By Camille Simmons

Published on November 14, 2015

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Photography by Camille Simmons

The holiday season is fast approaching which means impromptu visits and hosting. Family and friends from out of town might be heading to your house for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and anything in between. The thought of hosting guests in your home can feel overwhelming!  Whether the extra room isn’t setup or you don’t have an extra room to spare, there’s still plenty of time to get ready. All you need are a few basics on hand for the expected (and unexpected) guests. 

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Photography by Camille Simmons

Extra Bedding

Having enough clean sheets, pillows, and blankets on hand can sometimes be a challenge. Stock up during bedding sales and keep 2-3 extra sets stored away for guests. Try not to use bedding reserved for your personal bed.  I have a shelf in the closet designated for all guest linens and immediately toss sheets in the laundry when guests leave. I even keep different styles of bedding for adults vs. kids (and stuffed animals, too!) to make everyone feel at home while visiting. 

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Welcome Basket

Let’s be honest, it always feels a little strange sleeping over at someone else’s house.  Creating a welcome basket will make your guests feel special and at ease.  Include most of the items they usually ask for, like towels and toiletries. I collect mini shampoo, conditioner, and shower gel sets from hotels specifically for when guests come to visit. Have extra towels stored away in the guest room or linen closet to create accessibility for your guests.  It’s also nice to have extra throw blankets for cold nights or simply to create a cozy and inviting space. I like to give a mini tour of all the basics or even write a note with simple instructions for wifi, etc. 

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Nightstand

If you do have a dedicated or extra room for guests, having a functional nightstand is very helpful.  I opted for a nightstand with drawers since there wasn’t enough space in the room for an entire dresser.  I always hate having to keep my clothes in the suitcase during a trip, so it is nice to provide a space for guests to unpack and organize. There are a lot of beautiful options available for nightstands. If you’re on a budget, an inexpensive or vintage nightstand can be customized with a little paint and new knobs.  Add a lamp and decorative dish for keys and jewelry to keep clutter under control and prevent any misplacement. If there’s not room for a nightstand, grab an accent side table.  It’s important to have some type of table near the bed area for guests to place their phones, eyeglasses, bottled water, and all the other necessities. 

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Small Amenities

Like a hotel, I think it’s great to have little amenities to keep guests entertained during down time.  A TV, tablet, or computer is helpful for any entertainment or web browsing needs. Inside the nightstand, place books for leisure reads and notebook + pen for quick ideas.  I also designate a special personalized mug for guests during their stay for morning coffee and tea. 

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Special Touches

Adding personal style and details will truly make your guests feel at home. Hang artwork or photography to frame the bed; I ordered mounted prints of my photography from Tiny Prints as custom decor for the guest room.  There’s nothing more lovely then a bouquet of flowers and there’s no need to break the bank.  Typically, I head to the grocery story and purchase a few stems and greenery to make the space bright and inviting.  I always try to keep a candle in every room, too—it’s so peaceful and comforting!

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Overall, the best way to prepare for guests is to have all the necessities tucked away in advance.  The most stressful thing is trying to run errands the day before someone arrives.  There’s probably already a long list of chores, grocery shopping, and more to prepare for the arrival of a guest.  If possible, pretend like guests are showing up a few days early; have everything setup and ready to go way before. Then on arrival day, greet them with a calm, relaxed temper and effortlessness that will make them think you’re a hosting pro. 

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Photography by Camille Simmons

Decor sources

Bedding: West Elm and Crane & Canopy

Wall art, note cards, throw and mug: Tiny Prints

Lamp and rugs: Home Goods (in stores only)

Nightstand: IKEA Rast 

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Photography by Camille Simmons

For more tips on home decor and hosting visit Planning Pretty