“Every house guest brings you happiness. Some when they arrive, and some when they are leaving.”Confucius
I live in a two bedroom condo. My daughter Charlotte is with me at school breaks and when COVID makes her college experience go on-line all of a sudden. It’s a great space, but it’s not spacious. Guests can visit more easily when Char is at school and her bedroom is available, but even when she is not, we make do, we fit the guests in. We live near the beach in Narragansett, RI – so believe me, they come. They don’t have to sleep in the garage or out in the yard, we make them feel welcome; we make them feel at home; we do simple things to make them feel comfortable in our home. It’s easy to do, and you can do the same. So whether it’s a pull-out couch in the den or a full-fledged guest room on the second floor of your spacious home, making guests feel welcome is an easy task with a couple of simple changes.
Privacy…. However You Can Create It
Ok, so they are your guests (even though sometimes they are also your family) and they deserve the kindness of privacy. If it’s a door, great, but if they are surfing on your couch it’s a little harder. To the extent that you can, affording your guests privacy is a niciety that can not be overstated. I have a pullout in my den that is used often when all my kids are all spending time with me. One thing I have discovered is that by using a pressure rod and a curtain in the doorway of that den, I am able to give my guests/family a modicum of privacy when they stay with me. You can do this too with a folding screen, a curtain or even by positioning a piece of furniture strategically. Give them some space and their stay will be so much nicer for it.
A Basket of Love… Toiletry Samples and Other Goodies Make a Big Difference
Ok, so who among you haven’t swiped the sample-size shampoo and body wash from the hotel? I tease Bruce mercilessly about this very thing every time we stay anywhere – he loves this stuff – especially from The Ritz – because, wow does it smell awesome. C’mon, you know you do it too. And many of us have a sizable stash of these little guys. Well, guess what? Now you have a place for them. What I suggest is that you create a little of basket of these samples and leave it for your guests in the space where they will stay. Add to it a few Andes Candies, a fresh toothbrush and maybe some chapstick. In my family you might also add a little sample-sized wine and a plastic glass, but that’s another story. Just put it together, however you choose – it’s just a little nicety – leaving them items that they may have forgotten and making them just a little more comfortable.
Cozy Blankets and Luscious Robes
I am of a certain age where I am freezing one minute and sweating to death the next. When I stay at your house I am already going to have a hard enough time sleeping just because I am not in my own bed. My kids will tell you, I’m cranky without my sleep. The best thing you can do for me, as your house guest, is to give me a couple of extra blankets. I can use them, or not, as the hormones will require. It’s a gift to your guests. And speaking of gifts, how about going a step further, and doing it like The Ritz – putting out a white, terry robe on the back of the guest room door or across the bottom of the bed -they are available everywhere, easily washed and reasonably priced. It’s a little gift that goes a long way.
Water Bottles/Carafes and Luggage Racks
I readily admit that I should NOT drink water after 6pm. It’s an age thing, I guess. But water is everybody’s life giver. And we all need it – night and day. Providing a water carafe or bottled water for your guests is just an extra added thing that makes their stay nicer.:they can take their pills, they can soothe their dry mouth. It’s a kindness that won’t be forgotten. Another added nicety is to provide a luggage rack for your guests to place their travel bags on. These are those metal or wooden and webbing folding racks that get luggage up off the floor (like you find in almost every hotel room) . It makes your guests packed items much more accessible to their owners. These racks stow away easily and provide a true convenience for your guests. They are available used at consignment stores like Consignments Ltd. and new at places like Amazon.
So What Else Is Good About Creating a Welcoming Guest Space
They come… they go… we make memories… and since this new reality of COVID19… making memories with those we love is kind of the best thing of all.
“Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.”Benjamin Franklin