Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Having guests to stay

This past weekend I had my parents in-law to stay at our house. I enjoy having guests stay over, and I like to make an effort. Having guests, and preparing for their arrival is part of home keeping. The one thing I also like about having guests is that it forces me to get up off my backside and clean the house properly (I know, I know, if I kept on top of my house cleaning routine I wouldn't need to run around like a lunatic before their arrival in the first place).

Anyway, all of this got me thinking about special gestures to welcome guests. Last year when I visited my family in South Africa, my aunt put some fresh flowers from her garden in the room where I was staying, so simple, but what a special gesture . My mum always leaves me a gift on the bed when I'm staying- mum's are the best! My friend who we recently visited left some chocolates on our pillows when we stayed over, and my mother in-law always has a cup of tea ready as soon as we walk through the door. These are all things that say 'it's nice to have you here' and sets the visit off to a good start.

Here are some lovely gestures you can try when you next have guests to stay. Even if your guests must stay on the sofa or a mattress in the living room, add that extra something to say 'thanks for visiting'. Oh, and clean bedding really does make a difference.

  • Fresh flowers from the garden in the 'guest' room (even if it's the study)

  • Leave their favourite candy or sweet on a pillow

  • Fresh towels on the bed says 'make yourself at home', wrap some towels in a ribbon along with a small soap

  • Glasses on the bedside table with some water before bedtime is a simple but caring gesture

  • A great tip from the How to be the Perfect Housewife book is to save up all those free samples of make-up and creams you get in magazines, and put them in a little guest basket in case your guests have left anything at home

  • Save the free toothbrushes you get if you fly abroad and add them to your guest basket

  • A small soap or body lotion left on the bed is sophisticated, and will make your guests feel like they are staying at a bed and breakfast

  • Leave some magazines or books out for your guests to read before bedtime

  • When guests with a baby or toddler are staying, childproofing the room by removing breakables and covering electrical points will put everyone at ease.

  • For guests staying longer than one night, leaving a tray with bottles of water and snacks is a good idea, they might be too shy to ask for food between meals

  • A note saying 'welcome, make yourselves at home' left on the bed will help your guests relax

  • Vacuum and tidy the room before guests arrive, a fresh room is much more welcoming

So adding that small something extra for guests is a wonderful way to start their stay off on a positive note. Keep it simple and don't overdo it... you might never get rid of them again. As always, here are some inspiring finds and ideas to update a guest room

Left to right

Row 1: This bowl filled with goodies for your guests is sure to make a statement, from the talented glass artist at Handmade Heaven; Beautifully scented soap like this oatmeal, goats milk and honey ones from MoonMaidenSoap will also make the room smell nice; A pretty vase tall enough to proudly display your best garden flowers from Vessel & Wares.

Row 2: This delightful and inspiring room belongs to the Killyrudden bed & breakfast in New Zealand; Perfect to put on the side table for guests at night, this recycled glass night set is from Reform School; Organic Bamboo towels from Shoo-Foo.

Row 3: These tumbled turquoise stone lookalikes are very impressive little soaps, from Amethyst Soaps; A terry cloth designed for babies, but perfect for washing away make-up without the guilt of leaving mascara marks on white towels from The Pat-a-cake Baby; A funky retro display tray from Natuure.

I'll be posting again soon.


Debbies-English-Treasures said...

Wow, what a great post...
With our busy lifestyles, and forever rushing everywhere, we sometimes forget about the little things...
And "this little things" are what makes our guests feel so welcome, thanks for the tips, they are great as usual...
By the way, I would love to do the chandelier post...
but, because we are going on holidays this saturday for a week, it will only be possible to do,when I`m back...
Also, you if go to my new post, I have a "little something" for you,...
I hope you don`t mind!
Kisses Kisses

MoonMaidenSoap said...

You have a lovely blog, and thank you so much for featuring my Oatmeal, Milk & Honey soap as a way to treat your guests. :) It's very kind of you and I do appreciate the note to let me know.

All those "little things" you've written about would surely make any guest feel like they are welcome and special.


Debbies-English-Treasures said...

Thanks sweetie, for the lovely comment...
You sure made me laugh!
I`m off now to do my ironing!
I`m not exagerating when I say that my pile of clothes, nearly touches the ceiling!
I have been spending far to much time in the "blogland", but, loving every minute of it!
So today I`m going to be very good and catch up with the housework.
I`ll be back!
In a week!
Enjoy the sunshine, that is... if you have any!
Kisses Kisses

Ivy said...

Great suggestions! It's important to personalize things-I think that's what makes people feel special. Like Putting their favorite chocolate on the pillow and stuff like that.

My question for you is, What are some nice gestures you can do as a guest to make it more pleasant for the host? perhaps making a home made dinner for them? or ... :)

A note on perfection

Many of the posts featured on this blog are about doing household chores the correct, or so to say perfect way. My intention is not to make readers feel that the way they are running their households are wrong. So if making the bed, or ironing shirts in a certain way doesn't fit your lifestyle, do not feel guilty about it. But by learning the correct way of doing things it might just come in handy for those times when special guests are staying, or when you need to iron that shirt perfectly for a job interview. So enjoy the learning, but skip the guilt and LOVE your homes. x

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