, to kick off what will hopefully be a relaxing and enjoyable stay.
Do you enjoy preparing for visitors or do you find it a chore? How do you make guests feel extra special?