Living Entertaining:

The Swooners Guide to Hosting Guests

Photography by Sarah Elliott
Story shared on Food52

This post is in partnership with Food52

As much as I love city life, I feel more in tune with myself once I escape the urban hustle: my body relaxes, my mind clears, and my connections with family and friends deepen. It is no secret that my Amagansett home is my sanctuary—a space where I can comfortably disconnect from all the noise while I reconnect with my most creative self. I blissfully cook every square meal, and I can continually find myself fussing and rearranging the décor for hours on end – it is truly where I am happiest.

My Amagansett home has completely changed the course of my families’ lives and mine. Not only do we experience a greater connectedness to nature here, but we also have a revolving door of friends and family that fill our home with joy and laughter. I love to host more than anything, particularly during the holiday season. The holidays are all about loved ones. Around this time of year more than any other, I get to play hostess to house guests. It’s a time I cherish — giving the spare bedroom some extra TLC, preparing sweet treats in kitchen and overall, making the most of the time we get to spend altogether under one roof. We gather around the kitchen island with all hands on deck as I prep a meal, indulge in long decadent dinners punctuated by a whole lotta red wine, and followed by cozy card games as the fire blazes, or movie nights with kiddos piled on the sofa in our little nook of a den.

Every time I invite loved ones into my home, it is a chance to create beauty, which is what truly makes me swoon. And by beautiful I do not necessarily mean overly complicated or fanciful—less is often more. I certainly have a caretaker side, so I get joy out of providing my guests with the simple, small and thoughtful things that make a house a home. Here, I have laid out a few simple tips and tricks for prepping your home thoughtfully so that your sleepover guests have a relaxed and enjoyable experience in your home.

Hosting guests!

swoon style

The Kitchen

I don’t know about you, but I like my coffee the moment I awaken. It can be awkward for guests to be in someone else’s kitchen and they may feel intrusive having to dig around for the morning essentials. Simply setting out the coffee mugs, laying out filters and teaspoons, taking out the coffee, grinding the beans, and setting up creamer in the fridge—these gestures allow your guests to feel comfortable and caffeinated, hehehe.
To further that thought, I like to bake scones or muffins the day guests arrive. Not only will the kitchen smell delightful, your guests will also have something homemade to nosh on in the morning should you decide to sleep in. These thoughtful steps allow guests to enjoy the morning at their own pace and feel right at home.

The Guest Room

I always strive to make my family and friends feel super cozy in their bedrooms. By making guests rooms personal, they can sneak away for some solitude to relax and recharge. I like to clear a surface or drawer for them to place their things so they can feel settled. A little bedside care package displayed beautifully, including a scented candle, leaving matches, a carafe of water, bedside flowers, and even a sweet book of quotes or poetry can really elevate an experience. Also, I always leave some lavender linen spray to aid in a swoony nights sleep that they can also take home (lovely recipe for that to follow). After all, they are not staying in a hotel and you want them to feel welcomed and cared for.

Storage & Supplies

How many nights have you suffered in a cold hotel room because there was no extra blanket? Provide your guests with ample warmth: place a woven basket next to the bed filled with an extra blanket, pillow, bath towels and hand towels. No one enjoys having to ask for things so provide everything they could ever want—I even make little cards with the wifi code for each guest room. Oh, and keep an extra roll of toilet tissue in the bathroom, please! The goal here: make everyone feel provided for so they don’t feel uncomfortable asking.

The Bathroom

Everyone love bath products, right? They are the ultimate generous trinkets to help your guests unwind and feel pampered. So, I have a little trick to share: whenever I stay in any hotel, I always snatch up all the soap, lotion, shampoo, and conditioner I can get my hands on. These sample-sized toiletries are perfect to stock in your home for when guests stay (I can’t tell you how many times I have forgotten to pack the toothpaste!). I always set out a little tray with a travel toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, and bath time essentials.
Think of the little things that make the difference, and their stay will be swoony as possible.


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