THE HAPPY GUEST GUIDE
Christmas festivities at your place and visitors staying over? James Treble shares his tips on how to say a big “welcome”.
James Treble tells us how best to welcome visiting family and friends these holidays.
SEEING YOUR FRIENDS and family smiling, relaxed and feeling at home usually makes everyone else in the house feel great, too. All it takes is a combination of well-placed items and a bit of thought and preparation to turn a great time for your guests into a truly memorable one.
OFFER ROOM SERVICE
One sure-fire way to make visitors feel “at home” is to create a welcoming room that has some benefits of a hotel room, but is relaxed and familiar.
MAKE A PLACE FOR CLOTHES
Living out of a wardrobe is much nicer than pulling clothes from a suitcase so, if you can, provide hanging space. If you don’t have an existing wardrobe then a foldaway or open hanger is a cost-effective solution. Drawers are perfect for folded clothes and personal items and provide surface space for phones, makeup and jewellery.
BEAUTIFY YOUR BEDLINEN
All about layers Let’s face it, Australia has a wide range of temperatures, and even some of the hottest locations can still have cool evenings, so creating your bedding in layers is a good idea. Guests can easily throw them off if they get hot. A lightweight quilt is a good base, while an open-weave throw can be used as a cover if the temperature soars and the quilt ends up on the floor! Adding a throw is also an affordable way to update your room and add a burst of colour and texture. Thread count counts With sheets, the better the quality of cotton, the better they feel. Just like a great hotel, crisp quality sheets are welcoming and provide that luxe feel.
Pillow talk This is another important consideration. The wrong pillow can cause neck pain – and bad moods! Invest in quality pillows, both firm and soft, and allow two per person. Extra pillows or plump cushions on the bed also make reading or having tea in bed feel indulgent and comfy.
CREATE A BLISSFUL BATHROOM
If you have the luxury of an ensuite or separate guest bathroom, then your guests are in for a treat. Stocking it with nice toiletries is always a welcoming gesture. However, you can still provide that luxe bathroom feel even if you don’t have a spare bathroom. Creating a guests’ basket, with a few of those special bath/spa items inside, will put smiles on their faces when they walk into their room. Of course, one of the most important items for a luxury bathroom experience is a great towel. Egyptian cotton or high-count cotton towels make drying a pleasure. If you really want to roll out the welcome mat, then scented candles, natural sea sponges and hand creams will make them feel so at home they may never want to leave (hmm, maybe don’t make it too special!)
IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS
Often it’s the details that make a visitor really feel at home, like a pair of slippers, a favourite book or special coffee mug. Here are a few items your guests will appreciate.
Have a range of teas or a special packet of biscuits – it’s thoughtful and affordable.
If you have space, an armchair in the guestroom is a nice extra – to place clothes on or for a quiet read.
Fresh flowers add fragrance and colour to the bedroom – and even better if they’re a favourite variety. Include a bedside lamp, or a floor lamp in the corner of the room, to add a welcoming and relaxing light. Chocolates by the bed are great in a hotel, but homemade gingerbread men or fruitcake will bring Christmas cheer into any guest bedroom. Serving guests a bottle of wine, liqueur or cocktail they love will make them feel very at home and special.
FIND A FESTIVE SCENT
Add the finishing touch to the occasion by making your home fragrant with scented candles and diffusers, which are a great alternative to an open flame. For a traditional festive aroma, look for those with a touch of spice – like cloves – and pine.
MAKE A PHOTO BOOTH
Create a cute Christmas photo wall somewhere in your home and take pictures of guests in front of it. For instant fun the new Instax Share SP-2 prints photos straight from your smartphone. Using Fujifilm’s “Instax Share” app, the smartphone printer produces quality credit-card sized prints in about 10 seconds.
Home comforts Your visitors will be grateful for a comfy place to lay their heads and a space to unpack.
Special touch Freshen up a bathroom for visitors with a vase of sweetsmelling blooms. IN THE MOOD Mercer + Reid Holiday Mykonos Blue diffuser, $29.95, from Adairs.
FRAGRANCE FEST Night Before Christmas candle, $44.95, from Glasshouse Fragrances.
SUMMERY SCENT Limited Edition Sweet Fruits candle, $42.95, from Ecoya.
SHOOT & SHOW Instax Share SP-2 photo printer, $299, from Fujifilm.