14 things that our guests don't like

April Kennedy April Kennedy
Helmsley Prestigious Textiles Classic style dining room
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There comes a time when you've arranged your home so carefully that it's just perfect—for you! But what about when guests arrive? The seating may be too high, the bathroom may be elusive and where on earth can they put their shoes? So in the interest of helping our readers become the perfect hosts, we've put together a list of 14 things to do so your guests are impressed and happy! We bet there are at least one or two things here you won't have considered…

1. A place to store shoes

Manhattan Micro-Loft Specht Architects Modern Corridor, Hallway and Staircase
Specht Architects

Manhattan Micro-Loft

Specht Architects

It is common to forget your guests when setting up your home. So more often than not, there isn't enough room for guests' shoes. At a minimum, set up some temporary storage baskets so their shoes are not cluttering up the corridor.

2. Fix the doorbell

Riggsacre, Corbridge MWE Architects Modern Houses
MWE Architects

Riggsacre, Corbridge

MWE Architects

There's nothing worse than having your poor guests tapping on the window or texting you to let them in! Fix the doorbell and make sure it can be heard in all the far corners of the home.

3. An elusive bathroom

The Broadway, SW19 - Extension & Bathroom Renovation Grand Design London Ltd Classic style bathroom
Grand Design London Ltd

The Broadway, SW19—Extension & Bathroom Renovation

Grand Design London Ltd

Some guests may feel self-conscious about asking to use the bathroom. Of course, it's even worse when they need to traipse through your private areas in order to reach it. Set up a cute sign to guide the way or better, arrange access from the main living areas.

4. Spare towels

Guests certainly don't want to find themselves searching through used towels when they need to dry their hands. Set up spare towels and make it clear which ones are for guests.

5. Badly hidden mess

Many people run around at the last minute doing a general tidy up and we dare not criticize this habit! But there is a difference between hidden clutter and total disorder. Get some big and easy to use containers so you can dump all that clutter. It will help create a sense of order in even the most hastily cleaned home.

6. Overly formal dining table

It can be hard to create a convivial atmosphere at a formal dinner table even with the most intimate guests. Try to help everyone loosen up by creating a beautiful, but casual atmosphere. Comfortable furnishings and a slightly eclectic or rustic theme will often do the trick.

7. Insufficient light

You may love the moody atmospheric lighting in your home. But your guests aren't familiar with the location of everything and they may not have your fabulous vision anyway. Set up some good task lights in appropriate areas and make sure the passageways are adequately lit.

8. A host who won't let them help

Rear Extension Oakman Modern Dining Room

Rear Extension


Guests can easily feel marooned in a home where the host is busy fielding requests from small children or preparing a special meal. Plan out the visit so they can help. Just make sure the task is not overly demanding and keeps them close by so you can socialise together and (just maybe) drink wine at the same time. 

9. Fresh air

Our levels of comfort are quite individual. The atmosphere you love may feel suffocating for your guests. Give them lots of options to open the windows and let in some fresh air.

10. Low or uncomfortable seats

Richmond Full House Refurbishment A1 Lofts and Extensions Living room
A1 Lofts and Extensions

Richmond Full House Refurbishment

A1 Lofts and Extensions

Imagine grandma coming over to visit and all you have is an (admittedly gorgeous) hanging chair like this. She's certainly not going to be too happy. Make sure there is comfortable seating at different heights too. All you need is a fold out chair or two and some big comfy spare cushions for small children.

11. Art collection that is all for show

Bloominville Storage Unit House Envy Living room
House Envy

Bloominville Storage Unit

House Envy

Artwork can be the springboard for some very interesting conversations. So if you have thrown up some artwork on the walls, learn a thing or two about it. This is definitely less pretentious than just putting it up for show.

12. Music too loud

Nothing quite affects the vicissitudes of human emotion like stirring music. While guests might find your choice of music a sublime addition to the atmosphere, it's definitely best to play it safe. Choose something soothing that doesn't demand attention. Classical music is a good choice.

13. Show-home

Lily Pond homify Walls

Lily Pond


Most guests (we hope!) have come to visit you and not see some fictitious version of your life. So don't make it look like a show-home and remove all personal belongings. Keep it real.

14. Beautiful home

Moroccan style garden Gullaksen Architects Mediterranean style garden
Gullaksen Architects

Moroccan style garden

Gullaksen Architects

A house bereft of visual beauty is not really a home at all. Play around with fabrics, colours and furniture to create a few beautiful vantage points in the home. Your guests are often seeing your home afresh and an eye-pleasing arrangement will go a very long way towards making them feel happy and content.

So let's move on to some more beautiful interiors, have a look at The happy and cosy wooden home.

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