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Design Lifestyle

Graciously host overnight guests

August 14, 2015

Image Via: Julia Goodwin Design

We all love that phone call or email when someone announces that they are planning a trip to your town! Before you know it you have offered your home up as an option for a stay, and your guest accepted! You are so excited, but then you look around and think how can I possibly prep for their arrival?

Here are a few of my tips to make your guests feel not just welcome but special. Even if you are stuck at work or simply can’t be with them hour after hour of their stay, you’ll ensure your guest is at ease for a fun and enjoyable stay.

Who Are They?

Whether your guest is a friend, parent or even a friend of a friend (you nice person, you) think of what they would enjoy during their stay. Are they a music lover, an outdoorsy type, artsy, foodie, or perhaps in need of quiet time? Chances are you know some great options that you can either join in on or that you can point them to if you are unable to join.

When I receive guests, I like to make my home as easy as possible to navigate. Here are my simple tips to let your guests know you are excited to host them in your home.

150724_Julia_Goodwin_28J-8824Image Via: Julia Goodwin Design


Fresh linens are a no brainer, but we also all have different comfort levels when it comes to temperature and sleep. I like to keep an extra blanket or two along with extra pillows that are easily accessible to my guest.


Image Via: Julia Goodwin Design


This is a fun area to spruce up the space, but it can also be made useful and informative. I like to keep a few books nearby that feature hot spots in the city based on my guests’ interests. This is also where I may place a small gift such as a candle or an accessory from a local store.

Items to consider adding: sparkling water and glass (I especially love a decorative one), something to satisfy a sweet tooth, a clock, a small catchall for miscellaneous items, a phone charger and of course fresh flowers!


First, make space for your guest — even in this small area. You know that feeling of walking into a posh hotel room and there is a plush robe waiting? Bring this feeling into their space by hanging one up, along with slippers. A few other items typically found in a hotel that are easy to add include a small sewing kit, a lint roller and extra hangers for their items.


Image Via: Julia Goodwin Design


Ahead of time, I try to make sure I know of any allergies or requests my guests may have. This might seem time consuming at first, but trust me you don’t want to find out your long lost friend is now a vegetarian after you have prepped meat loaf for dinner! I also love to get a bottle of their favorite wine or to look for a treat that is local to the area. If there are any quirks to my kitchen, hidden storage or the oven simply runs too hot, I am sure to jot it down so my guests are aware.

Living Room:

Ah remotes, I always seem to have a bit of trouble working the three or four that we own in our home. So, be sure to have a direction sheet available. This will come in handy again and again, trust me!


Image via: Anthropologie


As with linens in the bedroom, fresh clean towels are a must! Go the extra step and top the towels with a wrapped soap. Not only are they totally addicting to buy, but often guests forget this item at home when traveling.


Image Via: Rifle Paper Co.

A Must – Welcome Note:

Even if you receive your guests in person, everyone loves a welcome note! Place your note on the bed or dresser, as this is the area your guests will typically visit first to drop their bags. I let my guests know of any big details they need to know during their visit such as my house alarm codes, passwords, dog info, as well as info about small items such as the robe in the closet!

A Few No-No’s:

Your guest room, while still a room in your home, is not the place to hang a million wedding photos, baby photos or selfies! While your guests know they are in your home, they don’t want to turn over in bed in the morning to see a framed photo staring back at them of you and your loved one smooching.

There is nothing worse than when a guest arrives for a planned visit and the bed is not made for them. An unmade bed makes a statement that you have not been looking forward to their arrival. Typically, guests have traveled from a good distance to your home, and the comfort of a clean bed should not be a chore your guests take on.

We all have busy day-to-day lives, and making your guests aware in advance of any commitments you have will set their expectations appropriately for their stay.  This is true whether of not you’ll be setting aside a large amount of time to spend with your guests.

Follow these tips and your guests will not only welcome you to stay with them, but they will likely try some of these tips during your stay as well!

– Good luck with your manicured and guest-ready home!





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