Thursday, August 4, 2011

Preparing for House Guests


My parents are coming to visit. From Australia. For five and a half weeks! Luckily we all get along very well and they are amazingly helpful with the kids.

Today we cleared up the Sunroom for them which is a really lovely place to stay in the warmer months (it's unheated, so not good in winter!). Eventually, I would love to paint the room white (it has wood panelling and - ugh - laminate flooring), but for now it's a bit log cabin-ish.

Here are some things I think about when I am preparing for house guests:

I have a spare set of keys ready for when people stay so they can come and go as they please.

I am fairly particular about my sheets and my favourite ones are some chocolate brown high-thread count Egyptian cotton sateen ones that I bought in the States (Wamsutta). Unfortunately they are double sized so don't fit on our regular bed, but it's very lucky for our guests!

I also always include different height pillows and some extra blankets in different weights (no duvet at the moment!). My fave blanket to have on hand is a Mohair rug. It's so lightweight and gives a lot of warmth because of the loft.

Room Location
When I'm planning the room for guests, I try to consider their needs. My parents don't have any problems with stairs, so the sunroom is fine for them, but my Mother-in-Law has bad Arthritis, so she prefers to be on the same floor as the bathroom. We don't have a mansion, so when she visits we sleep in the sunroom and  put her in our bed.

Once, when I went to stay with my friend Peter in Melbourne, he prepared my room and left a lovely bunch of violets in there. It was such a lovely touch and I've never forgotten it. I definitely plan on putting some flowers in my parents' room before they arrive.

Visual Photos

Clothes Storage
It's really nice if you can clear out a spare chest of drawers for your guest's clothes. We have a small one in the room, but because my folks are staying so long, we also included a small bookshelf (for putting foldable clothes) and a hanging clothes rack that I fortuitiously found on the kerb today.

Bedside Water/Food/Accoutrements
I don't take water to bed, but many people do, so I'd really like to get some sort of carafe like the one at the top of this post. Otherwise, I'll put a couple of water bottles in their room. If I was having less familiar guests, then I might include some snacks or even some cough drops in case they feel awkward about raiding my fridge. I also always make sure there are tissues.

Reading Material
I think I'll also leave some magazines in the guest room. If I am having guests that I don't know as well I will usually include some local info such as a map or guest guide.

Is there anything special that you do when you're preparing for house guests?


  1. Food!! What are thier favourite foods, do they have food allergies, do they have a preferred milk/ breakfast cereal/ jam?
    Lay in their favourites and have a couple of meals in the freezer for emergencies.
    And introduce them to that seriously tasty treat you can only get locally.
    But I'm all about the food.

  2. good point! I can't believe I forgot about food!!