Thoughtful Touches for Hosts & Guests

Host and Hostess Tips

I truly enjoy having people over! It makes me so happy to have people in my home, enjoying one another’s company. Whether it’s a quick stop for coffee or Thanksgiving dinner, if I’m hosting an event I want to make sure my guests feel welcome from the moment they walk into my home. To me, this means my house is clean, smells good, and maybe there’s even some music playing. I like to use my five senses as a guideline, and think about some of the best parties I’ve attended. What did that host or hostess do to make everyone feel welcome? Here are some of the ideas I’ve picked up over the last few years…


  • The house is clean. Dust bunnies are dusted, clutter is cleared, and nothing is out when it should be put away. This is especially true with the rooms on my main floor, where we’ll be eating. Nothing feels better than walking into a clean house 🙂
  • When I host Thanksgiving, I use it as an excuse to bring out my nice dinnerware and dress up the table! I light candles, use a pretty tablecloth, and find a gorgeous (harvest-ready) centerpiece. A really interesting idea I saw at Pottery Barn this year was to fold the tablecloth in half and lay it like a diamond across the center of the table. It really elevated the look! 


  • Smell is something that often gets overlooked in the hustle and bustle of preparing for guests. After the house is clean, I make sure to light a seasonal candle (or use a diffuser, if that’s your jam!) about fifteen minutes before my guests walk into my home. It’s a small trick that makes everything seem more purposeful. Here are a few of my favorites!


  • By the time my guests arrive, I am finished preparing food. Everything is either ready to eat or in the oven. Appetizers are on the counter and ready to nibble. I’m no longer “actively” preparing anything. If you’re still preparing while guests are arriving, it can make them feel like they’re early or like they should feel obligated to help – neither of which is the comfortable “homey” feeling you want them to feel.


  • Music means a party. THEMS THE RULES. Here are a couple of great playlists I’ve found if you’re looking for something that will make your guests feel settled and ready to indulge! 


  • Is everything out and easily accessible? Plates? Silverware? Glasses? Drinks? Making sure your guests can see where to go and what to do, makes them feel comfortable. No one needs to ask, “where are the plates?” or “Where can I get something to drink?” It’s all out and ready to go!

What to Bring if You’re a Guest

It’s always nice to bring something small for the host or hostess, especially if you’ve asked if you can make something and they’ve said they don’t need anything. My go-to is flowers or a nice bottle of red wine for fall (white wine in the summer). This small effort shows a) that you care and b) your life is pulled together enough to remember to do something for someone else!

What do you do to prepare for guests or when you go to someone’s home for the holidays? I’d love to hear your tips and tricks!

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