It’s the goal of every hostess: your visitors enter your home for the first time and proceed to rant and rave about how gorgeous your decor is. They can’t stop swooning over every detail, every texture, every pop of color. Dinner goes swimmingly and your guests leave you feeling like a hospitality queen.
Currently only in your wildest dreams? It doesn’t have to be! Keep reading to find out how to leave your visitors speechless, and what to avoid in order to keep them coming back for more.
The Living Room
The living room, second to only the kitchen, is one of the most popular gathering places in your home. Your guests want to be able to find a comfortable space to chat, sip on their cocktail, or watch the kiddos in the yard. Here are the most important elements to consider when crafting a living room that is fit for family, friends, and important guests to linger:
- Ample room for conversation: Does the living room invite visitors to “stay a while,” or is it too cramped/not arranged well?
- Comfortable but functional furniture: Does your couch resemble a slab of stone, or a pile of pudding? Find a furniture set that is both soft to the touch, but firm enough to ensure your guests won’t get stuck. Are there other furniture groupings/seating areas to be taken advantage of throughout the space?
- Balance of aesthetic beauty and relatability: Visitors want to be blown away by beauty (we all do!), but they don’t want to dread coming over because of a feeling of inadequacy. Your living room decor should represent your style and taste, but don’t go out of your way to “flaunt it,” as this will leave a bad taste in your guests’ mouth, as it were.
- Lack of clutter: Listen, we get it. We’ve all done the last-minute scramble to clean the house before people come over. No one guest expects perfection, but your visitors do want to feel at ease in your space. If it is difficult to find a place to sit down because there are piles of your favorite books and magazines on every surface, or your guests feel afraid of breaking one of the hundreds of knick-knacks at every turn, visitors will inevitably be on edge. Make sure your living room is well-organized!
- Surfaces for drinks, snacks: Side tables don’t have to be fancy, they just need to be available. After you’ve offered your guests your favorite mixed drink, make sure they have a place to set it down during conversation.
- Conversation pieces: While not necessary, it can be beneficial and connection-building to showcase something unique in your living room that gives your visitors no other choice but to ask, “What’s the story here?” or “Where did this come from?” Keep it classy, but don’t be afraid to display that piece of art from the obscure marketplace you visited in Europe or that photo album from your South American adventure.
All in all, your living room is guaranteed to leave visitors feeling welcomed and at home if you’re intentional to design and arrange the space in a manner conducive to conversation and comfort.
As previously alluded to, the kitchen (and dining table) is likely where your guests will spend a good portion of the evening, especially if you’re throwing a dinner party. Other than ensuring the space is cleanly, what can you do as the lady of the house to ensure visitors love spending time where the magic happens?
- Serve drinks and light snacks: Assuming your guests won’t come straight from their cars to the dining table, it might be a good idea to “warm up” with mixed drinks and a charcuterie board or something similar. This allows the kitchen to be a place of gathering and connection, as food is a common ground for us all.
- Ensure seating is available: If your dining table isn’t located in or near your kitchen, having options for your visitors to sit while snacking or chatting in the kitchen is of the utmost importance. This could look like bar stools at the kitchen island, or a few chairs conveniently snuggled up in a breakfast nook, so your guests can chat while you pull the casserole out of the oven.
- Smell is everything: Want to go above and beyond in making the kitchen your visitors’ favorite room in the house? Light a food-friendly candle (think something neutral so as to not conflict with other odors happening as you cook).
- Keep it fresh: Fresh cut flowers in a beautiful vase (maybe even next to that candle) create an ambiance of home and become a focal point when you’re busy shuffling things in and out of cupboards.
- Avoid clutter: This sentiment is just as important in the kitchen as anywhere else in the home. If you have a gap between the top of your cupboards and the ceiling, avoid the urge to fill that space with trinkets and fake plants. The kitchen is a room that naturally collects clutter as it’s being used (think, appliances, utensils, and meal ingredients), so added knick-knacks become a distraction. Keep it simple.
Thankfully, the kitchen is a space which doesn’t require much coercion to get people inside (hello, the smell of whatever you’re cooking is good enough encouragement), but it does take some work to keep people there. Try the above tips to guarantee your visitors perceive your kitchen as a room they want to be in!
The Guest Bedroom and Bathroom
The space where your guests sleep is the holy grail for visitor opinion about your home. Whether or not your guest bedroom knocks the socks off those who stay with you will determine their ultimate perception of your home. Before you start to break a sweat, however, we’ve got you covered with fool-proof tips.
- Offer a place to unpack or organize belongings: No one likes living out of a suitcase. When visitors are given a space to hang their clothes or lay out outfits for their stay, they are more likely to feel at home. This can take the form of a closet, a free-standing clothing rack, or a beautiful (empty) dresser.
- Burn a candle for their arrival: A surefire way to make someone feel at home when they’re not able to sleep in their own bed is to give them a space that smells warm and comforting. Not to mention, a burning candle is one of the easiest aesthetic additions to any room.
- Soft blankets and towels: Texture is one of the most important design elements in a bedroom. If your guests are avoiding crawling into bed because the blankets are scratchy or are dreading taking a shower because the towels are paper-thin, their perception of your home will be lackluster, at best. The good news: you don’t have to compromise style for comfort! Blankets can be both beautiful and functional.
- Refreshments: When your visitors show up for the night, they’ll likely be hungry from their travels, or stressed because they’re not in their own home. A simple way to mitigate both of these things is to offer beverages and snacks somewhere in the bedroom for their midnight cravings.
- Additional conveniences: While not necessary, visitors to your home will be over the moon if you give them a “cheat sheet” to navigate where they’ll be staying. Offer information such as the WiFi password, any quirks about the bathroom (including water pressure, where to find shampoo and conditioner, etc.), television and remote usage, and how to control the temperature in the room. Laying out magazines and an extra phone charger is a welcomed gesture, as well.
Ensuring your visitors perceive your home to be a place of beauty and welcoming is as easy as setting up the guest bedroom the way you wish others would for you. Go out of your way to make them feel at home, and they’ll leave “ooh”ing and “ahh”ing at your interior design skills and hospitality.
Design Made Easy
Here at Loth & Co, we pride ourselves on collecting the most beautiful, original decor pieces and hosting necessities so that you can feel confident inviting even the most persnickety visitors to your home.
Our online home store has everything you need to ensure guests leave with their jaws dragging on the floor. From apothecary to kitchen ware to bed accessories, Loth & Co offers beautiful pieces for your unique home.
Your beloved visitors won’t be able to stay away. Let us prove it!