Since Nate and I moved bought and moved into our first house together, we have thoroughly enjoyed coming up with different ways to make our house a home. One of the things that we have always enjoyed is having company over, so we thought we’d share our little tips and tricks for making your home guest-friendly!
Blame it on our parents, we have this innate need to entertain and please our guests. Both of us grew up in very warm and accomodating households. Our homes were always filled with tons of family and friends from birthdays to holidays and everything in between.
We learned from the best–I always remember my parents having tons of food made with leftovers to spare as well as everything squared away from clean and inviting guest rooms to special soaps in the bathroom. Nate’s family is big on drinks and entertainment. One of the first memories I have of his family was his mother inviting me in for dinner the first time I met them. They always make sure guests have their favorite drink in hand and that they join in for family sing and play-a-longs (they’re extremely talented in the musical area).
So with backgrounds like these, we thought it fitting to share what we have instilled in our home to ensure guests feel welcomed, comfortable, happy, and entertained!
- Always have homemade cookies. Maybe this is just our personal preference, but you get the idea. This idea goes back to the old tradition of having a home smell of freshly-baked goods when people walk in the door. Something about it just feels like home.
- Have a properly stocked bar. This is something that a lot of people over look, but is extremely important for entertaining guests in your home. You can never predict what spirit people will feel like drinking (even a seasoned whiskey drinker like me gets cravings for some tequila) so make sure you cover you bases with the most frequently used liquors and commone mixers, and don’t go bottom shelf…no one wants to see a plastic bottle of Vladimir Vodka after their college days. Stay tuned next week for a detailed list for how to stock your bar!
- Have an accessible means of playing music. This is something a lot of people over look until they have guests over and realize there is something missing. That thing my friends is music! You can get little iHome docking stations for cheap now with pretty decent speakers. Invest in one of these and place it in the common area for instant mood elevation! A fun twist on this idea is to also have musical instruments ready to play in your living room (we have a guitar and some hand drums). Once some of those drinks get flowing people love to pick them up and play!
- Keep guests charged & happy. Let’s get real, people don’t go anywhere without their phones, so let’s not fight city hall. This is sort of a recent update for us as we just found out that there was a definite need for it! We spend a lot of our downtime in the living room either working on our computers, Netflixing (this is a verb now), or eating on TV trays and NEVER have our phones charged by the time we are able to do these things. Usually, we have already drained our cell phone batteries working throughout the day. Problem is, staying connected to check email, messages, et cetera is still a need. So we found these cute gold brushed chargers to place as part of our side table decor that will allow not only ourselves, but guests to easily stay charged and connected while remaining in a common area.
- Keep a treat jar in common areas. This is a little trick I learned from my mom–she always had little candy/treat jars on the end tables in the living room. It’s a funny psychological trick really–people always asked her if we were “obsessed” with the candy as it was always available, but the funny part is that she told them no we weren’t BECAUSE it was always available. We ocassionally indulge, but for the most part, it’s just a nice little feature to make guests feel welcome to a special little treat.
- Always have some sort of munchies on deck. This is something I learned the hard way when we had a bunch of people stay with us the week we got married this summer. Nate and I tend to have certain foods that we like (mainly ones we can combine to make weekday dinners) and we forget about munchie-type foods that everyone enjoys. Well, we learned pretty quickly, and grabbed some crowd pleasers to have on deck when people are hanging out and start getting hungry. I would recommend: tortilla chips & salsa, some sort of potato chips, snack mixes (i.e. Chex Mix, trail mix, pub mix), pick and eat fruits like grapes or cherries, cheese & crackers, and mixed nuts.
- Keep common areas c-l-e-a-n…but you knew that. This one is a no-brainer. Make sure common areas are organized and de-cluttered. We often struggle with piles of unopened mail, so we’re currently working on a more effective system of storage to avoid these types of stash piles.
- Don’t underestimate the power of fresh-cut flowers. This seems pretty “bougie”, but your local Publix sells bouquets for around $4. We love grabbing mixes of hydrangea or babies breath. Mixing and matching colors and types of flowers makes for an easy & fresh centerpiece that looks clean, inviting, and put-together.
- Have lots of seating options available. When we bought our house, one of the features we absolutely fell in love with was the option to have a breakfast bar. This allowed for extra seating in close proximity to the kitchen table. Also, we have a bunch of chairs in our lenai that are super easy to pull in when we have larger gatherings.
- Light, clean fragrances go a long way. Part of our cleaning routine includes lighting candles in different common areas of the house. It can’t just look clean, it has to smell clean, too!
- Keep interactive group games readily available. We’re always on the lookout for new games that pull people out of their shell. We recently scooped up the “Who am I” celeb and other famous people group guessing game via Popsugar’s June Must-Have box. Cards Against Humanity is our absolute favorite (and the favorite of pretty much every guest we’ve ever had. If you haven’t heard of this yet–stop living under a rock and check it out now.
- Cigars are a classy way to keep conversation rolling. My dad bought Nate a humidor for his birthday last year, and ever since, it has become a staple at our bar. He always keeps a variety of different cigars fresh and on-hand as well as a butane lighter and cigar cutter…because who knows when you may want to enjoy a nice cigar and scotch on the deck?