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Guess Who's Coming for the Holidays?

No matter how much you love your family and friends, it can be stressful and exhausting when they come for an overnight (or multiple night!) visit. This week Randy Florke, our interior designer, shares his secrets for minimizing the stress factor and making everyone feel welcome.

No matter how much you love your family and friends, it can be stressful and exhausting when they stay for an overnight (or multiple night!) visit. Just follow these ten simple tips to alleviate the stress factor and make your house guests feel welcome:

  1. Create a comfortable and private space for your guests. If you have a separate guest room, that's fantastic. If you don't, consider surrendering your bedroom to your guests. While no one likes to give up his or her bed, it may make more sense than putting Aunt Tillie and Uncle Arnold on the living room sofa.
  2. Ask your guests about their sleeping patterns. If they're night owls and sleep the morning away and you have to get up for work, this may be the time to give them your bedroom. Just pick out your work clothes the night before and make yourself a comfy bed on the sofa. This way you'll have access to the rest of your apartment or house minus the bedroom. With great cotton sheets and a plush comforter, you won't miss your own bed for a night or two….or three. Just reassure your guests that they're not displacing you.
  3. If you don't have a guest room and don't want to give up your bedroom, consider investing in an air mattress. They come in several sizes, are easy to store and with soft sheets, a plush comforter and a couple of great pillows, your guests will have a comfortable place to sleep. Keep an extra blanket or two on hand in case your guests wake up shivering in the middle of the night. (If you live in a warm climate and don't have air conditioning, place a fan in the guest room or sleeping area in case your company gets hot in the middle of the night.)
  4. Place a box of Kleenex and a bottle (or carafe) of water on the nightstand or nearby desk so your guests don't have to go in search of a drink or a tissue in the dark. You may also want to put an alarm clock nearby although these days people can use the alarm on their cell phones.
  5. Show your guests how to use the TV and DVD player.
  6. Provide your guests with your internet password so that they don't have wake you for it in the wee hours of the morning.
  7. Place fresh flowers in your guest's room or space for a thoughtful touch.
  8. Show your guests where they can store their luggage so that it's not sitting in the middle of your hallway for the duration of their stay.
  9. In case little Sally forgot her favorite picture book at home or cousin George left his copy of Steve Jobs' biography on the plane, be sure to have some books and magazines on hand.
  10. Before bedtime, always ask your guests if there's anything special they need. Doing so before each of you has gotten under the covers will make for a better night all around.

If you've got strategies and tips for welcoming the holiday horde, please share them on our Facebook page.