I’ve been spending this week getting everything ready for Christmas and out-of-town house guests. This year I also decided to share a few of my favorite tips for getting your house holiday house guest ready. Read on for the holiday guide to decorating for visitors.
During the holidays it’s impossible to think about adding one more thing to your list of to-dos, but by paying attention to a few details as you prepare your holiday home, you’ll be guaranteed to have happy house guests and a less stressful hosting experience.
I actually get pretty excited about having visitors. I love to add extra touches to our home to make our guests feel not only like they have left home, but like they’ve just stepped into a weekend getaway. Hey, what can I say? Decor made me do it 🙂
And, if you need anymore persuading, following the list below will definitely give you a reputation of being the hostess with the mostest!
Decorating for Holiday House Guests
#1. Easy Essentials
Think about it: what is one of the biggest headaches associated with travel? Leaving something you need at home. When you are in an unfamiliar environment for the holidays you’d much rather be mingling than trying to find the nearest Target for replacement essentials. Not at your house.
By having a stockpile of common travel essentials and making it easy for your guests to find what they need, you’ll make settling in to your home easy for your holiday guests.
Give them easy access to the wifi network and password by printing the info out and adding it to the guest room so connecting in their temporary space will be easy. To add just a bit more B&B vibe for your guest, provide individual shampoos lotions and other things one might forget while traveling – like an extra toothbrush.
Tip: Don’t want to buy tons of little bath kits? Try putting away the free toiletries when you stay in hotels and just use your own. Housekeeping will resupply the free stock as long as none are there during room service. Just saying.
#2. Hotel Touches
Speaking of hotels, there is something about the little details that just make you feel a little more luxurious. Why not give your holiday house guests the same feeling by adding small hotel touches to your home?
There are three things that are essential to making a place feel a bit more like a hotel: great linens & pillows, in room refreshments and fresh flowers. Fresh flowers are rarely expected and always appreciated. Plus, with inexpensive flowers available year round at stores like Trader Joes, you can get a few bouquets and fill your home with flowers anytime you have house guests for very little money. It seems so simple but it really is in the details here. More on the importance of great linens later.
To make sure your guests have everything they need to make it through the night, add bottled water and a light snack to their room before they arrive. Tip: Give your guests a little more time to themselves in the morning by adding a small coffee maker to their room. It’s an unexpected touch that will go a long way for your holiday house guests.
#3. A Restful Retreat
So many homes have guest rooms that double as home offices, craft rooms or extra storage. During the holidays, you’ll want to declutter the room as much as possible so that it can serve in its first role – a guest bedroom.
Since your holiday guests are only temporary, why not store some of those craft projects in another room for now? And sure you need all of those files, but do they really need to be on top of your desk? Right now? Clearing the space shows your guests that you cared enough about them to present a restful retreat.
Tip: If you are converting a multifunctional room for holiday guests try adding an extra dining chair (or pull the desk chair to another part of the room in the case of an office) to create a small seating area. Try adding a throw blanket and pillow to make the chair a little less formal.
So about those linens. It’s easy to skimp on bedding in a room that may only see action a few times a year. That said, tis the season for deals. If your guest room bed linens could use an upgrade, don’t feel guilty for picking up something for your own home during your holiday shopping! Warm, soft sheets, a crisp duvet and comfortable pillows are worth it.
#4. Beautiful Bathrooms
Guest baths, like guest rooms, provide an additional opportunity to show your guests you care about their comfort. It goes without saying that they should be clean. If you want to make sure they also feel extra special add a few touches that provide much more of an impact than the effort they actually take.
Fresh towels, a yummy hand soap or bath salts are all easy and inexpensive bathroom additions. Don’t want to spend a ton of money on fancy bath salts? Why not make your own by adding epsom salt to a small jar and adding a few drops of essential oils or dried lavender. Boom: bath salts.
Tip: Adding a few thoughtful or comical books to the bathroom, along with a discrete room spray are little details that are sure to make your guest’s personal time more comfortable.
#5. To-Go Gift
Throughout out this post I’ve mentioned adding small items that to make your house guests’ visit to your home more enjoyable. If you have a VIP family member or friend visiting – maybe for the first time or first time in a while – why not make their guest room feel totally luxurious this holiday season?
Prior to your guests arrival, pick up the essentials like bottle of water, nuts or crackers and a few items that are local to your area. You can support local farmers by selecting jams, honey or soaps made near you and your out-of-town holiday guest will have a little part of [insert state] to take home with them. Corral the to-go gift in a small decorative basket and your guest will have a sweet surprise that doubles as a Christmas gift.
Tip: Try adding a few local magazines or a map of the city if your guest are planning to head out on the town during their stay.
Preparing your home for holiday house guests doesn’t have to be a chore, and it shouldn’t be. As you get ready to welcome holiday guests this year, remember that even a small effort done with love will show your holiday house guests that they are truly welcome in your home.