7 Ways to Make Guests Feel Welcome Slideshow


1. Bedtime Reading

Stack some magazines in a basket beside the bed, or some good books on a shelf. A selection of thoughtfully chosen reading materials next to their bed (even if their bed is just an air mattress set up in your office) makes a guest feel loved and welcome. Some of our favorites include:


For women: House Beautiful, Martha Stewart Living, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Elle, Newsweek


For men: The Week, Time, GQ, Vanity Fair, Inc.

2. Water by the Bed

Fill a pretty carafe and glass set with water so they don’t have to run to the kitchen if they get thirsty during the night. 

3. Inquire About Allergies

Before your guests arrive, find out if they have any food allergies or special diets you’ll need to accommodate and be sure to have the necessities for them on hand. Buy soy or almond milk for lactose-free guests, or gluten-free bread and rice crackers for someone who isn’t eating wheat.  

4. Stock the Fridge

Whether you’re the kind of person who snacks all day or awakes in the middle of the night hungry, knowing you can open the fridge to grab something to eat or drink without fear of eating the next day’s lunch is comforting and helps make a guest feel at home.


Before guests arrive, make a big pot of vegetable soup and a batch of curried chicken salad and label it well so guests know it’s fair game. Have grapes washed and cut into clusters in a bowl in the fridge and crisp apples in a bowl on the counter. Make a pitcher of mint iced tea. It will leave your guests free to wander into the kitchen and fix a snack or lunch on their own without feeling awkward.

5. Set out a Breakfast Spread

If you can’t sit down to breakfast with your guests, don’t feel bad. Set out a little breakfast spread before you leave in the morning.


Make a pot of coffee and set out some teas next to the kettle. Have some cereals and granola on hand or make a batch of muffins. Place a platter of fresh-cut fruit and berries on the counter, and leave a note to say that milk and yogurt are in the fridge. A local newspaper on the table will really seal the deal!

6. Stock the Bathroom

If you’ve ever forgotten a toothbrush when traveling, you know the inconvenience can be frustrating and a basket with necessities is the perfect solution.


Roll up clean towels and washcloths, a bar of soap, some new toothbrushes and toothpaste, and a hairdryer in a basket and place it in the guest bathroom or in the guest’s room.  Have all the other necessities (cotton balls, Q-Tips, aspirin, tampons, etc.) in easy view under the sink or in the medicine cabinet. A scented candle adds a nice touch — just don’t forget extra toilet paper.

7. Make Your House Feel Cozy

Place a comforter at the end of the guest bed, and place an extra pillow in the closet, should it be needed. Drape a few throw blankets on the arms of chairs and sofas. 


Set out magazines on the coffee table and a stack of board games in the corner. Light a scented candle or a fire in your fireplace if you have one. Arrange a branch of autumn leaves in a tall vase or a bouquet of seasonal flowers so it’s within sight upon entry. Set out a self-serve bar with wine glasses and a bottle of red wine. All of this will make your guests feel welcome and encourage them to lounge around your home and relax.