Hospitality is making your guests feel at home, even if you wish they were. So, first things first. A visitor’s first impression of your home is often made from the sidewalk or stoop. You want it to say, “Happy you are here!”
Greet your guests with warmth & spirit. Your welcome will set the tone for the entire visit.
Having a guest room is a luxury for some & thankfully not a necessity.
Single, double, queen, or king? I know that single beds are a thing of the past but they do allow for the most flexibility. Couples keep close & adversaries turn to respective walls.
I tell husband’s & wives that they can hold hands across the divide. This arrangement will remind them of being teenagers again.
I think that a visit to family or friends, should be a retreat from daily life.
Creating a cozy & gracious guest room or a quiet corner of your home is a prerequisite to being considered a great host or hostess.
Carolyne Roehm treats her guests with only the best. Italian pillow shams, carafe by Dior, hot water bottle in pique, mints in a sterling shell, etc...Just so you know, I will never be able to indulge you with this level of luxury.
Depending on how long the stay, some guests need time to unpack.
A clutch of satin or cedar hangers and two robes aren’t requirements, but if found, they will be used...and remembered. These are special touches that say, “I was expecting you.”
As are fresh cut flowers, and a good bedside table for your treasures.
Good lotion, bath oil, & salts are the best. But nothing is richer than fresh soap, a new toothbrush, and a stack of clean towels.
I have a special collection of towels & toiletries for her & for him.
And always remember...if you have to share your own with others, everyone looks in the medicine cabinet, even Aunt Ethel & Pastor John!
When thinking about amenities for families, focus on simple not ceremonial. A nightlight will be appreciated more than chocolates.
They just want to have fun so keep them in the attic, in your own children’s former room, anywhere they can play and shout from noon until night. Etiquette consultant & mommy, Mindy Lockard can help you tackle young guests in a gracious way at Monthly Manner.
My motto is fresh air saves children! Unload them in the yard and turn on the hose or sprinkler. Some of our guests arrive with babies and bring most everything needed but a crib. I’ve passed on our crib but still manage to make do.
When we lived in our 900 sq.ft. beach bungalow in California, I used to have a sign by my backdoor that read “Backdoor Guests Are Best!” My plan of action was to clear the cushions from the couch, fill up the air mattress, pitch a tent out back, or dress the porch swing with pillows and blankets.
The MR. was always happy to open the best bottle of wine, light the chimeneo & thankfully pull a game plan out of his pocket!
His plan usually involved independent exploration away from our little bungalow & this was the means of transportation.
A gracious guest will anticipate the passions of friends even before they arrive. A gift of artichoke pesto from Bella Cucina made for the chef, a tin of dog biscuits for Gracie, or a simple packet of seeds for the green thumb is always a great way to say “We’re here!”
Guests come in all sorts and for all sorts of reasons, and yet, consideration always wins the day. A handwritten thank-you note is required no matter how short the stay.
Longer visits may call for a gift. A parting gift is a gracious & wonderful way to say , so long, farewell, we had a wonderful time, and let’s do it again soon!
I highly recommend a visit with Sande at A Gift Wrapped Life for this! She is a master in the art of giving personalized attention to gifts that will surely be remembered.
While visiting A Gift Wrapped Life, I would love for you to be sure to stop by her blog where Sande beautifully demonstrates graciousness & hospitality on a regular basis. Plus she's just really nice!
Parting is something else all together. A toast to good times, a hug farewell, a kiss with feeling...Embrace your guest because you want them to go or because you don’t want them to go. But do embrace.
One last thought. How do you know if you’ve given the best care...too little can leave them wondering whether or not they should have bothered coming. To much can leave us wondering when they are finally going to leave.
Looking forward to having you!