How to Make Your Home Extra Welcoming for Guests
Swot up on these stylish ideas for making your house a home-from-home for family and friends
If you have a comfy corner of your home where guests might enjoy having a cup of tea or flicking through some of your books, make a point of mentioning it as you show them around, so they’ll feel comfortable taking advantage of it.
If you don’t already have such a seating spot, perhaps there’s an unused corner or landing that could be adapted? A carpenter could build in something simple to house a mattress or some cut-to-size foam.
Check out reviews of carpenters and joiners in your area.
This inviting bedroom, by architectural designers The Vawdrey House, shows the warming power of dark walls in a bedroom. Let it inspire you if you’re redecorating in the run-up to the arrival of houseguests.
Picking the perfect moody shade, however, is an art, and one where understanding colour and the way different lights can affect it can make the difference between cold and cosy. If you could do with some advice, many interior designers offer one-off colour consultations to help you choose.
Adding more cushions and layering up textures is a quick way to boost your living room’s cosiness.
For maximum lounge-ability, choose soft cushion inners – the sort that will squish when you lean on them – and covers in natural or soft, tactile textiles, as seen in this inviting living room by Victoria Covell Interiors.
Introduce additional textures and layers wherever possible. Try adding rugs or faux sheepskins to bare chairs or hard surfaces, and the odd vintage piece of fabric tends to boost a homely, lived-in feel.
A room diffuser is a practical and long-lasting way to give your spare room a welcoming aroma. This is especially important if the room isn’t used very often or has been a bit of a dumping ground – it could smell musty and unloved. Be scrupulous with your cleaning, too, so there’s no trace of dusty whiffs.
Another diffuser in the hall, or the glow of a scented candle, will help create a friendly first impression, too.
Got guests with little ones coming? If you don’t already have a play zone like this fun-filled middle room designed by VORBILD Architecture, could you temporarily give over a part of the house for them to hang out in?
Borrow or resurface toys and children’s books and any mini furniture you can lay your hands on. Not only will it make visiting little ones feel just as welcome as their adults, it will also give you grown-ups more time to catch up, as the kids will be kept busy.
As designers Wickenden Hutley demonstrate beautifully in this simple twin bedroom, it doesn’t have to be hard or expensive to add illumination to your guest room.
When a space isn’t used very often, or isn’t used as a bedroom, it might not be set up for the best night’s sleep. Having nothing but an overhead light can feel as if you haven’t thought about visitors’ comfort.
Attach affordable clip-on lamps to a headboard or, as here, a characterful old stepladder, painted to complement the colour scheme.
It goes without saying that if you have an open fire or wood-burning stove, you’ll most likely have it lit in the colder months for warmth and to create a welcoming atmosphere.
If you don’t, however – or if you want to take the firelight effect one step further – don’t forget those candles you bought six months ago and haven’t had the opportunity to light yet. Not only will a candlelit welcome give your guests a happy glow, the lower light will take the edge off any clutter you didn’t get around to tidying.
Let guests know where you keep spare duvets, pillows, blankets and towels, and that they can help themselves if needs be. Ideally, have a selection of extras in the guest bedroom itself if you have the space.
Store your bedroom basics with lavender bags or naturally scented drawer liners, and remember to check everything still smells fresh before guests arrive.
If you’re happy for your guests to bring a pet, they may be on edge, wondering where you’re comfortable with their animal hanging out.
Create a dedicated spot to make four-legged visitors welcome (and help put you at ease if you don’t have pets yourself) and be clear about your house rules for animals.
A stack of board games – especially vintage ones – will look great on display if you have the space. Better than that, though, they’ll bring everyone together and are great for helping to make different generations feel included. What could be more welcoming than that?
What sort of things have you done to your home in the past to make it feel more welcoming? Share your ideas in the Comments section.