Have you ever been a guest in someone’s home and felt uncomfortable – like you were in the way or an inconvenience? We’ve all felt a little out of place like that at one time or another, but I’m guessing that you hope your guests never feel that way.
SignsInWood.com’s owner and wood working craftsman Tom Watson recently made a carved wood welcome sign – a cedar welcome sign – for a customer in Iowa that is being shipped with everything needed to mount it upon arrival (including post and brace).
A carved cedar welcome sign like this clearly tells visitors to a home or business that they are truly welcome, but it just sets the stage for a great visit from your family member, friend (or customer, in the case of a business display).
It got us thinking about what else you can do to make sure your guests feel welcome at your home, so, taking inspiration from this HGTV article titled “Memorable Ways to Welcome Your Weekend Guests,” we wrote our own:
7 tips for welcoming your guests that will make them feel truly welcome!
1. Have a plan. If guests feel like they are keeping you from work or other duties, they will feel uncomfortable and unwanted. If you plan ahead and create an itinerary of planned activities as well as “down time,” you will be more likely to keep guests well-entertained but still carve out some time for other things you may need to do during their visit. Plus, they will feel like they have the opportunity to spend some time exploring on their own, resting, reading or other things they might want to do, too.
2. Have refreshments at the ready. When your guests arrive, unless you know that they’ve just eaten, have a few snacks set out as well as a pitcher of ice water and other beverages. Show your guests where you keep snack foods and even what’s in the fridge. Wash and prepare fresh fruits and vegetables to leave out (or leave readily accessible in the refrigerator).
3. Prep your spaces. Most of us go into cleaning frenzy when we have visitors coming (especially in-laws!) worried that they’ll find fault with our housekeeping practices. But just as important is preparing spaces to be guest friendly, such as making sure you have clean towels, fresh soap, Kleenex tissues and even travel sized personal care items like toothpaste, mouthwash and lotions in your guests bathroom (or bedroom, especially if the bathroom is a ‘shared’ space). Think like a hotel, or think about times that you’ve traveled and either forgotten something or needed something that you had to run out for – prepping your spaces in anticipation of guests possible needs like these will make them feel like you really thought about them, beforehand!
4. Create ambiance. You probably decorate your house with items that make youfeel something; nostalgia for people and places past, colors that make you feel relaxed or energized or happy, etc. In the same way, you can prepare guest spaces with décor that will make them feel relaxed, wanted, welcome and cheery. For instance, you can use carved wooden letters or wall words to convey sentiments relative to family, friends and love, or with words like relax, breathe and the word “welcome” itself.
5. Make the moment of arrival special. When your guests arrive, plan to relieve them of bags, coats and other items and usher them in to a special place in your home (such as a living room or family room) where you can spend a few minutes hugging, handshaking and visiting. This would be the place to set out snacks and drinks, and to spend a few minutes relaxing before you show them where to put their things or take them on a tour of the place.
6. If they’ll be overnight guests, help them get bags and other belongings to their rooms and give them a little time to get settled. Ask if they’d like to shower, nap or otherwise refresh themselves – this will be an especially thoughtful act if they are on the tail end of a long car ride or air travel.
7. Take them on a tour. Make sure guests know where restrooms are, where food and snacks are (and that they’re welcome to help themselves), where they can find magazines or books to read at bedtime or during any downtime, how to use the TV remote, where to find towels, etc. It’s not the same as actually being at home, but when your guests feel as though you don’t mind if they help themselves, they’ll feel so much more comfortable!
When completed, the project including this cedar wood welcome sign, brace and post (with kit) inclusive came in under $150 (plus actual shipping). Please contact us for a quote for your own custom-designed wood welcome sign – to welcome your guests indoors or out.