While discussions on how to be a good host tend to focus on greetings or little niceties, the reality is that the environment and, frankly, the big things will have a far greater impact on your guests. Let’s review a few quick and easy ways to make your home more accommodating for guests. Note that all of this advice will be practical and universal.
Comfortable Sleeping Arrangements
Staying as a guest loses its appeal when the options are a lumpy old couch, an undersized child’s bed and a semi-inflated air mattress in the hallway. Guests feel like guests when there is a comfortable bed or similar sleeping arrangement. What can you do when you don’t have room for a guest bedroom? Consider buying guest beds like these from Happy Beds which will give you an idea of how you can transform your space, whether they hide away under your child’s bed when not in use or convert to a couch for day to day use. Guest beds that double as a divan can work as guest seating whether or not they are spending the night.
Good Answers to “What Is There to Eat Around Here?”
A good host knows what everyone can and cannot eat, whether for medical or ethical reasons. They then have food everyone can eat on hand instead of offering second choice substitutes while everyone else enjoys a sumptuous meal. The best hosts have sufficient pre-prepared meals and snacks on hand so that no one arrives from a long trip to be told to wait an hour before food is ready. Waiting half an hour for delivery is frustrating for everyone unless you manage to time it so that the food arrives just before your guests do.
Practical, Useful Furniture Arrangements
While we already discussed the need to have guest beds when you have guests spending the night, a corollary to that is having practical and eminently usable furniture arrangements. For example, if you give someone a bed, have an end table or dresser nearby so they don’t have to worry about where to put electronics and eye glasses at night. And the sleeping location won’t be somewhere among the piles of stored junk, such that a trip to the bathroom late at night risks a twisted ankle.
This concept is also an issue when you have guests during the day. Your couches and chairs should be grouped in “conversational groups”, large enough for groups of three to six to sit comfortably in each other’s company. A few end tables and lamps allow everyone to see each other and have a place to put books, purses and whatever else they brought with them. Consider two separate gatherings of couches and chairs instead of one massive “ring” in the middle of the living room. Where space and budget permits, have a reading nook for someone to sit alone and, ideally, a separate pair of seats or love seat so two people can have a private discussion away from the group.
No matter how comfortable the guest bed and perfectly proportioned living room furniture, you’ll fail your guests if your home is a mess. Whether your children spilled juice on the couch, the dog hair is so thick that anyone who sits down comes up needing a brush roll, or visitors have to navigate a literal obstacle course to reach the dining room table, any mess distracts from the social experience. Take your time to clean up before your guests arrive. If you cannot do the whole house, focus on spaces the guests will be in like your kitchen, bathroom and living area. Tell guests that rooms they won’t be using like the office, children’s rooms or play room are off limits.
All these tips will make your home more enticing for guests and keep them happy. Good hosts are remembered and they are more likely to return the favour.