We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.

choosing the right room

With a little creativity, any room can be transformed into a bright and welcoming guest suite. When your company arrives, be sure to have the blinds lifted and leave a window open for fresh air, weather permitting. If your visitors come in the evening, equip the room with a lamp or two and leave the lights on low to prepare a warm welcome. For late night arrivals, turn down the sheets and provide your guests with a lounging robe and slippers for extra bonus points.

tasteful decor

Be sure to remove any glaring personal objects from the guest room, like family photos or old stuffed animals. Your guests shouldn’t feel like they’re in a sterile environment, but remember that this is their space for the weekend. Spruce up the place with scenic imagery and generic wall-hangings and replace unnecessary surface clutter with fresh flowers or a diffuser.

a dreamy bed

The most obvious element in the guestroom will set the tone for the weekend, so make the perfect bed to ensure that your guests are well rested. Provide your visitors with options by offering two or three sets of pillows (soft, medium and firm) and layer the bed coverings to satisfy a range of body temperatures. Use soft sheets in a clean light hue and finish the look by placing a comfortable throw at the end of the bed—after all it’s the weekend, afternoon napping is encouraged.

the tidy washroom

Above all, the guest bathroom should feel spotlessly clean. If the restroom is shared, be sure to empty a drawer or two so your company doesn’t have to carry personal belongings back and forth. Stock the towel racks with complete sets of matching fresh linens and be extra hospitable by leaving a bathrobe folded near the tub .

stock the fridge

A perk to staying at the home of friends or family, and not at a hotel, is having free reign to roam and enjoy the house all day. But without room service, you’ll need to be certain to have excellent snacking food on hand. Whip up this healthy salad before your company arrives to satisfy their hunger between meals.

radish and cucumber salad in yogurt viniagrette – serves 4

(New Classic Family Dinners, by Mark Peel with Martha Rose Shulman)

Mix together in a large bowl:

  • ¾ pounds cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt
  • 5 ounces radishes, trimmed (about 1 bunch)
  • ½ small red onion, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon chives, minced (for garnish)

Mix together in a small bowl:

  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted
  • ¼ teaspoon cracked black peppercorns
  • ⅓ cup plain yogurt
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Kosher salt to taste

cozy dining

When guests are in town, take the opportunity to dine together in the evenings. Set a relaxing tone at the table by lighting a few candles and get creative with your centerpieces. Put forth the effort to provide complete table settings but keep the vibe informal with a simple tablecloth and other casual elements.

the sunday brunch

There’s nothing quite like waking up to the sound of pots and pans sizzling in the morning. Finish the weekend on a high note with a classic breakfast meal, no need to set a formal dining table. If all else fails, this buttermilk pancake recipe will give your guests a reason to come back.

buttermilk pancakes – serves 6

(The Joy of Cooking, by Irma S. Rombauer)

Whisk together in a large bowl:

  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 ounces radishes, trimmed (about 1 bunch)
  • ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Whisk together in another bowl:

  • 1½ cups buttermilk
  • ¼ teaspoon cracked black peppercorns
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla (optional)

Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and gently whisk together. Optional add-ins:

  • ½ cup plump raisins
  • ½ cup fresh or frozen blueberries or raspberries
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ cup finely chopped nuts, toasted
  • ½ cup thinly sliced bananas
  • ½ cup shredded dried coconut