Thanksgiving is fast approaching and this year I am hosting the family! Planning the menu, setting the table and sprucing up the home all bundled into one word, hospitality. This is something I truly enjoy and have taken notice of since I was a young girl. I wanted to share some hospitality tips and tricks with you I have collected over the years to help get your home ready to welcome its overnight travelers! My hope is this post provides you with inspiring and practical ways to make your overnight guests feel comfortable in your home.
My mom is ‘the hostess with the mostess.’ She always has been. People WANT to spend time in my parents’ home, not just because of its rustic log beams and treeline view (their Texas cabin is pretty cool). What makes guests want to plan their next trip is how well my mom serves them. They feel thought of, comfortable. This brings me to the first, and most important tip…
TIP #1: Approach the act of hospitality with the perspective of love and expectation of serving.
Welcome to our very vintage guest bedroom! I wanted this room to radiate REST, cue the lavender. As you now know, I have a sweet spot for anything vintage, but one thing to consider when loading up a room in old treasures is to pair it with light, bright colors and textures so the old still feels clean.
TIP #2: The placement of furniture.
There is a story behind every textile and layer in this room. And while I want each story to get to be told, I also want to convey REST. This being said, the bed is placed catty-corner from the door, making it the first thing guests see when they open the door. Additionally, I like to give guests a pretty focal point directly across from their bed. This gives them something cozy to enjoy when they crawl into bed and wake up to in the morning.
It’s also important not to obstruct or block off any source of natural light. Few things in a room are as inviting as natural light, but make sure guests have an option to close the window for privacy and a good night’s rest (trust me you want your guests well rested).
TIP #3: Give your guests a couple easily accessible blanket options.
This bed is layered in light-weight neutrals. In the South, it stays rather warm, and I have found it’s preferred to add a blanket if needed rather than kick off a thick comforter.
TIP #4: For an extra thoughtful touch, write a personal note to whomever is staying in the room along with the wifi log-in.
Next to the bed it’s always handy to have a reading light and place to set a book or glass of water. I stacked two refinished Honey-Bee Boxes as a night stand, filled the bottom with recommended reads and left an empty outlet for phone charging.
My mom always appreciates a place to set her purse and mirror to fix her hair before making her morning entrance. This mantel’s antique glass does just that. A mirror of some sort is especially appreciated if there is not a connected bath. Additionally, an extra chair or bench is a great place to stack pillows, blankets, or a place for momma’s purse.
TIP #5: Sprinkle some framed pictures of friends and family throughout the room.
I try to have a framed face of those who make the effort to come visit. This way, without speaking a word, they know how much they mean to us. I picked up this tip from a friend whose guest room always felt so personal. It may seem extra, but it feels extra special on the receiving end.
TIP #6: Give your guests a place to unzip and unpack their clothes.
Some guests will want to unpack their clothes and some prefer to live out of the suitcase. Whatever the preference, give them a spot to put their thoughtfully packed belongings. We don’t have room for a dresser in our guest room, so I am using this wicker truck handed down from Grandma to mom, and mom to me. It doesn’t take up much space, but it’s just big enough to get the suitcase off the floor.
TIP #7: A fully stocked guest bath, just like you might find at a hotel.
Remember what it feels like to enter a nice hotel bathroom? You take a look around and take notice, all the essentials are provided. Make sure the guest bathroom is clean and fully stocked with towels, tissue, and toiletries. I placed a couple rolled bath towels in a wooden basket and stacked extra bath tissue inside a refinished Honey-Bee Box. You may recognize these pine and pipe shelves from our previous house. Yep, they made the move. I filled these shelves with bath balms, delicious soaps, and scented candles.
I like to provide our guests with soaps and shampoos in the shower because no one likes trying to consolidate down to 3oz airline regulated bottles. One less thing they have to remember to pack and one more way we can make them feel thought of. Other bathroom essentials include: a trash can, wash clothes, poo pourri, cotton swabs, and a hair dryer.
Since I couldn’t change the layout of our guest bathroom, I put my stamp on it by changing the hardware. We replaced the generic silver hardware with custom pipe shelving, towel racks, and a bath tissue holder.
TIP #8: A small light that can stay on through the night.
Whether it’s a connected en suite, a jack-and-jill, or just down the hall, a little glow in the middle of the night helps light the way for guests not used to the terrain. I went with timed LED tealight candles in the bathroom to provide just enough light throughout the night.
TIP #9: A designated place to hang wet towels.
I can’t tell you how many times I have been asked, “What should I do with my wet towel?” As soon as we hung some towel hooks, the mystery was solved. Try to think through how you get ready in the mornings and how you like to relax at night. Note what you need to make that happen. The more of those little details you can provide, the more comfortable a guest will feel.
TIP #10: Don’t forget to refill your own self-care bucket.
It’s not selfish to take care of your own needs when you are hosting guests in your home. If you need some time to yourself, make sure to take it! Have a quiet time in the morning, run an errand and get a yummy coffee on the way, take the dog for a walk, or take a nice long hot shower (these are some of my go-to outlets for alone time). You will be a better host and in return your guests will feel more loved when you have taken the few extra minutes to refill your own bucket.
Hope this helps! If you are the one traveling, take your own notes on things you appreciate when staying with others. Most importantly, enjoy the company you keep. If you, like myself are hosting this year, remember it’s not about everything being perfectly perfect. A warm hug and an attitude of grace will go a long way!
If you have a great hospitality tidbit, or something noteworthy that made your overnight stay more enjoyable, share it in the comment section below! We would love to keep it in mind : )