If you have a summer home or live anywhere even remotely close to the beach, chances are you're going to be hosting guests this summer. Whether it's your in-laws or your college roommate and her family, making guests feel welcome in your home is the best way to get the weekend off to a great start.
Though having overnight visitors can certainly be a "source of stress," said Missy Tannen, president of New Jersey-based luxury bedding company Boll & Branch, it's possible to "delight your guests with the comforts of a five-star hotel without paying a fortune. Here are her five tips for being the hostess with the mostess this summer.
De-clutter your guest space
"While cleaning is often the last thing any of us want to do, it will make a huge difference in the comfort of your guests. We're not talking simply vacuuming the guest room here -- it's time to open up the drawers and closets and empty them out. Your guests don't want to move your winter sweaters just to find a place to put their pajamas or hang an outfit. Emptying the dressers (and re-lining the drawers if it's been a while) can immediately give the space a more inviting feel and your guests will feel like the room is their space, not that they're encroaching on yours."
Focus on the bed
"The most important ingredient to your guests' comfort is the place that they lay their heads. Is your 15-year-old mattress shaped like a hammock? Are your linens circa your wedding from 2001? It's time to upgrade and you don't need to break the bank to do it. There are dozens of great companies that sell quality mattresses online for a fraction of what you'll pay at retail." Tannen of course recommends Boll & Branch which she says that, priced at just a few hundred dollars are "as nice if not nicer than what you find in a fine hotel."
Accessorize and personalize
"A few well-placed picture frames and accessories can do a lot to make your guest room feel incredibly homey -- and nothing like the hotels you want your house guests to avoid." Her top tip: "If you have a special guest, consider replacing some of the photos in the room with ones that have them in it with you. It will make them feel special and most certainly will not go unnoticed."
Give them a TV
"We're generally not fans of TVs in the bedroom, but it can be great for a guest room. Sometimes guests would like to retire to their own space at the end of the day and by giving them a TV in their room, they can be on their own schedule."
Stock the fridge with their favorites
"Obviously, you will want to pick up groceries before your guests arrive, but a really nice touch is to figure out your guest's favorites and have them on-hand. It might be a favorite cereal, ice cream flavor or bottle of wine. Whatever it is, the thoughtfulness will be appreciated."