How to create an inviting space for guests with very little.
No guest room? No problem.
Over the past few months Brandon and I have welcomed a number of guests into our apartment. Well, five separate guests in the past two months. These guests are our friends, and thankfully, low maintenance. While having houseguests in a 1-bedroom apartment has it’s obvious setbacks (no guest room, barely any extra space), I’ve found some foolproof ways to make guests feel welcomed and comfortable, even if they’re just crashing on your couch.
C L E A N
Keep It Clean. We keep a clean apartment, and when guests stay for the weekend it’s essential that we maintain an even more minimal look.
Designate a space for their suitcase. Make it easy for them to plop down their stuff when they arrive. You want your guests to feel comfortable. If they can’t find a place to put their suitcase, they’re already going to feel like an inconvenience in your home.
Clear off the side table. Our guests stay on the sectional, so I make sure that the side table next to the sectional is clear. This way they’ll have a place to put their phone, jewelry and water when they go to sleep.
F R E S H E N
Stock up on fresh flowers. Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods have the best affordable bouquets. Separate the bouquet into 3-5 vases and disperse around your apartment. One by their bedside table, one in the bathroom, one by your bedside table (duh!).
Invest in a carafe. I have a slight obsession with carafes! We bought one at IKEA a few months ago and use it to store iced coffee, iced tea and ice water. If I had room I’d get five more. Anyways, it’s always nice to keep a carafe of water and a glass by their bedside table. The small things, right?
Stack the fresh linens. Place fresh sheets, blankets, towels and pillows on the couch prior to their arrival. It’s a small touch that shows you’re ready (and excited) for them to stay.
R E L A X
Set up a bedside lamp. Even if your guest is crashing on the couch you can easily create a warm ambience with the help of a bedside lamp. If you want to call it a night early, you’ll know your guest will be fine in the other room relaxing and reading. Plus you’ll give them some space to decompress.
Keep a guestbook. It’s always special when a friend comes to visit. A guestbook is a simple way to capture the memorable moments of the trip for years to come.
Stay true to you. It can be overwhelming to consider entertaining for three days straight! While yes, you may have a guest, it’s still important for you to take care of yourself. If you need a night in, let them know. Offer a wine and cheese night instead of another dinner in downtown. Or simply give them your key and let them go in and out as they please.
While the thought of entertaining for three days straight may feel overwhelming, remember that your guests are not entirely relying on you to be their tour guide. So long as you welcome your guests into your home with open arms, you’ll be just fine.
Do you have any tips for having houseguests? What’s most important to you as a host?
Photo credits: 1 / 2 / 3