An inviting home for guests
When the snow starts to fly we think about warm nights indoors by the fire with family and friends. Entertaining transitions from the back deck to our living and dining rooms. Winter months are a great time to be intentional about inviting friends, family and neighbours into our homes for a dinner party or a relaxed game night.
On those rare weekends where we aren’t at the rink cheering on our kids my husband and I love to host out-of-town company, create a couples competitive games night or host family friends for dinner. There are so many ways to make guests feel welcome and your home’s decor is a fantastic backdrop to memorable time with friends and family.
For overnight guests
Guests travelling from a distance have made an effort to come see you, so going that extra mile to make them feel welcome just makes sense. It’s wonderful if you have the space to give them their own room.
Obviously clean sheets, extra blankets and pillows, and a tidy room are all a great start. Try to make space for them to put down their suitcase or even clear a few drawers in a dresser for them to unpack. A cute frame on the bedside table with your Wi-Fi password is also a kind gesture. Making their bed pretty and inviting will make your guests feel extra special. I once stayed at a friend’s home where my fresh towel was bundled with a hand towel and face cloth in a beautiful ribbon on the foot of my bed. Putting together a lovely guest bedroom can be as simple as a bed with a cozy duvet, a couple of accent pillows, side tables with lamps and a piece of artwork over the bed. If you have the space and the means, adding a bench at the foot of the bed, drapes on the windows and tall mirror are a really nice touch.
For a dinner party
Dinner parties are one of my favourite hobbies! I love the meal planning and prep, and getting my house ready. Creating a beautiful table with gorgeous centrepieces, plate chargers and pretty napkins is my idea of fun.
But here’s the thing: enjoying my company is my priority. Over the years I’ve zeroed in on the recipes that don’t require my constant attention right up to dinnertime, and I fuss less with dramatic decor and just focus on tidying my home to make it feel comfortable and inviting. I make sure that my living room has spots for my guests to set down their drinks conveniently. I like to have the table set before anyone arrives and have the music playing so it’s a welcoming environment.
The theme of my dinner party prep is the dinner itself and not fussing over my home’s decor. I do spend time considering where we’ll eat each course, like appies at the kitchen island, dinner at the table and dessert in the living room.
Home decor for hosting should be considered from the beginning of the home design process. When decorating my clients’ homes I always ask how many people they typically host at one time. Having a dining table that can expand to accommodate a typical-sized crowd of guests and the same number of seats in the living room is part of a proactive design process. Making the spaces beautiful is the cherry on top.
At the end of the day your company is there to see you and no amount of prep is going to make them love you more. Make sure you save your energy to enjoy your company. The most beautiful home is full of love and laughter!
Decorator Kim Purvis, owner of Aurora Décor, is pursuing her lifelong passion of creating beautiful home spaces.