Surprising things your guests notice about your home and the things they don’t

Surprising things your guests notice about your home and the things they don’t

Whether you live in barely controlled chaos or a show home, first impressions are everything. Here’s what’s worth the effort – and what not to worry about

Whether you live in barely controlled chaos or a show home, first impressions are everything. Here’s what’s worth the effort – and what not to worry about.

The kerbside appeal

However tidy and tasteful your house may be inside, it’s easy to forget the impact made by the walk up to your front door. Does your doorbell work? Is the house number clearly visible? Is the paintwork peeling, the front step soiled by a local moggy? Is the garden overgrown? All these elements affect the welcome factor of your house far more than manicured lawns and fancy topiary.

The scent

When you open your front door to guests it’s not the decor they notice first – it's the smell. We can all become a bit nose-blind when it comes to pungent pets, cooking smells and the soup of home odours caused by damp raincoats, mustiness and family living. Use Febreze to truly eliminate odours and leave a light, fresh scent for your guests to enjoy.

The hallway

As guests hang coats and bags is there room for them to do so? A banister covered in jackets and a hall piled high with wellies, bike pumps and school bags smacks of chaos, so try to keep the area clutter-free, with a welcome mat to wipe shoes on. No need for a chandelier or ornate mirror, but add some warm, inviting lighting and a place to sit while taking off shoes.

The clutter

We don’t all have time to keep every room tidy, but it’s hard to relax in a mess, so keeping clutter at bay is key to a welcoming home. Put a lidded box in each room to scoop up and tidy away – at a moment’s notice - all those odds and ends that don’t have a natural home.

The littlest room

They may not get to see the whole house, but chances are your visitors will need to use the bathroom during their visit. Make sure there’s a clean hand towel, soap and enough toilet paper, and don’t forget to give the facilities a quick squirt of disinfectant. They won’t necessarily notice designer soaps, 4-ply toilet tissue, or Egyptian cotton towels – but they will notice if the basics aren’t covered.



The dust

So you don’t have time to tackle every shelf and skirting board – so what? No self-respecting guest is going to run a hand down your banisters with a sneer. But you can still keep the worst of it at bay. Give the surfaces a quick dust and take a broom to those unsightly cobwebs in the upper corners.

The refreshments

A cuppa or a refreshing drink is a vital part of welcoming visitors. And your guests will really notice if you’ve only got orange squash and a stale Rich Tea biscuit. You don’t need juice from a NutriBullet, a freshly baked scone or coffee from your own cappuccino maker, but ensure you have decent coffee and a choice of teas. And a bowl of nuts never goes amiss.

The floral displays

Fancy wild orchids and lilies aren’t necessary to make a good impression, but well-tended simple indoor plants and seasonal vases of fresh flowers bring life and colour into your home. Make sure they aren’t drooping and cluttered with brown leaves and shrivelled flowers, or it’ll look like you just can’t be bothered.

The pet evidence

Non-pet-owners will be ultra-aware of every little sign of pet presence. Use a sticky roller to remove pet hairs from your cushions, and add a packet of deodoriser when you vacuum to freshen the room. Wash pet bedding regularly, and keep food bowls and eating area squeaky clean.

The lived-in look

You may feel embarrassed by worn carpets and floorboards that need re-varnishing, but these offend no one if they’re clean. However, bikes left in the hallway, clothes drying on radiators and junk stacked on the stairs, make the home look slovenly. Buy a heated drying rack and keep it out of sight. Store bikes in your shed or get a bike storage unit. And do a daily junk trawl so it can’t collect in visible places.

How do you make sure guests feel welcome in your home? Let us know in the comments section below.

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sorry but


A bowl of nuts? Sorry but, what's wrong with biscuits? I agree with most of the article but, unless it's Christmas and you have the nutcrackers out, I'd leave the nuts in the packet.

Guests Welcomed

rainbow18 02/01/2017

Feng Shui is the key, clear spaces and surfaces! Making guests feel at harmony with their surroundings is always difficult with everyone having a different gauge on what tidy looks like. However, clean lines and symmetry never fails to impress as well as a nice fragrance!

Smell is most important

Redjac71 18/11/2016

My porch always has a reed diffuser in. They're reasonably priced and last for ages.

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