The holidays are all about family and friends, and if yours happen to be spread across the state, country, or globe, you might find yourself hosting company. That means it’s also time to prep your home for guests. In fact, we usually see an uptick on hayneedle.com around this time in several “getting ready” areas as people spruce up their rooms, add storage, stock up on towels, and more.
No matter what category you concentrate on, planning ahead will help you stress less, and when you put in the effort, you’ll also be a more hospitable host. To help you prepare, we’ve put together some ideas – big and small – for making each room in your home guest-ready.
Your outdoor space sets the tone for your home, so it’s a great place to add some charm. Putting up seasonal décor like a fall or holiday wreath is an easy way to make your home visitor-ready, or you can flank your doorway with planters for a simple update. If you have room, you can even use a porch swing or a fire pit patio set for outdoor entertaining.
This area typically isn’t huge, which makes updating it simple. Adding even small functional or decorative pieces can make a big difference. Ensure your visitors have a spot to hang their coats with a sturdy hall tree or hooks. If you have room, a bench where they can take off and stash shoes is a nice touch. Hanging a mirror or art in this space can help your home feel put-together and party-ready.
The guest bedroom is an overnight houseguest’s haven, and thoughtful touches here will really impact their stay. A considerate basket filled with “extras,” like a note with your WiFi password, a bottle of water and snacks, tissues, and magazines is a great place to start.
It’s also a good idea to invest in some new sheets and an extra blanket or two. Need some inspiration? Our Idea Boards are a great resource. See: Guest Room with a View, Serene Blue Guest Bedroom, and A Bedroom at its Best for Guests.
Here’s a company’s-coming rule your mother might have told you: Always have plenty of towels! Pamper your friends and family with high-quality bath towels, and think about using a guest-specific color so they always know which one is theirs. Washcloths are a must as well, and putting together a tray with luxury toiletries will make your visitors feel extra special. (Don’t forget a toothbrush.)
Checking with your guests about any food preferences before they arrive is a nice gesture, and now’s the perfect time to make sure you have enough dinnerware, serveware, and flatware to go around. Kitchen islands or carts are a great way to gain extra storage for those items if you need it, and a folding table and chairs are a must if you’re hosting a big meal.
An upholstered chair or a sturdy ottoman is an easy way to add seating to your living room, and items like throws and seasonal pillows can help set the stage for holiday gatherings. Bar carts give your visitors easy access to refreshments and can also double as a stylish end table. One upgrade that’s worth it: A convertible sofa adds sleeping space if you have limited rooms or are hosting a crowd. A high-quality air mattress is good to have on hand, too.
Hosting guests can be a lot of fun, and if you’ve had an excellent host, you know how special thoughtful extras like plenty of blankets and fluffy towels can be. Doing a little prep work now will make your loved ones’ holiday stay even better.