Get set to wel­come guests


Austin American-Statesman - - AUSTIN360 DAILY - Con­tin­ued from D Con­tact Ni­cole Vil­lal­pando at 912-5900.

floor. Also in­stall a mat in the tub it­self.

If you’re think­ing your el­derly rel­a­tive needs grab bars in the shower, have them stalled pro­fes­sion­ally. Avoid putting in the tem­po­rary, suc­tion­based ones, Mauldin says, be­cause they don’t work and can be more dan­ger­ous than not hav­ing a bar there.

Make re­pairs for com­fort

We’re in a weird pe­riod of the year when tem­per­a­tures swing wildly out­side. Have both the air-con­di­tion­ing and the heater ser­viced, es­pe­cially if it’s the sys­tem that’s in the part of the house that only gets used when guests stay there.

If you haven’t used the guest bath in a while, make sure it is func­tion­ing and doesn’t have leaks or other plumb­ing is­sues.

Make re­pairs for ap­pear­ance

Guests can be a great rea­son to fi­nally get the blem­ishes in your home fixed. Maybe it’s the cracked floor tile or the win­dowsill that the dog scratched. Start with the front door. Does it look like it’s seen bet­ter days? Mauldin says he can spend a cou­ple of hours re­fin­ish­ing a front door to give the house a great first im­pres­sion.

Also think about which rooms in the house need a fresh coat of paint, es­pe­cially the guest bed­room.

Cre­ate a spe­cial sanc­tu­ary for guests

At Wild­flower Or­gan­ics at 908 N. La­mar Blvd. we learned how to give the guest bed­room a fresh look. Gray and white bed­ding adds so­phis­ti­ca­tion, plus the white sheets feel clean and fresh and hotel­like. Add a sparkly ac­cent pil­low for the hol­i­days to make guests feel spe­cial.

Place a piece of choco­late or a mint and a wel­come note on the pil­low. In the note, thank the guests for coming and im­part any in­for­ma­tion you might need to give them, such as the sched­ule for the week­end and any rules or oddities about the house that they might need to know.

On the night­stand, place bot­tled water or a carafe of water and some glasses, a scented can­dle and a lamp. If the bed­room has room for a sit­ting area, you can cre­ate a cof­fee bar with a one-cup cof­fee maker, a choice of cof­fees, sweet­en­ers and nondairy creamer and cof­fee cups.

Hang a fresh robe in the closet and let them know in your wel­come note it’s for their use. Also in­clude plenty of empty hang­ers.

In the bath­room, pair new func­tional tow­els with fun shim­mer­ing hand tow­els in the same gray-and-white color scheme. A fresh soap tray and new soap make guests feel spe­cial. Make sure the bath­room is In the bed­room, put fresh look­ing li­nens on the bed, dec­o­rate with a snazzy pil­low, and throw in a few spe­cial items to make guests feel lux­u­ri­ous. White Egyp­tian cot­ton per­cale sheet made in Italy by Serra, $210; white Egyp­tian cot­ton blan­ket cover made in Italy by Serra, $370; flint Egyp­tian cot­ton all-sea­son blan­ket made in Por­tu­gal by Pea­cock Al­ley, $215; Si­vaana gemen­crusted pil­low, $214; Bi­chotan char­coal eye mask, $25; Roland Pine soy can­dle, $28; all at Wild­flower Or­gan­ics. Note­card, $2.95, and Lake Cham­plain choco­late, $0.69, both at Whole Foods. fully stocked with toi­letries. You can get mini­toi­letry sets to make the guests feel like they are stay­ing in a lux­ury ho­tel. Also think about all the things a guest might need or might have for­got­ten that they don’t want to ask for: de­odor­ant, tooth­brush, tooth­paste, ra­zor, soap, sham­poo and con­di­tioner, shav­ing cream, tis­sue, pain re­liever, antacids. And don’t for­get to place the plunger, ex­tra toi­let pa­per and trash can near the toi­let.

Make guests feel wel­come

In ad­di­tion to a wel­come note and mint on the pil­low, think about a wine and cheese spread to greet them. We went to Whole Foods and asked for rec­om­men­da­tions. The em­ploy­ees chose two Texas wines, a white and a red, and paired that with a ched­dar from near Waco and a goat cheese from France, a fresh baguette, dark choco­late from Tan­za­nia and al­monds from Spain. If guests are coming in late at night, milk and cook­ies might be the way to go, or a night­cap and choco­late.

The hol­i­days can be a tough time for guests be­cause they don’t get to do some of the tra­di­tions they would do in their own home. If you’re hang­ing stock­ings, pro­vide one for each of them and fill it. If your tree has a lot of fam­ily or­na­ments, con­sider mak­ing ones with their names on them.

If you’re cook­ing Christ­mas din­ner, in­vite them to make a dish or give you the recipe of the dish that they love to have with their ham or turkey.

Too much to­geth­er­ness can be a bad thing. Have some sug­ges­tions of places to go and lis­ten to their ideas as well.

Have a set end time for the visit that ev­ery­one has agreed on be­fore­hand, and re­mem­ber, some­times a shorter stay can be more invit­ing be­cause you don’t have time to get on one an­other’s nerves.

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