It’s the season for sharing. One way to do that is share your home with family and friends during the holiday season. And to make their time at your place extra special, here are twelve inexpensive touches that can make a difference for a guest and for you.
But you should be warned: Do a great job at making them comfortable by giving them a private place and retreat and they may be back every holiday.
• First, plan ahead. With the anticipation of guests, don’t add to the stress of the season by running around at the last moment to ensure you have taken care of all the details. As with this season, it is important to make a list and check it twice. Stock up on supplies include tissues, soap, shampoo and bath essentials. That way you’ll have quality time to spend with your guests once they arrive.
• Next remember the essential basics: Provide fresh flowers in the room( a natural air-freshener) and a tray with a couple of bottles of bubbly or spring water and glasses.
• Put a personalized welcome note on the pillow along a small bag of dark chocolate kisses. The chocolate can raise the blood sugar naturally and make your guest feel sleepy, especially something important if your guest experiences a time change.
• Plug in two nightlights, one for the bedroom near the exit door, the other in the bathroom assigned for their use. These can help them navigate in unfamiliar spaces without having to turn on the room lighting and disturbing others.
• Whether in the desert valley or high in the mountains, a condo loft or estate home, a fluffy robe hanging in the bedroom can be your guest’s personal security blanket plus it adds the warmth at night should the weather turn chilly unexpectedly.
• Create a guest book that resides in the room at all times. Inside, include favorite local places to see, restaurants to visit and how to use the Internet including passwords and access to the wireless network. Encourage them to leave a note to leave their own special message for the next guest.
• Pairs of sleeping pillows stacked together are much better than trying to pile on decorative toss pillows, leaving the guests to figure out where to put them overnight. In this case, keep it simple and move them to a shelf or chest.
• Nothing is finer than freshly pressed sheets to crawl into after a full day or travel. You may forgo that luxury for yourself but it can be really something special for a favorite guest so send them out or do them yourself a few days before guests arrive.
• Provide your guest with a key to the house and advise them of any alarms that may be used day or night. Better to give them that warning than waking up the household by opening up a window or an exterior door.
• Magazines that feature the local culture can be stacked in a market basket along with area maps and special interest publications that your guests may sincerely appreciate for your thoughtfulness.
• If your guest space doesn’t have black-out style window treatments, place a night mask on the beside table or hanging from a hook on the bathroom door. And slippers by the bed make for an inviting touch especially if the flooring is something other then carpeting.
• And finally, if your guest room is small, offer to take the emptied luggage out of the room for safe keeping someplace else in the house. This will open up the room ( and closet ) and should your guest purchase something to remember their trip, there will be a place to store them easily.
Michael is an award winning interior designer based in Palm Desert, CA. He is a Professional Member of the American Society of Interior Designers and a member of the ASID College of Fellows.
As a Certified Aging In Place Specialist, he creates smart looking spaces that are safe and secure and create homes for a lifetime.
And with thirty plus years in the profession, he has honed his humor, elevated his passion for design and sharpened his wit to not take anything too seriously except his design work.