With the holidays rapidly approaching, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about hosting holiday guests in our small rental home. Whether you’re in an apartment or a house, adding extra people to your small space, even if it’s just temporarily, can be a challenge.
I walked around my house and tried to envision myself as a guest and what would make me comfortable as a guest. I created a list of key points for various rooms and spaces around my house and I thought I’d share that list with you today.
First stop- the front door or entryway of your home. Whether they’re spending the night or just staying for the afternoon, every guest needs to feel comfortable when they first walk in your door. Create a space for guests to hang coats, set purses or slip off their shoes if they’d like. I don’t have room by my front door to create this kind of functional area, so, instead, I created this “mini-mudroom” in an empty corner of my kitchen near my front door. I simply hung an Ikea wall shelf and added some hooks and baskets to corral items. Ta da! Instant entryway space for guests to feel welcomed as soon as they step into my home.
Oftentimes, I end up doing a lot of entertaining in the kitchen. Guests enjoy watching or helping me with the finishing touches as I prepare our meal. In my last rental home, the kitchen was a very small space which made it difficult to allow guests to feel comfortable in the room. I decided that if I couldn’t create a lounge area in my tiny kitchen, I could at least create a space in my kitchen that felt functional and easy to work in, so my guests would feel right at home if they wanted to help cook.
I added this wooden butcher block island (an inexpensive Ikea purchase) to create a functional work station. In addition to providing extra storage and counter top space for the kitchen in general, the island gives my guests an area to help chop vegetables or pour a glass of wine without feeling like they’re in the way.
I also think it’s helpful to keep things as organized as possible in the kitchen. Keep your most-used tools in a basket so that they’re easy to spot and grab if a guest needs to borrow.
Also, display your cookbooks if you’ve got room- they not only provide beautiful color and texture in your kitchen, but they can be an easy tool or even a conversation starter for your guests.
Next stop? The guest bathroom. In our rental home, we are lucky enough to have a separate bathroom for guests to use. But you may only have one bathroom in your apartment or home; either way, these rules apply to any bathroom a guest may use!
Of course, keep the bathroom clean. Clear away your personal belongings from the counter top and leave only items that a guest may need to use- hand soap, hand lotion, hand towels and perhaps a burning scented candle.
Make sure your toilet paper supply is stocked; there is nothing worse than realizing you’re out of toilet paper when you’re at someone else’s house! If you plan to have overnight guests, make sure you’ve stocked enough clean towels. I also like to make sure I have some essential toiletries (shampoo, soap, etc.) available for guests, if needed. Finally, feel free to add a few fresh flowers to a small vase in your bathroom. Even the potty room needs to feel welcoming to your guests!
My family just recently moved into a new rental home and we’re lucky enough to have a guest bedroom. But I haven’t even begun to decorate or create function in that space, although it will clearly be an important place for our guests to feel comfortable. I guess I better get busy since we will be having guests over for Thanksgiving! I will certainly share those projects with you as I go!