10 Ways to Welcome a House Guest

It's a great compliment when out-of-town guests tell you they feel right at home when they visit. And it's deeply satisfying to provide guests with the amenities and thoughtful touches that make them feel not only welcome, but pampered. If you really want your next houseguests to feel delightfully at ease—and more than a little impressed at your hospitality—these 10 tips should do the trick.

  1. Give Them the Lay of the Land

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    The vacation vibe starts for your guests the moment they walk in your door. To help them settle in and feel more comfortable, take time to show them around. Tell them where the water glasses are; give them a quick tour of your TV remote. If you anticipate their needs and make them feel at home from the start, they won’t feel like they’re bothering you for every little thing.

  2. Develop a Great Bedside Manner

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    Preparing a bedside tray with a few thoughtful items is a beautiful touch. It doesn’t have to be elaborate: a water carafe and glass, a simple floral arrangement, and perhaps some individually wrapped chocolates will make any guest feel extra special.


    Related: Dream Bedrooms: 9 Ways to Personalize Your Sleeping Sanctuary

  3. Offer Tips for an Insider's Tour

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    No one knows your city or town better than you, so why not hone your concierge skills? Give your guests the tools they'll need to go out and explore: an extra set of keys, a map, brochures of area attractions and a handwritten note about some of your favorite haunts.


    Related: Bob Vila's Architecture Bucket List: 10 Must-See Wonders

  4. Provide Some Storage Space

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    Make it easy for your guests to unpack their belongings without feeling as though they are disrupting your natural order. Dedicate a drawer or two for just your guests, along with some empty closet space and some good-quality hangers.


    Related: Dressing Up the Dresser—11 Clever DIY Transformations

  5. Keep Them Comfortable

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    If there’s a bit of a chill in the air or if your guest needs some additional back support, an extra pillow or blanket can come in handy. If you don’t have enough closet space to store these items, a large basket or vintage trunk at the foot of the bed will make them readily available.


    Related: Basket Cases—13 Convenient Catchalls for Every Room

  6. Late-Night Snack Attack

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    We all have those moments when we crave a midnight snack, but your guests may not feel comfortable raiding your fridge to get it. Take the guesswork out of the goodie hunt and pack a basket of nonperishables right in their room. Granola or nuts, fruit, and something for their sweet tooth will take the edge off their hunger—without the exorbitant charges of a hotel minibar.


    Related: Welcome Home—10 Great Housewarming Gifts for the New Homeowner

  7. Guest Bath Basics

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    The guest bathroom is just as important as the guest bedroom: It should be clean, welcoming, and stocked with the essentials. Include a bar of wrapped soap and a clean glass by the sink, and perhaps a small basket of sample-size shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and toothpaste. Finally, fold or neatly hang hand and bath towels to make it clear to guests that those towels are just for them.


    Related: 17 Tiny Bathrooms We Love

  8. Extra Credit

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    You’ll be a real hero if you can remember things your guests are likely to have forgotten. A small stash of the necessities, such as hairspray, a disposable razor, and pain reliever, will not only be convenient, but will also make the accommodations seem truly first-class. If you want to make a luxe impression, include a robe and a fresh pair of slippers for padding around the bed and bath.


    Related: Bathroom Floor Tile—14 Top Options

  9. And for the Kids...

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    If you have children visiting, there are easy ways to extend a warm welcome to your smaller guests too. A new coloring book, crayons, stickers, or a small puzzle will go a long way in making a child feel special. Add some kid-approved snacks (make sure you check with the parents in case of any allergies) and a selection of books and videos for them to enjoy.


    Related: 12 Fresh Ideas for Your Kids' Room

  10. For More...

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  11. See the House of the Week

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    Discover and admire beautiful and innovative home architecture, from grand Victorians to quaint cabins and all the styles in between. Take a look at the latest images and inspiration!