The Design Corner: Hosting Guests this Holiday Season

Image source: Winter Retreat in Massanutten at Casper Cabin (

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  Yes, the holidays are upon us.  It’s the time of year for friends and family to gather and that usually means hosting guests in our homes.  Hosting is one of my personal favorite things to do.  Over the years I’ve hosted lots of family and friends, and even a couple traveling circus performers (truth).  I want to share a few tips and ideas I’ve learned over the years to help you make your guests feel welcome and comfortable.

1. Simply designed, clean, and uncluttered spaces

When it comes to the guest room keeping things simple is the best and most relaxing way to decorate.  Don’t over crowd the room.  Each piece in the space should have a purpose.  Make sure guests can get to both sides of the bed and that each bed side has a nightstand and light.  Placing a chair in the room is very helpful as well.  Provide a foldable rack so guests can have a convenient location for their suitcase or bag.  Check that there is space in the closet that a few items can be hung and make sure the dresser has at least one drawer empty that can be used by your guest if needed.  A clean and uncluttered room is the most relaxing spaces to be.

Image source: Little Meadow Farm (

2. Use fresh plants or cut flowers, or light a scented candle

Adding fresh cut flowers give the space a special feel.  If you don’t have access to fresh flowers, add a live house plant.  It not only improves the air quality but adds to the overall décor.  A lightly scented candle is a bonus in any space and your guest is bound to enjoy it.  Pick a scent that reflects the holiday season.

Image source: Winter Retreat in Massanutten at Casper Cabin (

3. Make a cozy bed

When away from home having a comfortable bed to sleep in is one of the key ingredients to a guest room.  Fresh clean cotton sheets, warm blankets, a goose down comforter and extra pillows are the perfect combination for a restful night sleep.  Make sure you have a few extra blankets available so guests aren’t cold in the night.

Image source: Little Meadow Farm (

4. Keep fluffy towels and extra toiletries handy

Place a set of clean fluffy towels that the guest can easily see so they don’t have to search.  Include a bath towel, face towel and washcloth in the set.   Add a basket in the room that contains a few toiletries that the guest may have forgotten to pack.  Find a cute basket and include shampoo and condition, bar soap, toothpaste, toothbrush and a razor.   If you really want to be an overachiever provide a terry cloth robe and slippers as well.

Image source: Winter Retreat in Massanutten at Casper Cabin (

5. Accessible water and snacks

There’s nothing worse than lying in bed in someone else’s home and needing a drink and a bed time snack but being afraid to bother the host.  It’s so easy to place a few bottles of water or, bet yet a small pitcher and drinking glass, and a few individually wrapped snacks like granola bars, nuts, crackers or cookies.  It will be much appreciated.

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6. Provide books, magazines, and games

If your guests are staying over several days you may not be around to spend every minute with them.  Leave a few good books, magazines, puzzles or board games out for them to entertain themselves while you’re apart.  You can also give them a few flyers of local sites to see while they’re in town.  Include a list of nearby restaurants, coffee shops and quick mart gas stations.  Also make sure they know your WIFI password and how to use your TV, DVD player, sound bar, etc.

Image source: Little Meadow Farm (

Here’s to enjoying your friends and family over this holiday season.

Blessings and Peace on Earth!

About Cathi Anne

Cathi is a Realtor with The Harrisonburg Homes Team, plus an Accredited Staging Professional and Owner of The Styled Space - She provides staging consultations, interior and exterior design services, and home organization throughout the Shenandoah Valley. Cathi's eye for beautiful design is refreshing, and she's pleased to share her thoughts right here on Harrisonblog.