This article originally appeared on Schoolhouse, a Portland-based company in the Food52 family of brands.
Preparing your home to welcome guests is an art form. From the dining room to the living room, and all the spaces in between, it’s important that every space exudes a sense of comfort to make your guests feel right at home. Below, we share a few of our favorite tips to help you transform your home into a haven for everyone who comes to visit this season.
The Dining Room
The dining room is the heart of any gathering. To create an inviting ambiance, start by giving your dining room a thorough clean. Be sure to dust those often forgotten surfaces, vacuum the floor, and make sure the dining table and chairs are free of dirt and debris.
Now on to the fun part. Once your dining room is sparkly clean, it’s time to set the table. Whether you’re going for a minimal and pared-down look with simple yet elegant dinnerware, or something more fun-focused and laid back, having your tableware set out for your guests ahead of time will give your home an elevated feel. We also recommend adding placemats, napkins, and a centerpiece to tie the look of the room together.
Pro Tip: Set the mood with ambient lighting. Candles and understated table lamps can add a touch of magic to the dining experience.
The Living Room
As you gear up to host gatherings, family visits, or casual get-togethers, there are a few simple tips to refresh your living space for your guests.
For starters, consider the flow of the room and arrange your furniture in a way that will encourage conversation and comfort. Creating cozy clusters of seating will invite guests to engage with each other. Layering in plush pillows, soft throws, and area rugs work together to create a room for lingering in. Lastly, lighting can set the mood like nothing else. Opt for a mix of ambient, task, and accent lighting such as table lamps and plug-in wall sconces to create an inviting ambiance for guests to unwind and relax.
Pro Tip: Don’t forget the coffee table—style tasteful accessories like large books, decorative trays, and candles to contribute to the overall feel of the space.
The Guest Room
Preparing a guest room isn’t just about providing a place to sleep—it’s about creating a cozy space that will transform your guest room into a retreat.
The most important part of any bedroom retreat? The bed. When it comes to bedding, we like to opt for a neutral color palette with soothing shades that evoke a sense of calm. Neutrals also create a versatile backdrop that allows you to incorporate different decor elements over time. For an extra pop of color and warmth, layer in pillows and throws.
Lighting also plays a significant role in setting the mood. Consider a combination of ambient, task, and accent lighting such as bedside lamps, a pendant light, or even a stylish floor lamp to add both functionality and elegance.
Pro Tip: Select furniture that balances style and function. A comfortable chair, a writing desk, or a small side table can add practicality while enhancing the room’s aesthetics.
When it comes to getting your home guest-ready, don’t overlook the importance of the bathroom. Aside from giving your bathroom a thorough clean, a well-stocked bathroom will enhance your guests’ overall experience.
An easy way to elevate your bathroom’s ambiance is to incorporate thoughtful decor. Start by styling a tray with candles, matches, and bathroom necessities like soaps and lotions for your guests to use during their stay. Warm lighting also contributes to a relaxing environment. Consider adding a small lamp, such as the Ion, to your bathroom counter or shelf to make it feel extra cozy. We also love placing a small vase of fresh flowers or a potted plant in the space to bring a touch of nature indoors.
Pro Tip: If you really want to go the extra mile, create a small welcome basket with travel-sized amenities for your guests.
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How do you get your house ready for guests?