Subtle touches to add a bit of luxury to your home
Creature comforts are an important part of the relaxing and pleasant ambiance that you create at home. Often, it’s little things that make a difference. The same is true when you welcome guests to your home: it’s natural to want them to feel as comfortable as you do. There are a few extra touches that you may want to put in place that will encourage visitors to feel pampered and to really enjoy themselves. The trick is to introduce the feel of the luxury hotel, without going over the top. Instead, understatement is the key factor in getting your décor just right.
No matter what type of property you inhabit, the first thing that anyone sees is the exterior of the building. Taking a few steps to make this as attractive as possible will make you feel glad to reach home, with the added bonus of creating a great first impression with your guests.
Often, this can be as simple as making sure that your front door is in good order or sprucing it up if necessary. Add a display of seasonal plants by using window boxes on sills or garden railings, or hang a flowering basket filled with colourful, fragrant blooms.
Hallways and entrances
Once inside, you’ll want to switch from external to internal mode as soon as possible and so will your guests. Make sure that there are spaces to easily tidy away coats, jackets, shoes and brollies so that your hallway remains uncluttered and welcoming. Add an extra touch of luxury by making sure that you carry through the green theme from outdoors and display an elegant orchid or a sweet-smelling bouquet on a discreet side table.
Whether you choose to refer to your chief living space as a lounge, parlour or sitting room makes no difference; however, investing in really comfortable seating does. Good-quality sofas and chairs offer heavenly support for tired backs and aching legs, particularly if you include one or more recliners. If you think of how you feel after a long day on the tourist trail, you’ll understand why luxury hotels provide top-notch seating for guests in lounge areas and in bedrooms. Don’t forget cushions to add colour and extra comfort.
Kitchen and dining
You probably won’t expect any guest to cook for you; however, you may well be cooking for them, so if you want to make sure that you can chat with a guest while preparing a meal, add a comfortable chair to your kitchen area. Keep your kitchen and the rest of your home as uncluttered as possible to promote a streamlined look.
When it comes to welcoming dinner guests, your dining room table is the piece of furniture that really makes a statement. This is your chance to showcase your exquisite taste by featuring silver cutlery, crystal glassware and fine bone china on a highly polished wood table. Add linen or cloth napkins in napkin rings, dinner candles and a centrepiece for added effect.
Guest bedrooms are famously “neutral” in terms of décor, simply because they are generally used for short stays. This is a great reason not to decorate your spare room ostentatiously – for instance, as if it were a honeymoon suite. Instead, why not borrow a few principles from luxury hotels and ensure that the décor is restful, maybe decorated in blues and greens, the lighting is soft and the bed is in prime position in the room? You should also make sure that the sheets on your guest bed are good quality, perhaps made of Egyptian cotton, and that there are reading lights and plenty of sockets available so that visitors can charge any personal devices.
If you have en suite bedrooms, make sure that there are clean, matching towels in the bathrooms and small, individual bars of soap or a liquid cleanser in an attractive container. It is also better to personalise items such as shampoo, conditioner, bath or shower gel and body lotion. You can easily do this by purchasing small containers from a pharmacy, or reusing existing containers and filling them with toiletries. Extra touches include providing your guests with freshly laundered bathrobes and slippers, just like those supplied in the best hotels.
Finally, don’t be afraid to add those homely touches that you’re personally fond of. If you enjoy a chocolate on the pillow or a pretty little bouquet in a bathroom when on holiday, why not do the same for your guests? Just as you would naturally check out what guests like and don’t like to eat before having a dinner party, so don’t be afraid to find out if they prefer a bath to a shower before you assign them to a specific room.