How to Make House Guests Feel Welcome

I don’t know about you, but when I stay with someone and they do something to make my stay feel personal, it just makes me feel so warm and fuzzy! For example, when we go to my mom’s house, she leaves a little candy dish by the bed and will sometimes put together a “welcome” package and leave it in our room. I once saw an article about putting a vintage suitcase in your guest room and filling it with everything your guests could need. And most recently, I saw an article in InStyle that detailed what to put in your guest bedroom to make friends and family feel welcome. This is incredibly timely for me since we just moved into our new apartment and for the first time, I have a guest bedroom. I’ve spent lots of time thinking about what would make me feel most welcome in someone’s home and what I should fill our guest bedroom and bathroom with for guests when they come to town.

Here’s the list I’ve put together! Let me know if you think there’s anything I’ve missed!

1. Make an extra copy of your house key.  Even if they never need it, it will make your guest feel free to come and go as they need to. (Image source: Getty Images)

2. Fresh, clean, plush bedding.  Try to make it feel as relaxing and luxurious as possible so it feels like they’re getting away from their every day life, even if it is just your brother coming to stay for the weekend. (Hudson Park Ogee Bedding via Bloomingdale’s)

3. A tray on the nightstand or dresser where your guests can deposit their jewelery, change, and/or glasses at the end of the day. (Ceramic Bird Ring Holder via World Market)

4. A Carafe of water on the nightstand will be a nice touch so your guest doesn’t have to get up in the dark, unfamiliarity of your home to find water in the middle of the night. (Image source: Apartment Therapy, Similar)

5. A vase with flowers in it.  A mug with their initial would be even more personalized. (Image Source: Sugar and Charm Blog, Mug from Anthropologie)

6. Travel Guides and a Map. Leave these on the nightstand for your guests to have for reference if they need them.  If they don’t use them, at least your attention to their convenience will make them feel that much more welcome. I started doing this when we lived in New York and it was definitely something my guests used and appreciated. (Image Source: Your English Lessons Blog)

7. A welcome note that includes your Wi-Fi user name and password will help your guests feel at home and you won’t have to go searching for it when they are trying to check their email. (Bird on Branch Flat Cards by PaperInkPress on Etsy)

8. Make necessary toiletry items easily accessible, much like a hotel, on a tray in your bathroom so guests can use them if needed.  Include things like shampoo, conditioner, soap, face wash, lotion, a brush or comb, a razor, a toothbrush, tooth paste, a nail file, a hair clip or elastic, tissues & bathroom towels. (Image Source:

9. I don’t know about anyone else, but when I’m at home I don’t usually take everything I’m going to wear for the day into the bathroom with me when I shower.  If you don’t, your guests probably don’t either.  Provide a nice, comfy robe that will allow your guests to get ready first and then get dressed later, again, they’ll feel like they’re in a luxurious hotel. (Image Source: Simply Irresistible Designs)

A few other things that will make your home welcoming that I didn’t think warranted pictures:

10. Leave chocolates or mints where your guest is staying for a sweet touch.

11. Be sure you have open drawer space and hangars in the closets to help your guests feel like they can settle in.

12. Have an alarm clock present.  Even though lots of people use their cell phones as an alarm clock now, it’s still nice to have the option or be able to see the time when you wake up in the middle of the night.

13. Keep a blow drier and/or a hair straightener in a place that is available to your guests.  It is so nice knowing you don’t need to travel with these things and frees up space in your suitcase.

14. If you really want to go above and beyond, be sure to have good coffee and tea on hand as well as some snacks your house guests can grab and take with them if they’re on the run (bananas, grapes, nuts, granola bars, etc).  In NY, I would buy an “I <3 NY” coffee mug or one that was very symbolic of the city to keep in the kitchen and then take home as a gift to my guests.  Then they always knew which mug was theirs and they had a little trinket to remind them of the trip.

I hope you find this list useful!  I can’t wait for our first house guest to come this weekend and feel at home away from home!

  1. Kristin said:

    Melissa, These are GREAT ideas!

  2. Lauren said:

    Love it! Saw your blog post on Carlea Wilson’s Facebook page – you look SUPER familiar to me. I think we might have been in some Portfolio and/or advertising classes together at UT?

    Read your bio – What is it about us advertising girls wanting to go do wedding planning? I would LOVE to do that as well (especially since my job – now in PR, basically involves event planning, except without beautiful weddings at the end of every project ;) )

    Anyhow, love your blog – adding you to my blogroll for sure!
    Lauren “Bravenec” McKechnie

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