Create a welcoming home
Small decorating details that will make your guests instantly feel at ease.
When friends and family visit, try these tips to ensure the feelgood factor kicks in as soon as you open the front door.
• Even in winter, keep the front garden swept.
• Remove bikes, bags and piles of unopened junk mail from the hall, and make sure any room visible from the door looks like somewhere guests would want to venture into.
• Remove jackets from your coat stand so you have somewhere easy to hang guests’ bits and pieces – you fussing with an armful of coats isn’t going to get things off to a relaxed start.
• The scent of dinner in the oven is a great welcome if your guests are dining with you – but if they’re not, avoid having stinky snacks like bacon sarnies or kippers before they arrive!
• For your lounge use a room scent or candles with relaxing aromas. Vanilla and magnolia are very calming, or choose a freshener that subtly releases a scent. Try Febreze Plug & Refresh – the range always includes limited edition aromas to suit the season.
• You don’t have to tidy every corner of the house, but make sure the bathroom isn’t strewn with used towels. Clear away toothpaste and dried scraps of soap. Replace this with a liquid soap as these are easier to use without gunking up your sink!
If you don’t want everyone to gather around you while you finish preparing lunch, move a selection of drinks and bowls of nibbles into another room so your visitors don’t drift into your hot kitchen every time a new guest arrives.
Pass it on – 3 easy party snacks
• Tricolore ‘kebabs’ Skewer a mini mozzarella ball, a basil leaf and a baby tomato on a cocktail stick. A plateful looks great.
• Smoked salmon bites Serve on slices of wholemeal baguette lightly spread with sour cream, with a dusting of black pepper.
• Ham and blue cheese pizzette Add water to a pack of pizza dough mix and make biscuit-sized shapes. Brush with olive oil and top with shavings of blue cheese and chunks of cooked ham.