Company’s coming! These two words can bring on added holiday stress. Creating an environment that makes your guests feel welcome and comfortable is possible with a little preparation ahead of time. Here are some of Coastal Farmhouse’s helpful tips to ensure all the small yet important details are covered, allowing you to stress less and spend time with your loved ones this holiday.
Preparing the Guest Bathroom
Whether you do or do not have a guest bathroom, it’s important to prepare whatever bathroom guests will be using during their visit.
- The first step is to gather up all of your personal items. Leaving your hairbrush and personal items out is not exactly welcoming to a guest. Take all clothing and used towels out of the room too.
- Clean the bathroom spic and span but make sure it smells wonderful- but not like a hospital.
- I put together a simple jar filled with travel-size toiletries such as toothpaste, new toothbrushes, shampoo, and soap, so my guests feel at home even if they forgot something important.
- I like filling olive oil dispensers with mouthwash and stacking simple white disposable cups for my guests.
- Always put out extra toilet paper. Nothing is more awkward for a guest than running out of toilet paper, so I set out several rolls. You don’t want your guests to feel awkward rummaging through your cabinets in hopes of finding extra rolls, so putting them out in the open reassures them that you’ve thought of every awkward possibility.
- TIP: Place a few drops of your favorite essential oil in the cardboard tube of the toilet paper. It releases the scent every time it’s rolled.
- Add a small wreath or other touches of holiday decor.
Preparing the Guest Bedroom
It’s lovely to have your guests feel like they are spending time at a Bed & Breakfast, and you do not need to have a big or fancy home. The essential element of creating an inviting guest room is that it must be clean and uncluttered! By removing all your personal items out of your guest room creates a fresh and clean look. Keep some open space. Your guests will be bringing their own personal items which will fill up the room quickly.
- Clean out the guest’s room so it is neat, tidy and welcoming.
- Wash and make up the bed a few days in advance. Bedding that has been stored in a drawer or linen closet or has been on the bed for a while tends to have a stale smell.
- Always make sure you have fresh clean sheets, extra pillows, and extra blankets. Personally, I always opt for high-quality white sheets, blankets, and quilts. I can wash them quickly with bleach and they always look new and fresh. Buy the best you can afford – there really is a difference!
- Provide a basket for accent pillows, this way they don’t end up on the floor.
- Open the window a crack so there is fresh air in the room.
- Provide tableside lighting (even if you have overhead lighting.) A bedside light and side table is an essential element, as many people like to read before they go to sleep. Personally, I would remove all overhead lighting. I feel it’s too harsh for a bedroom to begin with.
- Set out a couple of current magazines or books they might enjoy reading before bed. Because I live in an area that people come to vacation, I keep lots of brochures and information about the area for my guests.
- I fold fluffy white towels and leave them in the guest room so my guests do not have to root around in the bathroom.
- Place some water bottles out in a nice welcome basket.
Clean out the guest room closet or at least a part of it so guests can hang their clothes. Don’t forget to supply nice hangers too! If your guests are staying more than one night, have at least two empty drawers in a dresser so that they can put their clothes away. Living out of a suitcase is messy and stressful. I also have a luggage rack for my guests.
- Provide the WiFi password and a place to charge phones/tablets.
- Give them privacy in the evenings and early mornings.
- Fresh flowers are a MUST! A simple grocery store bouquet arranged in a pretty vase does the trick! Fresh flowers are so welcoming and pretty.
- Assemble a goodie basket – things like water, nuts, chocolate, small snacks, fruit, etc. If your guests are like me, I never feel comfortable going into someone’s pantry or refrigerator.
Keep in Simple
One thing I’ve learned is that complicated plans never work out as planned. Keep it nice and easy and manageable. Once people arrive, all plans tend to go haywire and things suddenly start to feel chaotic. I tend to have trouble thinking and functioning with a house full of people so the more simple my plans, the better things go.
The minute your guests arrive, you change from preparation mode to gracious hostess mode. That means no matter what happens, you want your guests to feel comfortable. Things will not go as planned. Your house will not perfect. Someone in your family might do something embarrassing. There may be a slight disaster in the kitchen. Go with the flow and don’t bring up and talk about what is not perfect, because it only makes people feel uncomfortable. Above all, remember that it is the attention you show to your guests that matters more than the food, the house, or the plans. Enjoy and keep calm!