If you’re having people over to your house for the first time, you’ll want to make a good impression on them. You want them to feel comfortable, welcomed, and encouraged to come back again in the future. So how do you do it?
The First Impression
We all understand the power of a first impression. Appeal to your guests immediately, and you’ll have a much easier time keeping them happy for the duration of their stay. These are some of the best ways you can do it:
- Clean the exterior. Your guests are going to see your house from the outside before they come in, so make sure you clean the exterior. You don’t have to take a power washer to the siding, nor do you have to tackle any other huge jobs, but you should at least sweep the sidewalk leading up to your door and make sure your welcome mat is presentable. If your door is covered in dirt and guests can barely walk to your door without stepping over something, you won’t make a good first impression.
- Style the entryway. After walking through your door, your guests will experience the entryway, so give it a bigger impact. A tasteful vase of flowers, an interesting sculpture, or a piece of artwork could set the perfect tone.
- Prepare a fresh scent. While you’re at it, make sure your guests have a pleasant olfactory experience from the moment they walk in. A freshly lit candle, a batch of baked cookies, or a bowl of potpourri could get the job done.
- Greet with a smile. Be prepared to welcome your guests immediately. Give them a warm welcome with a handshake or a hug, give everyone a sincere smile with eye contact, and be sure to take their coats if necessary.
One of the “make or break” rooms of your house is going to be the bathroom; sooner or later, your guests will end up here, and their experience can range from great to terrible.
- Clean thoroughly. You should spend time cleaning the entire house, but your bathroom should be scrubbed from top to bottom. A dirty bathroom, or even a dirty spot in the bathroom, can make your guests feel uncomfortable.
- Install a heated seat. According to Bidet Mate, a heated toilet seat Is one of the best ways to counteract cold winter weather. If you’re hosting guests in the winter, installing one of these could make them much more comfortable during an otherwise unpleasant experience. You might even prompt them to purchase one of their own.
- Provide fresh towels. Before your guests arrive, make sure to put out fresh, clean, dry towels. If your hand towels are damp and lumped into a corner, nobody will feel completely clean after leaving your bathroom. Depending on the number of guests you’re entertaining and the nature of your event, you may need to refresh your towels at some point later in the night.
- Add plenty of supplies. While you’re at it, make sure your bathroom is stocked with all the other items your guests might need. Ample soap and toilet paper are absolute requirements.
The Living Room
If you’re like most people, you’re going to spend most of your time entertaining in the living room. These are some of the ways you can make a better impression on the guests you host.
- Dim the lights. Unless you’re participating in an activity that requires bright task lighting, you should dim the lights. People feel more comfortable and more relaxed in environments with dimmer lighting. Soft ambient lighting or colored lights can help you create a distinctive environment that everyone can enjoy.
- Play some music. Playing music isn’t just about showing off your favorite playlist or setting a mood; music has the power to reduce stress. Choose the selection of songs that are interesting, but inoffensive, and keep the volume loud enough that people can hear the music, but soft enough to enable reasonable conversation. Be ready to switch things up if you need to change the mood.
- Help guests feel relaxed. Anything you can do to make guests feel more relaxed is a good thing. Simple measures, like fluffing the couch cushions and putting out more pillows, can make a big difference.
Conduct and Conversation
Follow these tips for better overall conduct and conversation:
- Start out light. Don’t jump into heavy or complicated topics right away. Give your guests some time to settle in with small talk.
- Provide food, drinks, and other needs. Make sure nobody goes thirsty or hungry in your house; ask your guests what they’d like and provide whatever you can.
- Avoid sensitive topics. You can have many interesting topics on the table, but if you’re meeting someone for the first time, it’s best to avoid sensitive subjects like religion and politics.
- Ask stimulating questions. Engaging conversationalists are always willing to ask lots of questions. Asking questions shows that you’re not just interested in speaking; you’re also interested in listening. Try to ask more stimulating, thoughtful questions of your guests, and listen patiently when they answer. They’re going to love you for it – and they’ll probably ask you some questions in kind.
Catering to the Individual
There’s one more important note here; different people have different preferences when visiting a new house for the first time. You should always consider the individual and cater to them when possible. For example, some people are going to prefer louder, more energetic music, while others prefer softer, more calming music. Use your best judgment based on what you know about these people.
The more experience you have entertaining new houseguests, the more confident you’ll be when making accommodations for them. Also, don’t strive for perfection. Most guests don’t expect you to be perfect, so as long as you’re being reasonable and accommodating, you’re probably going to have a great time.