The Ultimate Survival Guide For Hosting Guests

The holidays are the season of entertaining, so don't miss this must-read, essential guide for making your home guest-ready.

header1 The golden rule of prepping your home for guests is to provide clean linens. Nothing says welcome like a cozy throw blanket and clean towels folded at the end of the bed. And for the full boutique experience, pay heed not only to thread count and quality, but how sheets feel to you -- it's not all a numbers game.
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Sheet Set, From $35, Crane & Company Striped Wool Throw, $148, Leif Mustard Gobi Bath Towels, From $8, Serena & Lily
header2If your guest room is equipped with a desk, stock the surface with chic stationery and a great pen, so your guests don't need to hunt for a notepad. While you're at it, it's a nice touch to leave a great book or novel for your guest to enjoy during his or her stay; choose something from your library you know your guest will enjoy.
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Multicolour Pyramid Notepad, $7, Think & Ink Studio Geo Green Pen, $18, Lulu & Georgia Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris, $18, Barnes & Noble
header3Dress your guest bedroom nightstand with a carafe of distilled water or a bottle of mineral water and a nice tumbler to keep your friends quenched. Make a point to sneak in and refill the water each day.
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Personalized Bedside Water Carafe Set, $38, Nordstrom Individual Decanter with Wood Stopper, $13, World Market Spa Bottle, $23, Fishs Eddy
header4Set a bar of luxury soap at the sink's side and stock the shower with fragrant shampoos, conditioners, and body washes. We prefer herbal and floral fragrances to particularly fruity ones, which can be off-putting; look for subtle scents like lavender, honeysuckle, citrus verbena, and rose.
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Boticario de Havana Body Wash, $27, Archipelago Possum Hollow Farm Soap, $7, West Elm Lavender Hand Soap, $24, Common Good
header5Be it a bud vase with a bloom picked from your garden or a bouquet arranged by your favorite florist, a little bit of life in your guest bedroom will liven up your friend's stay. Replace and refill the vase water each day, and if your guests are staying for an extended period, be sure to bring in new flowers if your blooms begin to wilt.
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Vortex Bud Vase, $28, Jonathan Adler Multi-Stem Vase, $120, Heath Ceramics Single Stem Rectangle Vases, $46, Botanik
Photograph: Andrew Arthur
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