i love having house guests. because it is just ROF and me (and ruby!) having our house abuzz with family and friends really gives me the feeling of home. i love making our company comfortable whether it’s a home cooked meal, special conveniences or little surprises.
so i reached out to my friends to find out what they do to make the visit special. i love these ideas!
have some of the guest’s favorite things on-hand; e.g., snack, coffee, liquor/beer. Female: fresh flowers, magazines, candle, comfy bedding, beautiful glass for bottled water, something silver in room Male: good breakfast food, James Patterson-type books, late night snacks, bottled water – marinell roe
i had my sister and her boyfriends initials monogrammed on hand towels. – megen decker
get a collapsible suitcase holder at bed bath and beyond to get their suitcase to a place they can easily use it. put a small surprise on the bed. if kids are visiting get a little something about the city or candy treat. if they are coming to see your city print an agenda like u and britt did when we came to chicago. – aunt sally nilsen
for me, the thing that makes having house guests easy is organization in advance. whether it is room prep, meals or activities, if you plan ahead, make an itinerary, buy and prep in advance, you can enjoy your guests and feel less stressed. – susan prendeville
i like to put a goodie bath basket on their bed or in the bathroom. something luxurious, soap/body wash, loofa, plush washcloth and candle maybe to help them feel at home and little gifts they can take home with them.- katie ballard
since the guest room also doubles as storage when there are no guests, i typically organize the guest room closet and find extra non-wire hangers to put in there. – meredith conte
i frame my wireless network and wifi password and put it on the bedside table. Like what they would see in a boutique hotel.
i always buy fruit, juice, banana bread or croissants and set up coffee and tea so they have a little continental breakfast waiting for them in the kitchen. people wake up at different times so even if I go back to bed, it’s there waiting for them and they don’t have to feel weird searching through the pantry. I like doing this even if we have brunch plans because like I said…sometimes people wake up really early and i’m always hungry as soon as I wake up.
i always buy chocolate and set it out in candy dishes. People like to munch and snack and it’s nice being able to grab a few pretzel M&M’s on your way to bed!
i let them sleep with riley, if they are really good friends… he’s a snuggle bug. – jackie grubb
i love to cook for guests and a few special items I will pull out like chicken enchiladas or a lasagna that’s made with pepperoni (yum!) we also love to make a brunch for the first morning complete with mimosas. my go-to brunch casserole is pioneer woman’s sleepin’ in breakfast casserole.
when we go out, we try to look for unique spots that the guests might not have at home. i love to try new restaurants and want to share that experience with others. – jennifer anderson
i love to leave a small vase of fresh flowers, nothing fancy (I can usually run outside and find something pretty in bloom) by the bedside. ordering out from a local pizza place that first night makes things casual and easy and gives people time to relax. – lindy stagnaro
have a box of matches or a nice room spray in the bathroom and other accoutrements like nice simple soap in the shower and q-tips on the counter. set up a power outlet by the bed for phones and ipads to charge – sarah beth prendeville
i also asked my friends what games they like to play with guests and i heard about these several times:
but the most creative, interesting and fun suggestion came from christine warren. her husband likes to whip up molecular gastronomy creations (invitation, please!) and she suggested purchasing this fun thing to do with guests!
i have also gone to the local unique chocolatier and bought a sample box of chocolate and had guests guess what is in the chocolate (whiskey, bacon etc…)
lastly, here are some of my tips:
- give people “jobs” to do. everyone asks what they can do to help and typically they really do want to help – so delegate roles such as setting the table, writing out place cards, helping keep people’s drinks filled and clearing the table make people feel helpful and play a part
- have the coffee pot ready to go – just press a button and hot coffee is on the way so your guests don’t have to wait if they wake up early
- plan for some down time. time for people to do their own thing – take a walk (have an extra house key made), read or just hang out and not feel like they have to be “on” the whole time
- plunger in the bathroom. no one wants to ask for one and if you have a finicky toilet like we do – just keep one under the sink
- give guests permission to help themselves to snacks at any time. drinks in the garage fridge and chips and nuts in the pantry – help yourself! i love trader joes salt and pepper pistachios
- in the winter, keep comfy socks in guest room drawer and extra blankets by the bed. sleep in your guest room so you can experience what they will
thank you to all my fun friends who contributed to this! i can’t wait to have a house full of family this thanksgiving and they are sure to be the recipients of your great ideas.