When your guests enter your house over the holidays, who doesn’t want to make a great impression with a cozy holiday feeling?
From top-to-bottom you should spend some time giving your whole house a good ‘once-over’ cleaning.
This can eliminate odours, pet smells and day-to-day living.
Since we are on a nice string of relatively warm weather, open up the doors and windows for a couple hours and do your cleaning then.
It will help to air out the home and whisk in some fresh air, creating a clean slate on which to build your aroma.
Candles, fresh flowers, herb bundles, pot pourri and even a crackling fire can all play a part in coating our home for the holidays.
They say that our sense of smell creates the most long-lasting memories.
Texture and sight are both key ingredients as well.
Having a fresh bowl of fruit or a dish of candy or nuts will encourage visitors to start eating and that alone will make them more comfortable.
Afghans, fleece blankets and pillows all combine to make your living area more welcoming, and suitable for sitting and relaxing.
If you take the time to remove some of the clutter around your home, everyone has space and your home takes on a new look of its own.
Candles certainly help with the scent, but it’s the glow that creates the relaxing atmosphere.
Scented candles can bring this season’s festive smells into your living room.
Lighting in general is a big part of creating a homey atmosphere, and utilizing lamps on tables and bookshelves is always a softer and warmer way to light a room than overhead lights.
You also have the ability to highlight certain areas of your home with lighting and that Christmas tree is sometimes all you need for a special glow.
Adding a reading lamp to the end of a couch will inevitably draw someone to that spot with a book or magazine.
Bringing plants and flowers into the mix not only brings ‘life’ into your home but also encourages the use of natural lighting, to bring in the afternoon or morning light.
Decorating your home for the holidays always brings that personal touch.
If you have favourite red or green or gold and silver items in your home, group them together and create your own decorations.
When entertaining guests for a few days I recommend the following:
Beyond cleaning the room from top to bottom, think about adding wonderful bed linens and comfort items often supplied by fine B&B’s.
These can include a mattress topper, a choice of pillows or a cozy down comforter.
Extra blankets, and new towels will also make your guests feel as though they are in a hotel.
Always have an extra set of bed and bath linens available for your guests.
They may surprise you and even change the sheets before they leave.
Clear a space to put a luggage rack or a small table or bench to set down a suitcase.
No one likes to have to stoop over to the floor to pull out a clean pair of socks.
Even a chair is better than nothing. Add a few hangers and a clear drawer for them.
In a guest room, less is more — more space, more comfortable, and more welcoming.
Get rid of anything that you would not find in the room of a fine hotel.
Some people absolutely do not sit on a bed.
And your guests shouldn’t have to. Place an upholstered armchair or side chair in the room with a table and lamp close by and their room will be a nice home away from home.
MICHELE D SMITH is managing director of OBM International/Bermuda. Contact 278-3550.