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Knowing how to make someone feel comfortable in your home is incredibly important.
Luckily, this isn’t complicated. It boils down to two things. Physical comfort and emotional comfort.
In this post, we’ll talk about what each entails and what you need to do to make sure that your guests feel comfortable in your home at all times.
Feeling at ease with the people and your surroundings makes any experience better.
How To Make Someone Feel Comfortable In Your Home
If you want to make a great first impression or a lasting impression on your visitors, make them feel comfortable.
They may not know exactly what it was that made them enjoy the time they spent in your home, but they will associate it with a happy, carefree feeling.
Have you ever spent a night out at a friend’s house and 3 months later you’re reminiscing on your time there. You can’t remember what you ate, drank, or talked about, but you do remember enjoying the evening.
This happens to me all the time. This is because I was comfortable. If I wasn’t, I’d surely remember it. Unfortunately, we tend to remember the negative details of an event far more than the little details of and easy-going experience.
But, never fear, I’ve compiled those little details in this post to help you make every guest that enters your home feel welcome.
Here’s how you do it.
First, let’s talk about physical comfort.
Physical comfort addresses your five senses. Are you cold? Are you hot? Do you smell something gross? Are your bare feet stepping in crumbs?
All of these things make a huge impression on how someone feels in your home and frankly about you.
Physical comfort plays a huge role in whether or not a person feels at ease and comfortable.
1. Remove Outerwear
The first way to help address comfort in your home is to create a place where guests can easily remove and store their outerwear.
That’s jackets, scarves, hats, handbags, and, shoes. Carrying those things around with you or having to tuck them at your side while you’re seated on a sofa is uncomfortable.
Not only does it take up space you may need, but you’re also worried about things slipping into cracks, or having to move your items with you from place to place if you’re a part of a large party situation.
In addition, it makes you feel like you have one foot out the door the whole time you’re in someone’s home. This is because you’re very aware of your items being in someone else’s space and not really belonging.
It’s not comfortable and it’s not welcoming.
As the hostess, it’s your job to prepare a space where outerwear can be taken off and stored (preferably by the entryway).
This doesn’t have to be fancy, just a simple coat rack will hold pretty much anything you need to store.
2. Temperature Control
Maintaining a comfortable indoor temperature is important when you’re entertaining guests.
Feeling too cold or too hot is distracting. It’s hard to focus on anything else when your arms are covered in goosebumps.
While temperature is subjective, most people are comfortable indoors in a temperature range of 72 – 75 degrees.
3. Fresh Air
Another aspect of physical comfort that you don’t want to overlook is the air quality in your home.
The aroma of cooking food is always a win. But, if you’re expecting visitors to your home and not serving a full meal, your home should smell fresh and clean.
To do this, start by opening several windows at least a half-hour before your guests are expected to arrive. This will get fresh air circulating throughout your home.
The thing about smells in a home is that you may not notice them if you’ve been inside for an extended period of time.
We may think there are no odors, but the only way to ensure a fresh home is to open your windows and air it out. Candles and essential oils just add new scents to your space, but to get fresh air in, you need to open the windows.
Vacuuming is another great way to improve air quality. It will trap dust and allergens that are floating around in the air or settled into carpets.
4. Comfortable Seating
Next up is comfortable seating. Now, this can be quite subjective I’ll admit.
Not all seating is for everyone. But, a basic sofa or chair that will accommodate the average-sized person with proper support is a good marker.
While you will likely have people of all shapes and sizes visit your home at one time or another, there are some universal standards that we can all agree to.
Most people over the age of 25 do not want to sit in a bean bag chair, egg chair, or swing.
Any person weighing more than a hundred pounds will need proper cushion support on a chair or sofa.
Have you ever sat on a sofa or chair so saggy that all you can think about is the moment you can get out of it? I have.
I’ve been made to sit on furniture that was so uncomfortable that I couldn’t wait to get back in my car just to have a good supportive chair.
Now I understand that it’s unreasonable to suggest that if your furniture needs replacing to go out and spend hundreds or thousands of dollars upgrading before guests arrive. That’s crazy.
But, what you can do is make sure you offer your most comfortable seating to your guests.
If you know that you have a chair that is wobbly, sagging, and scratchy, don’t offer that seat to your guests.
It’s okay to be candid. Let them know it’s not the greatest and they’d probably be more comfortable seated over there.
Your guests will appreciate your honesty and forethought into their comfort.
5. Clean Floors In A Shoe Free Home
Clean floors are important whether you have a shoe-free home or not.
Stepping on things that are crunchy or sticky is very off-putting and will make someone feel uncomfortable.
And it’s ten times worse if they’re doing so in bare feet or socks because you asked them to leave their shoes at the door!
The solution to this is very simple. Mop, sweep, and vacuum your floors before visitors arrive.
Also, if you are asking that guests take off their shoes in your home it’s always a nice gesture to have guest socks available.
These are clean, never worn, fresh out of the package cozy socks available for anyone who may need them.
It will help ensure their comfort on hard floors and keep their feet warm.
The first time I stocked my home with guest socks it seemed so over the top and ridiculous.
I felt really silly telling people they were available. But guess what, two of my guests opted for the socks and were really happy to have them.
6. Food & Drink
Being hungry or thirsty is uncomfortable for most people. Don’t forget to offer your guests a drink and a snack.
Easy things to keep on hand for unexpected guests are cheese and crackers, pretzels, bottles of water, and cookies.
While I love an elaborate charcuterie display (see the post 6 Charcuterie Board Design Secrets Revealed) it’s not necessary.
A basic beverage and small item to snack on are sufficient if you aren’t planning on serving a full meal.
Now let’s talk about emotional comfort.
These are things that affect the way a person may behave in your home.
It will determine whether or not they’re distracted, whether they are chatty or reserved, and whether they feel welcome or a bother.
Of course, your goal as the hostess is to make everyone feel as welcome and comfortable as possible.
Emotional comfort can be built over time.
For example, friends and family will feel much more comfortable with you because they have a history of interaction with you and your home.
But, for people who may be never visited before, it’s important to go the extra mile to make them feel comfortable in your home.
I’ve never considered myself good at small talk. But, over the years I’ve found that the easiest way to break the ice with someone new is to offer a compliment.
It can be the way they’ve styled their hair, a piece of jewelry they’re wearing, clothing, shoes, handbag, there are so many things to choose from.
A simple compliment that is sincere will go a long way to making someone feel comfortable in your home. Especially if you’re meeting them for the first time.
Compliments make people feel a sense of approval.
And whether we want to admit it or not, acceptance is something that’s important to most of us.
2. Casual Chat
Another easy way to break the ice with a guest is to ask them their opinion on something.
When you do this be sure to steer away from political and social views.
There’s a reason why people say you should never discuss politics or religion. They are emotionally charged and polarizing topics.
There are so many other things to chat about.
You could ask their opinion on a purchase you’ve recently made for your home. Or for restaurant and movie recommendations.
This will show your guest that you’re interested in what they have to say and hold their opinions in high regard.
Those are the things that give people warm fuzzy feelings. It makes them feel included and comfortable.
3. Let Them Help
For me, this one is a personal pet peeve.
The fastest way to alienate a person is to reject their offer to help. It makes people feel unwanted and unvalued.
So often when people visit our home we feel a duty to take care of absolutely everything for them. We don’t want them to have to lift a finger to do anything. We wait on them hand and foot.
But, on the other side of that coin, you have a person who sees the effort and wants to show their gratitude by offering their assistance.
People are well aware that hosting duties requires extra effort and expense. They want to give back any way they can.
This is why people bring hostess gifts like flowers or a dessert.
More hostess gift options in the post Hostess Gifts & How To Choose.
Lots of people feel that asking guests to help makes them seem like they’re a bad host and don’t have it together.
I’m not suggesting that you ask for help. However, if help is offered you should let people assist you.
They’re not necessarily assuming that you don’t have it together or can’t handle the work. Instead, they’re trying to ease their own discomfort of sitting there and watching someone wait on them.
Most people are really uncomfortable with that outside of a restaurant setting.
Also, if you’re trying to build a relationship with someone, the worst thing you can do is reject their help.
Now, if you’re territorial about your kitchen I totally understand that.
You don’t have to let people chopping vegetables and stir pots for you. But certainly, there are some small tasks that another person can take on like bringing napkins or silverware out to the table.
They can open a bag of chips and pour it into a bowl without disrupting your carefully choreographed dinner plans.
These are the things that do not require any specialized knowledge.
They are the types of things that you would ask children to help out with at Thanksgiving.
So, just allow them to help you if they offer. It will make your guest feel valued and useful.
Moreover, it will make someone feel comfortable in your home.
3. Thank them for coming
Another thing that will go a long way in making someone feel welcome is to thank them for coming.
Say thank you for taking time out of their day. Or for choosing to spend their time with you (especially on a holiday when they likely had other invitations).
Thanking folks long before they’re about to exit your home is even more powerful.
It helps them feel like they’ve made the right decision in coming and that you’re interested and their company.
Last but not least make sure your home is decluttered.
There’s nothing like piles of junk everywhere to make someone feel uneasy.
Junk mail stacked high or other piles of stuff will make people extra cautious when maneuvering around your space. They’ll be afraid of bumping into something and causing an avalanche.
A basic declutter before guests arrive is a great practice.
Your house does not have to be pristine, but it should be tidy.
This is as simple as clearing tables, countertops, and floors. Empty your kitchen sink and dishwasher. Finally, make sure you don’t have visible piles of laundry hanging around.
I hope you found this post helpful and gained a few ideas for how to make your guests feel comfortable in your home.
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