Having an inviting home to welcome guests

Red Deer designer offers some easy tips and tricks

I am back from vacation and have had a wonderful and restful week. Even a small getaway is enough sometimes to refresh your spirit and your mind. We put on many miles visiting friends and family and had the opportunity to bed down in everything from a stunning 120-year-old home to a million dollar property high in the hills to a 1970s log cabin inspired room. All places were charming and a welcome place to lay our heads at the end of adventurous days.

A year ago, we invested in super lush bamboo/memory foam pillows so travelling with them was a stellar idea; no matter where we stayed we had some comforts of home with us. A fine pillow will make almost any sleep feel better, even if you are sleeping underneath the stars! We had the good fortune of staying with a former colleague of mine in her beautiful Kelowna home which had every possible luxury including a pool. The warm days were easily enjoyed floating in the water and nights were sweet and full of slumber in her well-appointed guest room.

Some of the best memories we have are of friends and family staying with us for a few days, being able to catch up on old times and to share in games and meals are the stuff of life and memories. Being at my friend’s house in Kelowna brought back memories of when people used to travel to see each other and to when hospitality was given freely. If you are going to have a guest room (or space) in your home, it is important that it contain a few important elements to help keep your people comfortable.

Whether it is a permanent guest room or a temporarily made space, good linens and pillows are essential. Even if you are making up an air mattress on the floor, use your best! Comfy blankets and soft, fresh sheets will make anyone feel welcome and comfortable. If possible an end table or night stand with a lamp or light source is an excellent way to say welcome and gives people a place to put their possessions at night. Providing water bottles or a chilled jug of water (and glasses) is wonderful for your guests who may be uncomfortable stumbling around your home at night looking for hydration.

Do you have a set of ‘good’ towels or ‘guest’ towels? I have known this term all my life and I still have a set which is set aside for special travellers. I usually set them in the room for people to use as I find it can be awkward to go into someones closet or to not know which towels you should use in someones bathroom. The water, towels, a new bar of soap (please!) and some snacks can be arranged in a basket and left for your visitors to find, it is a genuine welcome for anyone staying at your home.

Whether you have a lovely guest room or are putting people up in your trailer or tent in the yard, there is always a way to welcome people to your home. Put out the invitation and see who will end up on your doorstep and watch the memories being made. Hospitality is in all of us!

Kim Wyse is a local freelance designer. Find her on facebook at ‘Ask a Realtor/Ask a Designer’.