Guest coming to stay? It's time to roll out the welcome mat. Photo: Quentin Jones
The festive season is a busy time especially if you're hosting the extended family.
Apart from all the catering and entertaining there can be the added stress of a full house.
Ensure a stress-free holiday period for both you and your guests with these simple hosting rules of thumb.
Know your limits
The first rule of thumb, says entertaining expert Dana Christine, is to know the limits of your home and don't invite more guests than you or the house can accommodate.
Most importantly, establish arrival and departure dates and avoid inviting friends and family for an open-ended stay.
Create a retreat
"To help rejuvenate their spirits, give the guest room a bed-and-breakfast feel," says interior designer Kevin Simon. Dress the bed with fresh linens and blankets and use baskets to hold towels and toiletries. Have a little vase of fresh flowers on the bedside table. For the ultimate guest experience, provide robes and slippers.
Stock up on toys
If your home is an ode to artful arrangements and small children are on the way, this is a good time to put away your most precious objects. A basket of $2 dollar-store toys and books will occupy them while the adults catch up.
Provide designated storage space
Equip the room with a bench or luggage rack for suitcases; or, for guests staying more than one or two days, clear out a few dresser drawers and create some space in the wardrobe so they can completely unpack.
Keep breakfast simple
It's best to rely on simple meals and appetisers for your guests that can be prepared before they arrive and just heated come time to eat. For breakfast, try croissants, bagels, toast with vegemite or jams and a variety pack of single-serving cereal boxes for an easy morning feast that stays fresh for late-sleeping guests.
Make the bathroom guest-ready
Simple indulgences like fresh flowers and candles make guests feel welcome.
Make guests feel comfortable in the kitchen
So you're not waiting on your guests hand and foot, make a list of where items are in the kitchen and let guests help themselves.
How do you make a guest feel at home in your house?