Easy entertaining ideas to impress guests
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Be Our Guest1 of 9
By Andie Huber
Everyone wants their guests to feel welcome, which is why you probably already have a basket of travel-size toiletries snagged from hotels or a stack of extra towels for the guest bathroom. But to ratchet your hostessing skills up a notch, Glo asked Target style expert and HGTV designer Sabrina Soto to share her best entertaining tips. Whether you have friends and family coming over for the evening or an entire week, here are eight easy ideas to make their stay go smoothly.
Set the Bar2 of 9
"A guaranteed way to keeps guests happy is to greet them with drinks," says Soto. "Set up a small drink station near the entryway with festive holiday cocktails." It immediately gives guests a target destination and hopefully will get them mingling with the rest of the crowd once they have something in their hands. Bonus tip: Afraid of red wine disasters? Set up a punch bowl with a special clear drink and garnish with cranberries for a festive flair.
Shine Bright3 of 9
Candlelight may be great for atmosphere, but unfortunately all those flickering flames can be hazardous. As a safe and equally cozy alternative, use battery-powered candles. They come in a variety of sizes that will help add warmth to your space without the worry of potential accidents.
Good Vibrations4 of 9
Music is just as important as decor. Soto likes to plan ahead and make a holiday playlist that matches the mood she's created. If you don't have time to play DJ, many TV cable providers have music-only stations or you can access free online playlists from your favorite tastemakers. A few of our favorites? Rolling Stone, Fader Magazine and KCRW apps on Spotify have great mixes.
Morning Glory5 of 9
For overnight guests who may be early risers, set up coffee, tea and glasses for juice the night before. No one likes to root through kitchen cabinets or wants to learn how to brew a cup of coffee on a strange machine. If you don't have a timer on your coffee maker, prep everything before bed and tape a note to the machine that lets them know how to use it.
Climate Change6 of 9
Everyone's temperature requirements are different and cranking up the house's heat or air conditioning system can be expensive. To help keep guests comfortable, Sabrina suggests "adding extra blankets in the guest room like on-trend faux fur throws." In case your friends and family like it on the cooler side, a small portable fan they can turn on near the bedside table will be greatly appreciated.
On the Same Page7 of 9
If you don't have a television in the guest room, set up a basket of magazines and books beside the bed to help keep visitors entertained. "If your guests are from out of town, add a local magazine or pick up a travel guide to help them get acquainted with your area," says Soto.
Secure Connection8 of 9
Now that laptops, iPads and phones all can access the Internet seamlessly, provide your guests with an easy password to your Wi-Fi system. If you are worried about Wi-Fi theft and hackers accessing your personal files, you can set up a guest feature on your router, which allows them to use the network without accessing your private network. And while you're at it, make plugs or extension cords accessible to plug in and charge all these gadgets.
Pet Project9 of 9
We know you love your pet. We love your pets, too. But whether because of allergies or just a general aversion to animals, your guests may not feel the same way. A couple days before their stay, try to keep Fido out of the room and give it a super thorough vacuuming—especially if your visitors are allergic. If you use an air filter in any part of the house, temporarily move it to where they'll be sleeping. Anything you can do to alleviate potential allergy attacks is good hosting.