For most of us, the holidays are time for family. And that often means hosting mom and dad, brother and sister, aunt and uncle, grandma and grandpa (or all of the above!) in our homes until the New Year.
Part of being a good holiday hostess is setting up your home in a way that welcomes your guests in comfort. Instead of waiting for your sister-in-law to ask for an extra towel, set out a pile of fluffy new ones so she doesn’t feel like she has to bother you. It’s the little things that make a difference — and your loved ones will appreciate it!
We spoke to interior designer Kendall Wilkinson to get her expert advice on how to prepare your home for overnight guests this season. Read on for a Q&A with her tips, and see what items you may need before the holidays arrive.
Q: What do you think are the most important amenities to have on hand for guests?
A: Crisp sheets, a comfortable bed, a good reading light and lots of fluffy towels
Q: What sorts of things do guests not like to ask for? What can hosts help provide?
A: I always try to be prepared in case my guest has forgotten an essential item — I have spare toothbrushes on hand, lovely soaps, shampoo and the like. I put out extra blankets and pillows in the guest room, and in the kitchen, set out coffee and tea for early risers.
Q: What extra amenities can make a guest room/bathroom feel a little extra luxurious, without a lot of effort?
A: It’s really thoughtful to personalize the space for guests — set out books or magazines your guest might enjoy, fresh flowers or a carafe filled with water.
Q: What are a few logistical things homeowners should prepare for with older family members or young children?
A: If I have guests with small children, I always make an extra effort to make them feel welcome. I will place stuffed animals on their beds and pull out some of the picture books I read to my boys when they were younger. For older guests, I try to accommodate them in a room which doesn’t require navigating a lot of stairs (and perhaps one located a bit further from my active boys!).
Q: How can holiday decor help guests feel welcome?
A: One’s home should be welcoming throughout the year but it somehow seems even more important during the holidays. I adore all of the festive decorations — greenery, metallic sparkle, the twinkle of lights. It’s magical, even more so when sharing the season with friends and family.
Tell us: What special items do you like to put out for guests during the holidays?