After the last two years of limited travels and hardly any visitors, I knocked the dust off of my hosting hat and laid out the welcome mat for our usual barrage of out-of-towners. While our typical overnight guests are close family members and do not require any additional effort, I like to go the extra yard to let them know that their battle with delayed flights, high gas costs and general travel fatigue are appreciated.
So what are my tried and true steps to prepare for guests? Like my dear friend Baloo, it all starts with the bare necessities.
PHOTO | Angela Brown Photography DESIGN | Haus Guerin
"Hospitality is love in action. Hospitality is the flesh and muscle on bones of love"
-Alexander Strauch, The Hospitality Commands
Fresh + Comforting Linens |
As a rule, I prefer to plan ahead for guests to deconflict bed space. With that practice in place, it also means I have ample time to refresh bed linens and rooms between stays. A well made bed is the perfect landing space for tired guests. Jake Arnold for Parachute has so many incredible options in this recent collaboration of washed linen. Keep it simple! I like to fold layers back (see above) so that no one has to travel far if they wake up and need an extra layer. Guests are more likely to feel like they are are not imposing if things are readily accessible and without having to ask for it. A simple basket with folded towels and cloths is a simple gesture in plain sight.
Welcome Basket + Toiletries |
At the end of the day, feeling at home means a good night rest and the ability to freshen up nicely. In addition to a nice welcome basket of fresh linen, I like to include some of my favorite hand made soaps from Fern Soapery or even their delightfully balanced Golden Milk: Tumeric + Coconut Milk Bath Soak for playground-weary grandparents.
Yes, I am a firm believer that a clean home does not need to smell like anything. That said, I light a candle everyday as a part of my daily ritual. It is a comforting start (or finish) to my day that I like to keep in play even while hosting. A well balanced candle, like any of the selections that are available by Jo Malone is a good way to keep everything and everyone smelling their best.
PHOTO + DESIGN | Haus Guerin
Fresh Flowers + Quick Meals |
Barring all the big banner holidays (think Thanksgiving or Christmas), I like to forego a fussy table and place-settings. Makes a quick game of Uno or a long night of Monopoly that much easier to set up when you don't have to clear out the cutlery. The name of the game is thoughtful and easy. To dress the table simply, I start with a fresh floral arrangement. I strive for a first name basis with my favorite local baker and florist so I always start there. When in-between blooming seasons I shop online via UrbanStems. The selection is always on trend and the shipping is very fast, including many next-day options. And don't just stop at the table! I love to sprinkle flowers throughout the house in the summer. Bathroom vanities and bedside tables are my usual candidates for some extra love.
DESIGN | Haus Guerin + FLOWERS | World of Flowers Meridian
Finally mealtimes! When southern temps start in the high 90s, I like to take things outside. Grilled fresh veggies and fruits are always an easy lunch paired with rice or eaten with prepared creams and dips. I love grilling fruit as a dessert and found happiness in grilled peaches two summers ago. Throw a dusting of cinnamon sugar and a drizzle of caramel sauce and voila, heaven is served!
TL: DR: Preparing your home to be a soft spot for guests to land should not overwhelm. At the end of the stay, let your guests be more impressed with you and your kindness than your home.
PHOTO | Haus Guerin