Nothing beats the joy of having friends and family over to your home. Whether you’re hosting dinner or inviting them for a weekend getaway, making your guests feel welcome is key to ensuring they have a great time while in your space.
The secret to creating a welcoming home for guests is to put yourself in their shoes and offer them an experience that makes them feel comfortable and at home. This guide will walk you through some of the best ways to create that experience, from the moment they step through your door to when they say their goodbyes.
First Impressions Matter
As the saying goes, you only get one chance to make a first impression. The journey towards creating a welcoming home starts at your front door. A well-kept entrance is the first sign that a person is expecting company. If your door looks a little tired, consider giving it a fresh coat of paint or changing the fixtures. Add some potted plants and a welcome mat to give a little personality to your entrance.
Once your guests are inside, make sure they feel greeted. Take their coats and bags and offer them something to drink or snack on. Make eye contact and genuinely greet your visitors. These small gestures go a long way in making your guests feel comfortable and welcome.
If you’re an introvert and socializing is out of your comfort zone, try preparing a mental script beforehand. Prepare some questions to ask your guests and talking points. The conversation need not flow like a stage play, but you can use your talking points to channel the conversation to a comfortable topic for you and your guests.
The Comfort Factor
No matter the occasion, guests need a comfortable space to rest and unwind. Make sure the sleeping spaces are clean and comfortable by not only providing fresh linens and towels but also making the space work for them. Make some space in the closet or if not available, clear a section of the bed for them to put their things. Add in enough pillows and blankets. Expensive linens will not matter if you’ve missed the mark on space.
Small touches that make a space feel like a hotel room add a touch of luxury without breaking the bank. Make sure there’s a full-length mirror, enough reading materials for them to unwind, and a blackout shade. Providing a portable fan or heater, based on the seasonality can further enhance the experience.
If you don’t have an extra bedroom, you can make other spaces work for your guests. Pull out couches, or chair-and-a-half pull-outs can work too. Invest in good quality air mattresses that don’t skimp on durability. If your guest room doubles as your home office, remove any papers or projects and add a little extra lighting, both for convenience and to make the room feel more warm & inviting.
There’s no denying it – food is often the centerpiece of any get-together. Make sure your kitchen is prepped and ready for guests. A well-stocked pantry is key, as it allows you to prepare tasty meals without the stress of having to run to the store for that one missing ingredient.
Offering your guest kitchen privileges can be seen as a sign of welcoming. Purchasing individual storage containers in varying sizes can help them store their meals and snacks, which can be a peace-of-mind experience for people with food allergies or dietary restrictions. You might even consider reserving a portion of cabinet space just for your guests.
Stocking your pantry with basic ingredients like flour, sugar, salt, and baking ingredients can also help your visitor whip up a simple cookie, fresh bread or pie with ease, if they give you their sudden baking vibes! Providing a range of tools, cutlery, and dishes can make cooking and eating easier for your guests. Don’t forget to clean up after each meal or snack, giving a natural start, so they can follow suit after and keep your home tidy.
Our Home is Your Home
Remind your guests that they are welcome to make themselves at home. Relax and let them get comfortable, whether it’s their choice of music, opening a window, or picking a movie to watch. Make sure everyone feels included and everyone’s requestsare handled with care and concern.
A word of caution – even with best efforts, things can sometimes go wrong. Accidents happen no matter how careful one can be with glasses and other breakables. If something goes wrong, reassure them with a smile and let them know that while you appreciate how bad they feel for breaking the piece, its easy to replace and accidents can happen to anyone.
And remember, even if you’ve worked hard to make everything perfect, things may go awry. Just keep in mind that laughter is the best medicine and often the best way to respond to unexpected situations is by being lighthearted and flexible.
Beyond the Basics: Special Touches
The small special touches will make the moment worth the memory for your guests. A few examples might be that you welcomed them with their favorite soda or beverage on the bedside table or kept a fresh stock of snacks in the fridge or pantry based on their preference. You might hang artwork, family photographs, or paintings on the walls, but changing them temporarily to your guests’ favorite artists can be a thoughtful gesture.
If you know your guest or guest couple, taking that into consideration and preparing the space to cater to their peculiarities is a thoughtful gesture. A guest that appreciates reading books might appreciate knowing the nearby library, or even a book from your own collection, given for their perusal.
If your guests are in town for a particular occasion or holiday, plan something special that would help them experience your neighborhood. A walking tour of the local attractions or simply inviting them to a local winery or brewery can be a great way to show them around and help them make some memories.
Be a Tour Guide
If you have time before your guests arrive, why not create a local guidebook or itinerary of must-see sights, restaurants, and other places of interest for them in the area. A concierge-style sheet with the directions pinned could could be a nice touch. If your guest grew up in a different city, you could prepare a detailed tour of your city or even local area where a map with highlighted kiosks and landmarks would be in order.
You can also give your guests a local’s perspective on tourist hotspots. Share quirky facts about local landmarks or hidden gems. By doing this, your guests leave easy with a pleasant experience, while being empowered with new knowledge of the area.
By creating this itinerary, your guests will feel more comfortable exploring your city or area, knowing that you have given them a guideline to follow based on their interests.
Communication is Key
Never underestimate the power of communication. Effective communication is key for ensuring that your guests feel welcome, settle in, and have a good time while staying with you. Before they arrive, let your guests know what to expect in terms of sleeping arrangements, meal times, and any house rules you may have.
Letting your guests know what will happen in advance can make them feel more comfortable and at ease. Work out a system for them to get a hold of you in case of an emergency or if they need help navigating around your home or the area.
As hosts, it’s important that you communicate as well. Check in with your guests regularly during their stay and ask how they’re doing. Make sure that they have everything they need and are comfortable in their spaces. Addressing their concerns is an excellent opportunity to learn more about improving the experiences for future guests.
Creating a welcoming home for guests starts with putting yourself in their shoes and offering them an experience that makes them feel comfortable and at home right from their arrival to departure.
Remember, it’s the small touches that make a big difference when it comes to creating a welcoming space for your guests. From the moment they arrive to the moment they leave, it’s essential to ensure that your guests feel cared for and appreciated.
With a little preparation and effort, you can create an experience your guests will always remember. Society has always been closer in the past, but with these tips, we aim for creating closer bonds, making your home a hospitable place for all your guest who drops by, feel right at home.
Thank you for reading and see you again in another interesting article.