Visitors are coming… Keep calm!
Feelings of excitement and anticipation turn to nothing short of sheer panic! Why? Guests are coming to stay! What are they going to eat and, more to the point, where are they going to sleep? And it doesn’t stop there. Where can they store their luggage or hang their clothes, and why didn’t we decorate the spare room when we had a chance? Keep calm. With a little bit of planning, there’s still a chance of sorting everything out in time.
Firstly decluttering is a must. This will give you a chance to sort out what you already have, create some more space and find out what you might yet need to find for their visit. The main thing is to make them feel warm, welcome, and comfortable, so why not begin with the sleeping arrangements? If you are lucky enough to have spare bedrooms then of course this makes life a lot easier. On the other hand if space is at a premium, then at least try to make it fun. Temporary beds for children, for example, can be made into a kind of secret den.
Whatever the circumstances, even if you have to give up your own bed to make someone more comfortable, remember it’s only for a short time. It goes without saying that bed linen should be fresh and clean with extra blankets on hand for chilly nights, but there are other areas where a little extra thought can also make a difference. A bedside light could be made available as nobody wants to creep about in the middle of the night to visit the bathroom in a strange house.
A welcome note on the bed with perhaps a small gift chosen from the local area or fresh flowers arranged in a pretty vase in the room will add a nice touch. A few magazines and books for sleepless nights or early morning wake-ups, water and glasses for thirsty moments, and a clock to give them the right time if they have travelled from another country are other thoughtful ideas to consider.
Dedicated hanging space and drawers for their clothes will give them a chance to unpack straight away, get themselves organised and feel at home. Little extras might be local maps and tourist information, especially if they are not familiar with the area, and notepaper and pens that never seem to be there when you need them. Of course a French/English dictionary might be a handy item or even a necessity.
One thing that I think is very important is to give them their own little spaces. An area or shelf for them in the bathroom, with perhaps a few luxury travel items such as shower gel and shampoo, and a relaxing scented candle, will make them feel special. A space in the kitchen for them to put any special dietary requirements, a dedicated area for the children to play and somewhere for them to connect to Wi-Fi and charge up all their high-tech gadgets will make them feel that a great deal of thought has gone into their visit.
Mind you however much you love you friends or relations visiting, whilst you are considering their space, don’t forget to think about your own as well!
They can then return home with happy memories and perhaps a few ideas for when you visit them!
Photos courtesy of Houseology.com
Ann Horne is an interior stylist and long-time FrenchEntrée contributor. She runs FrenChicandShabby, a site created to find beautiful French style furniture, furnishings and accessories for the home.