This is a simple homemaking series focusing on making a welcoming space for you, your littles and your guests. Many are methods I've observed from dear friends whose homes are the warmest, coziest places imaginable. A comfortable, hospitable home does not require hours of cleaning and heaps of money. Simple is often best.
Keep dishes, snacks and drinks easily accessible.
There are a ton of ideas for doing this including a snack bar in the guest room and a welcoming note for guests. These are a few ideas we've started implementing here at Treetops:
Your guests will love them as they will not need to interrupt the conversation to inquire about glasses or coffee mugs or plates. With two kids, I am a slightly less attentive hostess than I'd prefer. The open shelves in the kitchen invite our guests to help themselves after I've initially offered drinks or food.
This idea is not for everyone, of course. Some of us are too messy to keep shelves looking orderly and uncluttered. Many of us are not remodeling our kitchens at the moment so this idea is only achievable for a few. If you are interested in open shelves, I encourage you to go ahead and remove a few cabinet doors to see if you like this concept.
If open shelves are not an option, consider putting appropriate dishes on the counter beforehand. If you are hosting a morning playdate, place some kid-friendly plates and ceramic appetizer plates next to the banana bread. If you have overnight guests, group some mugs, coffee beans, filters and sugar on a tray next to the coffee pot. This will enable your guest to start the coffee if they've had a long night and can't wait. (I speak from personal experience here; thanks for keeping your coffee out, Ali and KW.)
If you want your children to be able to help themselves, have a place in the fridge for their water bottles that they can reach and use a low drawer for their cups, bowls and plates. They'll be able to get a cup and offer their friend a drink (teaching them to serve their friends!). I have started keeping simple snacks in a low cupboard. August has to ask permission first but I don't have to get the snack out for him since it is already on his level.
How do you make company feel welcome in your kitchen?