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Getting Your Home Ready for Overnight Guests

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We know it's going to impress us (and maybe you!), so we partnered with Sahale Snacks ® to see what some of our favorite creatives do during their in-between time. Today, it's Athena Calderone from Eyeswoon on prepping for guests.

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 friends and family deepen. My family's Amagansett home, which is about three hours from Brooklyn, is my sanctuary. There, I cook every square meal and continually find myself playing with and rearranging the decor. From prepping the guest rooms and baking sweet treats to creating in the kitchen or propping with flowers, it is truly where I am happiest.

This home away from home has completely changed my family's lives—not only do we experience a greater connectedness to nature here, but we also have a revolving door of friends and family that fill it up with joy and laughter (which works great because I love to host more than anything, particularly during the holidays).

Photo by Sarah Elliott

In the cooler months, we gather around the kitchen island with all hands on deck to prep a meal—then settle into long dinners punctuated by red wine, 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.

Photos by Sarah Elliott

Every time I invite loved ones into my home, it's 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, thoughtful things that make a house a home. These are a few simple room-by-room ways I prep a home thoughtfully, so sleepover guests have a relaxed and enjoyable experience during their stay.

The Kitchen

Photo by Sarah Elliott

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—so simply set out the coffee mugs, lay out a maker like this Chemex with filters and teaspoons, take out the coffee, grind the beans, and set up creamer in the fridge. A marble board, or a platter, will pull it all together into a proper coffee bar. These gestures allow your guests to feel comfortable and caffeinated.

Set out snacks for guests so they know what's for the taking—it'll make them feel at home. Photos by Sarah Elliot

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.

The Guest Room

Candles your guests can take with them, like these from the Food52 Shop, make great gifts.
Candles your guests can take with them, like these from the Food52 Shop, make great gifts. Photo by Sarah Elliott

By making their bedroom feel personalized, your guests will be comfortable sneaking away for some solitude. I like to clear a surface or drawer for them to place their things so they can feel settled. A little bedside care package might include a scented candle (better yet if it's one you can send home with them, like these portable ones), matches, a carafe of water, flowers, and even a sweet book of quotes or poetry.

Photo by Sarah Elliott

I also like to leave some lavender linen spray to make for a deep nights sleep, which they can also take home—look for that DIY here soon! After all, they are not staying in a hotel and you want them to feel welcomed and cared for.

A carafe, like this 1/2 liter one from the Food52 Shop, makes the perfect bedside water jug.

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 just provide them! I even make little cards with the wifi code for each guest room.

Photos by Sarah Elliott

The Bathroom

Everyone loves bath products; they are the ultimate thing to help your guests unwind and feel pampered. Whenever I stay in any hotel, I always snatch up all the tiny soaps, lotions, shampoos, and conditioners 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 toothpaste!).

Lavender Soap and Lotion available in the Food52 Shop.
Lavender Soap and Lotion available in the Food52 Shop. Photo by Sarah Elliott

I always set out a little tray with a travel toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, and bath time essentials.

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. Think of the little things that make the difference, and their stay will be as swoony as possible.

This Woven Moroccan Basket, perfect for heaping with linens, is available in the Food52 Shop. Photos by Sarah Elliott

We partnered with Sahale Snacks ® to share how some of our favorite creatives never waste a moment during their in-between times to Snack Better®. See all of their nut mixes here.

The Piglet Tournament of Cookbooks is Here!

Tags: Storage Tips, Entertaining, Travel, Bathrooms, Gifts, Holiday Entertaining