Five ways to make guests feel welcome in your home

An expert shares her top tips.
Photography: Armelle Habib / Stylist: Julia Green

When opening up your home to guests, either as a pitstop for visiting loved ones or as an Airbnb rental for an extra source of income, it pays to consider the impression a space makes on the senses. A great interior should be warm, welcoming and appealing to all five senses. Writer and stylist Jessica Bellef, shares her advice.

1. See the space through your guest’s eyes

“You will get an immediate sense of the things that stand out for the wrong reasons by taking photos of the space,” Jessica says. “Perhaps you need to declutter certain areas or additional lamps are required for better illumination.” A quick clean-up will do wonders, and clever positioning of furniture and décor will highlight the good and downplay the bad, such as using rugs to cover stains and arranging seating to make the most of the space.

2. Make your home smell great

“Throw open windows and doors to get fresh air circulating and use diffusers and candles in the space,” Jessica says. Opt for clean, fresh fragrances such as lemon, mint, lavender or eucalyptus.

3. Cosy up with soft textiles

“Create a comfortable environment by adding materials that feel good to the touch,” Jessica says. “Soft textures lend themselves to relaxation, while organic surfaces connect us to nature.” Think linens and flannels for beds and keep lots of soft throws and cushions on hand. “Use mugs and plates that have an organic feel and display a few statement decor pieces with interesting finishes in timber and terracotta and clay,” Jessica adds.

lamps bedside with floral bedhead
(Photography: Martina Gemmola)

4. Create a quiet, calming sanctuary

“While you may not be able to create a completely silent retreat, there are a few things you can do to reduce the noises that bounce around the rooms,” Jessica says. “If your space is filled with hard surfaces like tiles and concrete, you will find that noises will echo and be amplified. Soft surfaces absorb sound, so laying down rugs, adding in upholstered furniture and installing fabric curtains will help buffer annoying noises.”

Renovated heritage home contemporary living room with fireplace
Photography: Simon Whitbread / Styling: Jamee Deaves

5. Scale back your personal taste

“Elements of your personal space should shine through, but keep it under control,” Jessica says. “A neutral space with a tasteful amount of decoration is more likely to appeal to a wider audience. Keep wall colours neutral and add little pops of personality through artwork, cushions, rugs and throws.”

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