The holidays are hitting fast! Thanksgiving is very early this year and then Hanukah starts right away on December 2nd and then we march right up to Christmas and New Years. Preparing for your holiday guests just got very REAL!!!
I have been listening to how people feel about hosting the holidays. Chatting with friends and overhearing others talk about their holiday plans, I am struck by the love/hate relationship many people have for holiday entertaining and hosting. I do understand this ambivalence. My feeling about hosting guests is that I love all the excitement, decorating, cooking, and preparing for when my guests arrive, but I also love when the guests say their goodbyes and I get my quiet home back :).
I am not the only one who is philosophical about the hosting thing. Here are a few quotes to show you how deep these mixed emotions about having guests run.
“Every house guest brings you happiness. Some when they arrive and, some when they are leaving.” – Confucius
“Be grateful for whoever comes because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.” – Rumi
“Guests are like fish, they begin to smell after 3 days.” – Benjamin Franklin
Seems like Ben has some bad guest experiences :). I am more in line with Confucius on the guest debate, but it isn’t easy being a host. So, to help you through what can be a trying time of year, I researched experts in the field of design, entertaining and etiquette and have compiled a list of how to prepare for overnight guests from the conceptual to the practical.
There is a lot of good advice here. My most important criteria in designing guest rooms and providing for a guest’s comfort is to create rooms that feel like a get away with attention to detail that you would find in a fine hotel. I think it is critical to provide a guest with a space that is completely their own with a comfortable bed, a place to sit, closet, dresser and an ensuite bathroom. A few small things that I like to put out for my guests are: fresh flowers and water bottles on the beside table and a cozy robe and throw blanket. Also make sure the bathroom is well stocked with items such clean towels (hand, face and shower size) and an assortment of toiletry items (face soap, toothpaste, shampoo/conditioner and liquid soaps).
Here are a few examples of guest bedrooms and bathrooms from homes I have designed – each of which is a room I would feel very at home in.
And, just remember if things start to get a little crazy, there’s a wine for that 🙂
Let the festivities begin. Happy holiday season to you and all your guests.