Design Recipes: Get your home ready for holiday guests

Cathy Hobbs
Tribune News Service

With the holiday season upon us, now is an excellent time to start thinking about getting your home ready for guests.

The holiday season often finds us busier than usual, entertaining guests and hosting relatives. And there’s always the chance of unexpected visitors dropping by at the last minute!

Make sure you’re prepped and ready for the first sign of guests. These simple tips will help you get your home into fabulous guest-ready condition in no time.

Clear the clutter: When guests start filing in, rooms suddenly feel much smaller. Make the most of your living space and have a serious de-clutter session. Pack up things that are in the way, and discard unwanted items. After the clutter’s gone, your home will feel much more open and spacious — exactly what you want when your home is filled with guests.

Deep clean: The holiday season is the perfect time to give your home a nice, thorough clean. While often overlooked, having carpets and upholstery cleaned can make a real difference. Drapes and blinds can be washed, and of course, don’t forget about the bathrooms. This is also an ideal time to invest in new towel sets, rugs and a new shower curtain.

Prepare the guestroom: Help your guests to feel at home. Stock your guest room with essentials: fresh pillows, adequate bed linens, clean drinking glasses and an alarm clock. Simple extras like bottled water and luxury chocolates can add an especially nice touch. For the bathroom, a few nice toiletries tucked into a basket, and of course, fresh towel sets and rugs can help your guests to feel welcome and comfortable.

Decorative details: Once you’ve cleaned, it’s time for the fun part of the preparations. Enjoy putting up some holiday decorations, adding lights, trimming the tree, baking treats and creating a warm, welcoming festive atmosphere.

It’s amazing how a clean and festive atmosphere can lift your spirits and help you get into holiday mode. Once your home is ready for guests, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy the holiday season.

Cathy Hobbs, based in New York City, is an Emmy Award-winning television host and a nationally known interior design and home staging expert with offices in New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C. Contact her at or visit her website at