I love having house guests. When I think about my dream house, I don’t actually picture fixtures or items, but rather, ample room for a steady stream of visitors! I used to watch Downton Abbey so jealous that they would constantly have guests! The idea that at a moment’s notice a regular meal could turn into a party, a Tuesday suddenly an excuse for entertaining, is just thrilling to me!
As such, I have worked over the years to streamline the small details that make guests feel immediately at ease in your home. Some of them are so simple I am surprised it took me so long to figure them out! Some are just things that I personally appreciate. All of them are things that wonderful hosts and hostesses have taught me. I make it a point when I’m in someone’s home to watch the little things they do that make me feel welcome, and emulate to the best of my ability!
Wifi Password and Home Address
Whether it is just so they can scroll through Instagram or your guests actually have work emails to send, we all need to be on the internet. I can’t tell you how embarrassed I was the first time my sister came to stay and I didn’t know our password. Now, whenever a guest comes to stay, I always have a card resting on their pillow with both the Wifi password so they don’t have to ask, and the address. Why the address? Depending on the length of your guest’s stay, they may or may not be running an errand or two without you. Having your address written down will cut down on some of the stress later when they need to grab an Uber home!
I hope that everyone my age has more than one towel at this point! Before my guests even have to ask, I like to have all the linens ready and waiting for them. This means sheets, a towel to shower, a hand towel for washing up before bed, and a pillow. Further, I always like to make sure that I have offered a hook in the bathroom for my guest to hang their towel. I hate that awkward moment when you leave the shower and realize you have no idea where to hang your towel! Door knob? Coat hanger? Awkward! Before they have to ask, please make sure they see their dedicated spot!
When you have guests stay for a special occasion, chances are that you will be going out to brunch or something similar. Even so, having breakfast food on hand for your guest is critical. As an avid breakfast eater, this is super important to me! My wonderful mother in law taught me the importance of this one. Every time we stay she always has my favorite cereal waiting for us! Further, she always makes a point of leaving a coffee mug next to the coffee pot for me. I love this little touch because it 1) is an invitation for me to pour myself a cup whenever I am ready and 2) it cuts down the awkwardness of rifling through someone’s cabinets wondering which mugs are acceptable to use! We have guests coming to stay this weekend, and I think I might be making this overnight french toast casserole. No stress the morning of, but it will still make them feel taken care of!
This is actually something that didn’t even occur to me until I stayed with our dear friend Miss Sal. Before going upstairs to bed, she poured me a glass of what she coined “night water.” A glass of water before going to bed! Why had that never occurred to me? I suddenly thought back on all the times I had woken up in the night at someone else’s home wishing I could have some water but not wanting to make noise in the kitchen! From that moment on, I never go to bed without making sure overnight guests have “night water.”
A Packing List
I am always nervous that I won’t have the right “stuff.” It is for this reason that, when applicable, I make sure to inform my guests of all activities we will be participating in, and any weather restrictions. This was especially true when I lived in California. If you have never been to Northern California in the summertime, you would be absolutely shocked to learn that it is…freezing. This is the kind of information the internet could easily tell you, but you may not believe until you see it! As a host, this is the kind of thing your guests will greatly appreciate knowing!
What did I miss? What other tips and tricks have wonderful hosts taught you?