The holiday season is all about entertaining. Sometimes guests come into our lives for one meal, and sometimes they stay for a week or more. Whoever they are and whatever their length of stay, it is our job as hosts to make them feel as welcome and comfortable as possible.
Some of us are fortunate enough to have a guest bedroom, while others will have to make do with their living room doubling up as a guest room. Wherever your guests will be sleeping, our guest etiquette guidelines will give you tips to ensure your house guests have the best stay imaginable.
First and foremost, before your guests arrive you must clean up the area that they will be staying in. Even if you are short on space and they will be on a sofa bed in your living room, clear the clutter away. I like to stash any day to day clutter in storage boxes, that I can tuck neatly away at the bottom of a small storage bench.
Cupboards for Company
One of my pet peeves is when my husband and I stay in a hotel and he won’t put his clothes away. He is quite content to live out of a suitcase, where as I absolutely can’t bear to think about it. Clear out a few drawers in a dresser, make space in a cupboard and provide hangers for your guests to hang their clothes.
Taking a cue from the hospitality industry, you’ll want your guests to have everything they need during their stay in your home. Like a hotel, you’ll want to make sure that the bathroom is stocked with toilet paper, that you provide your guests with fresh linen, bath towels and a wash cloth. Don’t forget to wash bedding and towels in anticipation of your visitors’ arrival. Leave the clean towels and an extra warm blanket on their made bed.
Go the Extra Mile
Just about every time I have ever hosted an overnight guest they have forgotten to bring something that they need with them. Asking to borrow or to use an item can be embarrassing for some overnight visitors, so I always try to anticipate disaster and put together a guest-basket of essentials. You can put anything you like into the basket, but I always make sure to include a toothbrush, toothpaste, sample sized shower gels, soaps and shampoo.
You’ll want to encourage your guests to eat and drink whenever they want and feel free to help themselves to anything they need. I always leave coffee, tea, sugar and mugs in a place where my guests can access them easily. Keep simple foods in sight: bagels, cereal, fruit and snacks. That way if your overnight visitors wake up earlier than you in the morning, they can help themselves to something to eat and drink without having to disturb you.
All About Attitude
Just remember, if you set out to have fun and stay relaxed, your guests will too. I like to create balance by giving my visitor enough alone time while ensuring they feel part of the household. Giving them a key on their arrival is a nice way to symbolize this. It lets them know that they can come and go as they please and that you trust them in your home.
Being a great host won’t cost you a thing. It won’t even take up too much of your time. But the small things you do make a big difference to your guests, leaving them with fond memories of the perfect stay with you.
If you’re looking for more ideas on how to furnish a guest bedroom take a look at our extensive collection of bedrooms sets.