For most of us, our homes have two different faces.
Most of the time, our home is about function. It’s where we rest and hide away from the outside world. It’s where we bring up our children and spend time together as a family. Yes, the house requires a certain amount of time and effort spent on it, and we clean regularly – but it’s not the priority. It’s our sanctuary, and we’re proud of it and love it, but it doesn’t need to be pristine. It just needs to be a home.
Then there is the version of our houses that we have for guests. Now, this is a very different proposition, isn’t it? We all have that tendency for the last minute panic, rushing around straightening things, polishing madly. It’s even worse if it’s the in-laws coming to visit, as we scrutinize aspects of our home we never usually pay a moment’s attention to.
With Christmas approaching rapidly, once again you may be about to find yourself in need of transforming your home to be ready for guests. It’s only natural to want to show your abode in its best light, particularly since what we term the most wonderful time of year.
With a little time left before the holiday party season kicks off in earnest, now is an excellent opportunity to make some last minute changes. As we’re all pushed for time, let’s keep them quick – but impactful. A quick home makeover with a few extra touches, and you’ll feel ready to show off to anyone who might drop by.
- Dust Yourself Off! Vacuum Everything
You might currently be looking at this and thinking: well, of course, I’m going to vacuum? How is this new and helpful?
Bear with me, because I mean everything. Walls; furniture; every nook and cranny that you can get into, swipe the vacuum over it. Low sunlight in winter makes every single speck of dust show up, and dust doesn’t just collect on the carpet. Don’t forget your curtains as well; they’re most likely to display the issue in full glare.
- Stay The Course! Refresh Your Table Settings
Few of us tend to use a full-blown tablecloth and settings for every meal just with the family. You can add an instant touch of elegance by having guest-friendly tablecloths that don’t get worn down by general use. Not only do they look good by themselves, but they also hide any scratches or dents from the everyday use of the table – double win!
The same goes for items like coasters and cutlery. You don’t have to have a full set of family silver, but a second set just for guests is useful. If that’s a step too far in terms of expense, then give your existing set a wipe down with a vinegar solution – it will make them sparkle like new again.
- Hide In Plain Sight! Sweep It Under The Rug (So To Speak)
Nothing makes a house look more untidy than clutter. We’re always told not to sweep things under the rug, but sometimes? That’s a pretty good idea. Store loose items that don’t have a proper home wherever you can, such as beneath furniture or on top of cupboards. The more out of sight you can keep things, the better the house will look in comparison.
Talking of rugs, they can make a huge difference too if you have areas of flooring that are past their best. Rugs look deliberate as if they are designed to be there for show rather than to conceal unsightly problems. If you want to make them look even more intentional, a small table with a vase and single-stem flower will do the trick every time.
- Look At Me, Look At Me! Add Some Interest
“Interest” is a vague word in terms of decor and sounds like it will just make life more stressful. In reality, it is simple – it just means something different, something that stands out. It can be anything from novelty fairy lights to a cute seasonal decoration. Fragile items that might not be practical are a good idea too; you can use them for a while and then store them away safely.
- Let There Be Light! Shine A Light On
Talking of lighting – mood lighting is a must! The main light in a room has its uses, but it can also be bleaching and unflattering to guests. It can damage your ability to create a warm, relaxing atmosphere. If you already have table lamps or similar, then use these instead of the main light. If you don’t, then try a feature lamp or a decoration that emits its own light. Try and keep the light source above eye-level; it makes everything much cozier.
If you really want to make a room look spectacular, look for lighting that has beads or mirrors attached. As these are reflective, they help to spread the light around the room or create lovely patterns on walls. The more atmospheric you can make things, the better.
- Have A Bale of a Time! Freshen Your Towels
Nothing makes a bathroom look more shabby than the towels being clearly past their best. Look for complete towel bales as they are generally cheaper to buy than individually, and then save them for when you have guests. Towels with patterns will always wear better than single color options, so keep that in mind. Display them as a complete bale if you have guests staying the night; it gives more of a hotel-style touch.
- Free The Worktops! Reduce Your Kitchen Clutter
The kitchen is where a lot of parties or gatherings end up, so it’s perhaps the room you should focus on the most. Try and remove any kitchen gadgets – such as coffee makers or juicers – that aren’t going to be in use during the visit. Even if they do need to be in use, you can just remove them from storage for that one time.
So you’re all set – all that’s left is to enjoy yourself, proud of your home and to host guests in it!