Today we’re sharing ideas on how to make your home feel welcoming when hosting guests.
The last couple of years have put a stop on our social life. For a season or two, we were hosting a ton of friendly get togethers at our home. Grilling, hanging out by the fire pit, holiday gatherings. But, reasons like a global pandemic and friend groups outgrowing each other has left our nest pretty empty.
Hosting guests, new friends, and family at our home is a personal new year’s resolution. I’m tired of feeling like we aren’t part of a community anymore. It’s really lonely, to be honest. So let’s start with how to make your home feel like a place where people want to hang out.
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Focus on the Five Sense
- Sight – Guests really don’t want to be greeted with a mess. But, real life is happening within our homes and there is a balance in keeping your home tidy and welcoming and museum-like. Choose what works for your family and lifestyle.
- Sound – I cannot stand when the television is blaring in the background. Turn your TV off unless it’s the reason why you’re having people over. If you’re playing music, find a volume that is comfortable for the event. My husband is notorious for wanting the music at full blast and that doesn’t always work when you’re trying to talk with your guests.
- Touch – Create comfortable spaces in your home with soft pillows and throw blankets.
- Smell – I’m so nose sensitive. Artificial fragrances like plug-ins or heavily scented candles can give me both a headache and a stomachache. When you’re home alone – go for it, whatever makes you happy. Try to consider your guests when burning scented candles.
- Taste – I’m always impressed when homes are stocked with drinks or snacks. This isn’t my home. It’s something I’ve been trying to work on after a disastrous sleep over when I didn’t have food for my daughter and her friends.
Pets and Houseguests
This is a tricky subject. I have three dogs and I’m probably nose-blind to the smell of animals in my own home. But also, the smell of cat pee at my grandmother’s house is a core memory and I don’t want my guests to endure stinky animals at my house.
- Try to reduce pet hair on your furniture – Again, three dogs is a lot and our couch will never be 100% free from pet hair. I always run a vacuum over the seating in my house before guests come over and I keep these large surface rollers on hand to use in a pinch.
- Sweep up your dog hair tumbleweeds.
- I think the other thing to remember is that no one loves your pet as much as you do. That’s it, that’s the advice.
As someone who has been caught needing a bathroom at someone else’s house, here are some things to consider always having on hand – already in the bathroom.
- Bathroom sprays like Poo-Pourri or Smells Begone (set this out so guests know they are welcome to use it if needed).
- Well-stocked paper products, including tissues. No guest wants to ask for more toilet paper.
- Clean hand towels and hand soap
- A plunger
- Wastebasket with a trash liner
- Small basket with medicines for headaches or stomach issues and personal care needs
Ideas You Might Haven’t Thought Of
- I’m a clean freak. I want my house to look perfect when people come over. But, perfect can make people uncomfortable. Keep your spaces tidy and clean, your guests will appreciate it.
- Clean up after your guests leave. I have most definitely taken out the stick vacuum or washed dishes while my guests were still hanging out because of my own hang ups about cleanliness. This is an unspoken signal to GTFO and can abruptly end the fun.
- House plants help soften your spaces.
- A variety of seating options so everyone feels they have a space to get comfortable in. Poofs are a great idea if you’re limited on seating.
- Using a white noise machine in your guest bathroom. Our guest bathroom is right off the kitchen and a white noise machine might help alleviate the anxiety your friends might have using the restroom.
- Curb appeal – make a great first impression with stunning curb appeal. Be it a fun welcome mat, a potted plant, or a bench.
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