Being forced into isolation at home this year has made me realise how much I miss the company of visiting friends and family in our home. In preparation for a time when I can once again invite the people I care about to come and visit for a weekend of relaxation and shared memories, I’ve been busy preparing a little sanctuary in my spare room for guests. In doing so I have reflected on all the little things that made me feel really welcome when I have had the pleasure of staying in friends homes all over the world. I thought I’d share my little list with you here on the Bambury Blog so you can create your own sanctuary for sharing good times with friends soon.
BEFORE THEY ARRIVE
Most important of all, before you read any of my tips, remember that your friends are coming to spend time with you because they care about you! Don’t exhaust yourself trying to make everything picture perfect, embrace the quirks of your space and let your personality really shine through, after all, nobody can relax in a perfect house!
The Spare Key
Make sure you have a spare key available for them. Nothing says you are welcome more then their own key so they feel free to come and go without having to bother someone every time they leave the house.
Clean Bed Linen
It’s often a bit of an effort to get organised to go and stay at someone else’s house. Make sure your guests get a relaxing first nights sleep in a strange bed by making the bed up with some beautiful clean bed linen. I use a natural fibre sheet like cotton or linen because it gets softer and more beautiful with every wash. I’m loving the Pebble Linen Sheet Set by Bambury because you can mix and match it so easily with other colours to create different looks depending on the season.
Extra Pillows and Blankets
We all sleep better at different temperatures so make sure you have some extra blankets on hand that your guest can easily access during the night if they get chilly. I keep mine in a basket at the end of the bed so they are easily visible. Also a couple of extra pillows on the bed is a great idea because we all have different preferences and it makes it feel like a hotel when you have a pillow menu!
Make Space for them
Nobody wants to feel like they are an inconvenience. Find whatever space you can to create a little area where your guests can stow their belongings. I don’t have a lot of spare space so I improvise with a collection of baskets for organising their things and wall hooks where they can hang up clothes.
Clean the House
Give the house a freshen up before they arrive but don’t go crazy scrubbing under the couch, it’s meant to be a relaxing experience for you as well, your friend is unlikely to run a white glove over the mantle piece to inspect for dust! Open up all the doors and windows and give the house a good airing, pop some fresh flowers around the place and burn a scented candle in their room to add a little luxury.
Bath Towels & Toiletries
Most guests bring their preferred toiletries with them but I like to leave a locally made soap on top of some clean fluffy towels as a nice surprise. I’ve discovered a lot of beautiful new products this way, nothing beats a recommendation from a friend who knows you.
Household & Local Area Information
Make it easy for your guests to feel right at home by leaving a little note with some basic information for the house like wifi passwords, security & alarm codes etc so they don’t have to keep asking questions. Don’t be afraid to personalize it with quirky facts, like the friendly neighbours name so they can say Gday when they see them out in the driveway, or a map to where the local lemon tree is in case they run out of lemons for their gin and tonic. I also leave info on what’s available walking distance from my house so if they wake up early and want to sneak off and have a coffee they know where to find it.
I make up a little basket of snacks and put it in their room so they can help themselves if they get hungry. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Just some fruit, chocolate, cookies, nuts etc or those special treats you find at the farmers market or local deli that feel like an indulgence.
DURING THE VISIT
This is when you and your guests get to relax and enjoy all of the effort you have put into creating a welcoming space. When your guests arrive make them feel welcome by giving them a tour of the house so they know where to find their own private space. Show them where to find all the basics and how to use the appliances so they feel at home. Accept their offers of help and include them in activities so they feel like a part of the action. Have fun together but don’t forget to make them feel ok about enjoying a bit of privacy. Remember to relax, if you are a relaxed host then your guests will feel comfortable in your space. Enjoy your time long awaited time together!