Making Guests Feel Comfortable In Your Home


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Dear Readers:

One of the most common questions I am asked is to offer advice for those who are looking to throw a small, but memorable, event in their homes. As the weather becomes warmer, many of us will be extending invitations to family and friends to join us for pool parties, BBQ’s and intimate dinner parties and I thought this to be the perfect time to share a few ideas. Please always feel free to share your own tips below. I know other readers will appreciate them!

Pick a Theme: Picking a theme (colors, flowers or an actual theme) and running it through the common areas of your home will not only create a synergistic ambiance for guests, but keep your planning and spending streamlined.  Whether it’s modern and clean or lush and opulent, pick one that suits you and go from there.

Greet Your Guests At The Door:  I cannot stress this one enough.I love the feeling that comes over me when a host takes the time to greet me and welcome me into their home. If you want to know how much of a difference it makes, just think about walking into a home full of people you don’t know, not having any idea where to go or put your coat. If greeting personally is not possible, assign someone close to you to do this. This is especially important when your guests do not know one another.  Ask a trusted friend, partner or family member to assist you in answering the door, greeting and introducing guests and helping to strike up conversations between strangers.

Treat Them:  Whether it’s a tray full of individually-wrapped chocolates, a warm weather drink or a fruit tray, have a “treat” for guests as soon as they arrive.

Buy a Coat Rack: It’s not a glamorous tip, but anyone who has spent time sorting through a pile of coats  on top of someone’s bed or couch will appreciate the gesture. Purchase a sturdy rack that will allow for coats and bags and buy plenty of hangers in one color.

Illuminate The Room: If having the event in the evening, placing small votive candles around the room will not only help to create a warm ambiance, but everyone looks wonderful in candlelight. Be sure to have extra’s on-hand.

Don’t Forget The Bathroom: Fresh flowers, a nicely scented candle, beautiful hand towels and a small basket with individual mouthwash bottles, combs, mini hair spray cans, bug spray (if outdoors), Tums and spray deodorant will be deeply appreciated by guests who find they need these items but are too embarrassed to ask for them.

Finally, Gift Your Guests: I personally love to give my guests a memento from our evening together. I once had a client who offered guests small bottles of her favorite scent, but it’s really about what feels personal to you. This could be a beautifully wrapped box of candied almonds, a basket with a favored summer cocktail or dessert recipe (with ingredients included), or a beautiful frame in which to place a photo taken at the event.