This past weekend Jenn, her husband, her daughter and dog made the temporary move back to Toronto for work. Though I’m deeply mourning her departure, the show must go on, and thankfully she’ll be back soon enough. For both Jenn and I, moving has resulted in house guests. Since relocating to Los Angeles, we’ve both found a surprising influx of travelers taking us up on our offer of accommodations. My husband and I definitely had visitors back in Toronto, but not like this! We’re a freaking HoJo over here!! …But way better. More like the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. However sans pool, hot tub or spa. But definitely including 400 thread count bamboo cotton sheets, fresh towels, mini shampoos and an open bar. Our accommodations also come with a deliciously low price tag and free entertainment. (Blueberry smoothies make me wild. I have one every morning.)
After hosting for some time, I really feel I’ve developed a system. I know what works and what doesn’t, along with those little touches that leave a lasting impact on your guest. I’ve also learned the difference between the chores that ‘need’ to be done, and the ones that really aren’t worth stressing over.
I know it sounds entirely obvious, but whether your guest is sleeping in a spare bedroom or on the couch, have their bed made up with freshly washed linens. It makes them feel as though you were so excited for their arrival, you couldn’t wait to prepare the way! Also, the smell of fresh laundry is a definite turn-on. Clean sheets I didn’t have to wash myself? … I’m all yours! Make sure to place a neatly folded bath and hand towel at the end of your guest’s bed. Not only is it super cute, it saves you from that awkward call your naked guest will make while hanging out of the shower because you forgot to stock the bathroom with fresh towels before their arrival.
Flowers and Fruit
Anyone that has walked in to such hotels as the previously mentioned Beverly Wilshire Hotel, will tell you that the first thing they notice is the giant flower arrangement in the front lobby. I’m not saying making it ten feet tall, import it from Bali, and name it Lidia. I’m saying hit up Trader Joe’s on your way home from work, spend ten bucks, and throw it in a vase. Flowers make people smile. They bring life, color, and the outside in. As for fruit, who doesn’t love a bowl of oranges and green apples set up in their luxury hotel room? I don’t even like green apples, but I always eat at least one at hotels because the color’s just so pretty. By mixing colors and varietals, you’ll catch your guest’s eye right off the bat, and they won’t even notice you didn’t have time to clean the floors or wash those few dishes in the sink.
Have a bottle of champagne or sparking cider chilling in your fridge in honor of your house guests. Friends should be celebrated! (Also, it’ll make them feel so special that they’ll most likely take you out for dinner or get you a gift (like my sweet new anthropologie apron), which in turn will be worth way more than the couple bucks you spent on a bottle!)
Since my husband and I have traveled so much for work the last couple years, we’ve had the opportunity to stay in some amazing luxury hotels. I now have an entire box filled with mini shampoos, conditioners, mouth wash and lotions that I’ve collected. Yup, I’m totally that person. Throw a set of these minis on the bathroom counter or on your guests bed, and they’ll be making you breakfast! Have the last three issues of Vanity Fair on your bedroom floor? Stack them in order of issue on your guests bedside table. I can promise you they’ll get more use there. And for pete’s sake bake! Smells good, tastes good, looks good.
Use these little tricks, and we can guarantee your house guests will leave more than happy. (If you can get them to leave at all!)