Hosting for the Holidays

This is the time of year for welcoming guests into our homes. We all want our guests to feel warm and welcome during their stay, and although we dream of having plenty of extra bedrooms all beautifully designed and pristine, most of us are scrambling to figure out where to put our guests when they arrive. Whether you find yourself rolling out the air mattress in the bonus room, or fashioning a privacy curtain in your loft, there are tons of simple ways to make your guests feel at home.


For starters, spruce up your foyer. This is where all the hugs and hellos will happen when your guests arrive, so make them feel the warmth of your home as soon as they walk in the door. Clean out the cobwebs(so many of us don’t use our front door during the rest of the year), add something living like poinsettia’s on either side of the doorway or garland along the stair railing, and light a few candles that smell like fresh pine trees and Christmas(Nourish and The Paris Market in Savannah have some divine ones).

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Next, think about your main living space where everyone will be gathering. Most of us have the standard five seats(two people on the sofa, two matching upholstered chairs, and maybe one accent chair). This seems like a lot when it’s just you lounging after dinner on a week night, but those seats are quickly filled by a holiday gathering of family and friends. Place a bench in front of the fireplace, or small poufs or ottomans under the coffee table. These additions create instant seating at the drop of a hat. The best part is your space remains the same beautiful space it was before guests arrived, because these pieces all belong in this space. There’s no dragging mismatched chairs from various rooms of the house. If you have the room for a console table and two dining chairs(one on either side) in your entryway or hall, select chairs that would also blend seamlessly into your living space if you need to pull them in at the last minute. Finally, great big floor pillows in a neutral fabric can be pulled out and plopped down anywhere for a soft place to land.

camillestylestraditional home

Lastly, pay attention to where your guests will be sleeping. Simply switching out dingy linens and towels for fresh plush new ones makes a big difference. Place a tray on a side table or dresser with water glasses, beautiful soap(again, try Nourish in Savannah), and a vase of flowers, berries, or greenery. Make sure the lighting in the space is inviting for the evening hours. A bedside lamp or an overhead light on a dimmer create a soft warm glow. Keep in mind when selecting bedside wall sconces for guest rooms, that many don’t have on/off switches on the physical sconce. Choose some that do so your guests don’t have to get up to turn the lights off when they’re done with their bedtime reading.

decoistsoap is beautiful

Think about what comforts you miss when you’re away, and think about what might make you feel cozy and relaxed. Even just a few small touches can make your guests feel at home.


Images: 1. via bhg 2. (featured image)via west elm 3. via Camille styles 4. via Traditional Home 5. via decoist 6. via soap is beautiful 7. via my recipes