Blairgowrie Beach House by Studio Tom, Styling by Natalie James, Photography by Derek Swalwell

Friends, family, friends of family, new boyfriends and girlfriends, kids, babies… you name it, chances are you’re going to be seeing, and possibly even hosting, them this holiday season! Here’s your survival guide to ensure guests have hospitable stay, and you keep your sanity!

That time of the year is here again. We open up our homes to our friends and family (and sometimes their friends and family), and play host for a few days, a few weeks… dare we say, months?

For some of us, this comes naturally – your homes are always spick and span, there’s fresh guest-towels ready to go, and dinner plans have been prepared months in advance. For others it’s a whole different story. We won’t go into detail, but if you identify as ‘not being the most prepared host’, well this article is for you.

We’ve listed, in reverse order, five ESSENTIALS for upping your guest-house game and relieving some of that ‘oh my god I’ve got guests arriving’ anxiety. You can incorporate just one idea, or go for all five – either way you’ll be making a difference and leaving a positive impression on your guests. So have a scroll, have a read, jot down some notes, and prepare yourself to get hosting.

Oh, and whilst we’re on the topic of prepping the house for holiday guests, we thought we’d mention the art of Christmas lighting. Nothing says WELCOME TO THE HOUSE OF FUN than a decorative arrangement of festive twinkling lights, cascading whimsically down the roof (we see you Brisbane!). Our friends over at Porch have very graciously shared their top-secret tips and tricks for decorating with lights, which you can read here.


Something To Disguise That “This Room Never Gets Used” Odour

Chances are, your guest room hasn’t been used in awhile… a long while. This can only mean that ‘unused’ odour we all know but struggle to describe has probably made itself at home and plans on staying.

Opening a few windows and letting the space air out will work, of course. But why not take things up a notch and introduce your own fragrance/your own signature scent? I mean, it sounds a bit extra, and maybe it is, but there’s no harm in going all out to impress. You want those good reviews after all, right?


A Touch Of Warmth & Tenderness

Here’s a little secret: Your visitors are absolutely BEGGING for a cosy throw blanket to snuggle in to, in the comfort of their (actually yours, but whatever) room. So, if you’re not wrapping your guests up in the warmest and plushiest pieces of fabric on the planet, then you ain’t doing it right.

Wool tends to be our fabric of choice when it comes to throws. It’s warm and fluffy and relatively easy to keep clean. However, the Aussie climate is super diverse and may be problematic on warmer days when paired with a heavier throw. Not to worry – keep an eye our for linen options. Not only are they easy and breezy, they also develop the most intense and beautiful creases, which adds a nice pop of texture to your space.


Stuff To Make Your Guests Less Smelly

There are two types of holiday guests in existence. Those who travel with toiletries, and those who do not. The former – great, barely have to think about them and their hygiene status. Those in the latter category… well, let’s just say you best be preparing for them.

It never hurts to have a couple of extra bottles of body wash, shampoo, and hand soap ready to go when guests come a knockin’. It doesn’t need to be that super-exy hair-salon level stuff, however it’s always pleasant to use something that isn’t from the ‘generic’ section of the Woolworths body & beauty aisle. Our go-to is Meraki. Their range always smells fresh and divine, and their packaging and labels are clean and minimal. Never fails to impress.


Bedside Hydration

Nothing makes us more uncomfortable than house guests wandering the house at night, trying to navigate their way to the kitchen for a glass of water. It’s hazardous, it’s awkward, and it doesn’t need to happen, no sir-ee.

That’s why we’re all about these personal carafe and cup sets from Ferm LIVING. It’s like they were designed with house guests in mind. Having an empty set ready to go on the bedside table will encourage your visitors to fill up just before bedtime, allowing them midnight hydration without having to explore a darkened household in the dead of night.


Guest Towels That Don’t Suck

And coming in as THE most essential of essentials is a good set of guest towels. Yes, we know it’s really easy to opt for something cheap and ‘available now’ when buying towels that aren’t going to be in your regular use-cycle, but that’s really just biting your thumb (thanks Shakespeare) at your friends and family.

They. Deserve. Better.

With that in mind, prepare now. You don’t need to break the bank and buy bath-sheets handwoven by angels in the mountains of heaven with rare golden threads and all that nonsense. But you certainly can look into brands such as Mette Ditmer, who make gorgeous towel sets of all different colours, that won’t cost you a fortune.

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