Whether you’re hosting old or new friends, here’s how to make them feel at home…
My home is my sanctuary. I’m the best version of myself here. In the mornings, tiptoeing on hardwood floors, with my fluffy puppy on the couch and a record spinning, I’m at peace.
But once a month, I’ve begun welcoming a guest or two into my space, and allowing them to call it home for a few days. I recently listed my nook on Airbnb and, within a couple days, found my inbox full of requests to come stay with me. I love hosting people – whether it’s letting friends gather around my dinner table for grilled cheese night or, like now, hosting German houseguests for a weekend in Pittsburgh. Being a host is kind of my favorite thing. Here are some tips to keep your home your own, and how also to share it with old – and new – friends.
Décor. Scoring on some fun furnishings is always a plus. Making the place quirky and cool with whatever taste you have adds originality to your home. Don’t be afraid to mix prints and patterns, or keep clean and plain. Add plants wherever you can, keeping the air pure and breathable for your guest.
Capture. Take some great photographs of your place. Whether you’re hosting on Airbnb, or just having a friend visit from out of town, it’s always nice to have some visuals to excite your guests in preparation for their trip. Snap that favorite little reading nook, letting the natural light speak for itself. This is where your style shines through.
Guidelines. Set some standards and rules for your house. Lock up rooms and valuables that are off-limits, and don’t be afraid to inform your guests of any expectations you have.
Clean. This is important to me. I’m a bit of a neat freak, and expect my place to be spick-and-span for guests. Taking the time to scrub the floors, dust the bookshelf and clean mirrors is mandatory. I focus mostly on the bathroom and kitchen, making sure everything is sanitary. Imagine the feeling you get when walking into a hotel, and try to mimic it.
Wash. Run those towels and sheets through the washing machine, and bleach them nice and clean. I have a set of sheets just for guests that come to my house, choosing white to make them feel clean and luxurious. Roll the towels up in the bathroom, and add complimentary toiletries for your guests’ stay.
Welcome. Be warm and welcoming to your guest. I left for them a little “cheat sheet”, listing all of the in’s and out’s of my place. Handwritten notes make things feel personal. I always love grinding up some beans from a local coffee shop, and leaving them on the table with a mug, making their initial “hello” special.
Suggest. I love cooking at home, but eating out is always wonderful when visiting a new city. Feel free to scribble down suggestions of your favorite local bites, where to get the best ice-cream cone, and share the “walkability” factor of the neighborhood. I also like to suggest a few takeout spots for those jet-lagged travelers, letting them get a taste of the area right in my dining room.
Support. Be available to your guests at all times. I’m always by my phone when I have a guest staying at the house, and let them know to reach out to me if they need anything. Whether they are looking for something fun to do (like a movie in the park), or looking for the replacement light bulbs, I’m there for them.
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Just Be. This is the tough part. Trusting others with your life. I love to believe there is good in everyone, and I find that the more I put into making their stay enjoyable, the more respect they will put into my home. I love setting out a guest book for visitors to sign and share reflections of their stay. It makes the overall process enjoyable, and keeps me close and connected to my guests.
+What hosting tips do you guys have for your home? How do you make people feel welcome? Let me know in the comments!
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