Overnight Guests, Part 2

From Kayla with At Home With Kayla:
A welcoming bedroom is a sight for sore eyes to a weary traveler.
I love to have overnight guests! It always feels like a slumber party to me. It is in those late and early hours that you have the most interesting and fun conversations.

In order to get to take time to enjoy your guests, you must do some pre-planning. Here are the things I always like to do in advance:

1. Set-up a guest room that is comfortable and private. For me, I have a dedicated guest room, which makes it easy for last minute guests.

If your guest will be using one of your children’s rooms, make sure that anything that child might need has been removed from the room. If you or your child are continually going into the room to get something, your guest might feel like they are in the way.

If you only have one bedroom, I would give up that space for the guest. To me, that provides them with the most comfort and shows your respect for them.

2. Make sure there is space for the guest’s clothes in the closet and hangers to accommodate those clothes. Also have a convenient and empty drawer available to them, especially if they are staying for a while.

3. Just like a hotel, it is great to provide a place for your guest to unpack their luggage. I don’t like luggage on my beds, so I make sure I have a window seat, chair, tabletop, or luggage rack that will easily accommodate large luggage.

4. Provide a bedside table for glasses, a book and a glass of water. I keep a crystal glass and carafe by the bedside for those who take medicine or like a drink of water during the night. An available and easy to get to plug is a must these days with cell phones that need charging. Set a small vase of flowers in the room, spray some air freshener and fluff the pillows; make the room feel special upon your guest’s arrival.

5. If you will be away from home during the time you have a guest, leave them notes on how to operate anything that is tricky or unusual (and you know we all have the strange appliances or weird sounds in our homes). It will make things easier for them and you, since they won’t have to contact you for help.

6. When the guest arrives, greet them with a huge smile and hug. Take their luggage and help them to their room. Briefly show the guest through the room, pointing out the closet space, drawer, area for unpacking their luggage. Show them the bath and their towels. Ask if they need anything. Provide them with a cold drink. Let them have some time alone to settle in. Meet them back in the living room or kitchen with a snack. Show them where they can find sodas, coffee, water, etc.

7. Depending on the type of guest (family, friends, business acquaintance) you have visiting, make a plan for the time they will be with you. Maybe show them some local points of interest. Provide them with a Chamber of Commerce map. Drive them around town. Whatever you plan, always consult your guest on what they prefer. Do they want to relax, sleep, stay calm? Or maybe they want to see it all and do it all.

8. Before your guest arrives, spend the night in the guest room. We have all heard this before, but it really does help. See and experience what they will see and experience. Maybe you have cobwebs in your light fixture. Maybe the pool pump outside is loud and startling. Maybe you need another blanket on the foot of the bed or plumper pillows.

9. If you have any expectations, share them with your guest. Such as, “I have to be at work at 8 a.m. in the morning, so I will need the bathroom from 7-7:30 a.m. Will that work with your schedule?”

10. If you plan to cook while your guest is visiting, plan the menu, shop for the groceries and do any possible prep-work in advance. This will leave you more time to enjoy your visitor!

The goal is make to your guest feel comfortable, relaxed and at home. The more welcoming, gracious and accommodating you can be, the more fun you and your guest will have. It all starts with planning! Enjoy!

Don’t forget to check back in a few hours for Etiquette by Emily’s thoughts on overnight guests.


PLEEASE RSVP!…please? And other tidbits about invitations.
June 6, 2016
In “Out and about”

House Guest Expectations

Likely in your lifetime you have either hosted someone or been hosted by someone. What you may or may not have known is that it’s the little details that make a difference to someone in their stay with you. A Southern Belle prides herself in making someone “feel at home.” What’s expected and what’s above and beyond? I’m here to share that bit of information with you today!

Now, to be perfectly frank, in our current home, we do not have a separate guest room – one of the only downfalls I find with our house. Therefore, if someone is staying the night with us, the kiddos bunk together, and we generally put them in our daughter’s room. Every bedroom in our house is en suite, so guests have plenty of bathroom privacy – something I love about our home.

Here are a few things I do to make sure someone has a comfortable stay.

  • Provide plenty of towels and bath rags. I usually make sure they have two towels and two rags per person. Of course, I also have a cabinet of “extras” available in case.
  • Toiletries – In the bathroom (out of ordinary reach of our kids), I have shampoo, conditioner, face wash, body wash and lotions that I set out if we have someone stay with us. I also have mini tubes of toothpaste and a couple of inexpensive toothbrushes readily available.
  • I have a spare blow dryer that I usually keep in the master bath that I place in their bathroom.
  • Medicine – I usually have a small bottle of Tylenol I put in the bathroom. Again, this is not something I keep in there all of the time, due to it being my daughter’s bathroom.
  • It should go without saying, but just in case, I make sure everything is CLEAN. I wash the actual pillows. I make sure the bedspread is washed. Toilets are cleaned right before arrival, etc.
  • I have a list of emergency numbers and the wifi password for their use. Now, most of the time my mother-in-law is our guest, so I want to make sure she has all numbers needed in case of emergency, but I think this is handy regardless.
  • Provide bottles of water. I don’t go to the extent of placing these in the bedroom because I prefer chilled water, but I do make sure to have bottles on hand and in the fridge for guests to drink. Likewise, I also try to get an additional favorite drink, whether it’s a particular wine or, in the case of my MIL, diet coke.

Now, AS a guest in someone’s home, I have a few go-to rules that seem to apply, regardless of familiarity with your host(s).

  • Pick up after yourself. Again, this should go without saying, but they are not your maids.
  • Bring a hostess gift. This can be something simple like a bouquet of flowers or a box of chocolates. You can also bring something a bit more personal, such as a monogrammed kitchen towel or a bottle of their favorite wine.
  • Pick up the tab once every three days. If you are staying with someone for the weekend, etiquette suggests you take them to dinner as a thanks for their generosity. They are purchasing extra food, drinks, taking time, etc., so this is a small way of showing how appreciative you are. If you cannot do this or if you’re at a place like a lake, offer to buy and cook dinner at the house. The point is to simply show that you are thankful.
  • Make the bed until it’s time to change it. If you’re staying the weekend, it would be kind to offer to change the bed sheets on your last day. Until then, make the bed, even if you do not do so at your own home.
  • Send a note. Following your visit, send a note letting them know you enjoyed your time with them and appreciate their hospitality.

Do you have ideas to add to the list? I’d love to hear them! As always, thank you for reading.