Christ­mas fes­tiv­i­ties at your place and vis­i­tors stay­ing over? James Tre­ble shares his tips on how to say a big “wel­come”.

Homes+ (Australia) - - CONTENTS -

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.


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.


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.


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.


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!)


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.


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.


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.

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