How to make houseguests feel at home

feel at home

The holidays are all about spending time with family and friends, but if your digs aren’t exactly a Holiday Inn, that can be remedied with a few thoughtful touches, multitasking furnishings, and organization.

Setting up shop

Let your guests know which space they will be occupying and where they can hang up their stuff. Set up a folding luggage rack in a corner so there’s no stumbling over suitcases en route to morning coffee. If there is no closet in the room, a folding clothes rack, available at home organization stores, can work in a pinch.

A trunk or blanket box can be used to stash bedding during the day and also serves as a coffee table. To keep costs low, scour flea markets for an old trunk or buy an ottoman with a removable lid that provides extra seating as well as storage.

Make the bed

If you don’t have a spare bed, scout out camping or hardware stores for a “bed in a bag,” consisting of a frame and thin mattress, so guests don’t have to sleep on the floor. Prices run about $80 depending on the size of the bed, which tucks away into a portable carrying case. Tip: Kids love sleeping in tents. Buy an inexpensive one and they can sleep on the floor in sleeping bags or on air mattresses.

If you have frequent visitors, invest in a sofa bed, or trundle bed with an extra mattress that rolls out from a box frame from under the bed. Murphy or wall beds are a more expensive option – they tend to start at $2,000 – but often come with smart built-in features like side tables and display shelving so they’re perfect in a home office.

Room service

Make guests feel extra welcome by putting out a few small toiletries on a tray such as an individually wrapped bar of soap, mouthwash and toothpaste. Leave out a stack of guest linens, and wrap it casually with a ribbon for a spa touch.

Continue spoiling guests by placing a carafe of water with lemon slices, a bowl of fruit or flowers and a good book near their bed. Lay a luxurious topper in quilted silk, mohair, or cotton matelassé across the bed to make it look more finished and consider lining the curtains in the room with blackout fabric so they can sleep in. If you are putting people up in a space that is a principal room, screens can help lend a sense of privacy.

Be prepared – at the end of the stay you just may have a hard time getting them to check out.


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