When you move every two years, and live 2,000 miles away from almost everyone you know, you have a lot of visitors. Our house, for the past 4 years, has been an open door to countless visits from friends and family. What greater gift is there than the gift of a visitor?
When visitors are coming to my home, it feels like Christmas morning does to other people. My Christmas morning is when someone is in an Uber on the way to my house, and I have their favorite drink chilling, a bunch of surprises set up in their room, and a house that rises up to meet them.
Over the years, I have honed my hosting style and I thought today I would share a few of the ways you can indulge your guests and make a stay at your casa as transporting as a stay at a fancy boutique hotel.
Linens: linens are step one to having a fantastic guest room. I swear by Jennifer Adams sheets and we have them on all of our beds. We just bought a fresh set for our guest room. Many people use their old towels, but good, large, soft towels are a must for your guest room.
A fuzzy blanket: alone time is good for everyone, even during visits, and I want guests to feel like they can retreat to their room for a good cat nap or snuggle up with a book. I love the totally decadent blankets from HomeGoods like this one.
A robe: I remember reading that Martha Stewart gave her guests cashmere robes and scoffing. Now, I realize the value of one. Guests may want to sneak downstairs for a cup of coffee, or they may need to dart between rooms to borrow something, and a robe is a really lovely thing to hang in the closet since most people don’t travel with one. I’m obsessed with this Jennifer Adams one which cools in the summer and warms in the winter, and can be unisex.
Slippers and/or fuzzy socks: I either buy slippers for my guest, or give them a pair of fuzzy socks to wear when they’re here. Or if you’re really special, you get these.
The gift of pajamas: I love giving people a set of pajamas when they arrive. After years of buying expensive Soma pajamas, my friend Gina turned me onto these from Target that are as soft, as lovely as anything I’ve owned, and I have bought them for tons of friends. They look expensive, and more importantly, they look great without a bra because they are black. When you’re a guest in someone’s home, sometimes some proper pajamas are just what you need to wear downstairs in the morning. They also come in a version with pants.
Treat jar: I have had a treat jar in the guest room for as long as I can remember. I fill it about once a month with treats I pick up at HomeGoods. No chocolate craving will go unsatisfied in this house! I picked up the jar at HomeGoods, but this one is adorable from Target.
A sign with things you need to know: I recently hand-lettered this one and did some watercolor. I like to include the wi-fi password, and any other applicable details. In this case, we installed a charging station on the nightstand, so guests wouldn’t have to dig around for an outlet, and we keep a tupperware of extra toiletries and towels in the closet.
Closet: I think it’s helpful to leave 5-10 empty hangers in the closet, as well as any extra linens, pillows and a fan if the room doesn’t have one. I also include a hair dryer in the closet.
Luggage rack: it took me a while to find one of these, but I think I wasn’t looking in the right place. I picked mine up at the Habitat for Humanity Restore for $10 or you can buy one here.
Welcome sign: I used to use a chalk board sign and write welcome and the weather for the week. Now, I use a felt letter board and usually put Welcome and a photo of the guest and us together.
Ear plugs: I leave a little tumbler of ear plugs in the guest room at all times.
Toiletries: I keep a lot of little toiletries around from hotels, and I also stock the shower and bathroom with Beautycounter faves.
Fresh flowers: always the perfect touch- sometimes I clip a few from my table arrangement and put them in a bud vase, and sometimes I make an arrangement especially for the room. This makes the room complete.
Personalized coffee mugs: all of the grandparents have personalized Shutterfly coffee mugs at our house- if you watch our kids, you get one and I bring them out just when they visit – each one includes photos of each grandparent with the kids. I set these out in the morning next to the coffee maker in the morning.
What are your ideas for hosting? What special things do you do for guests?