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Home visit: 6 hosting tips for the holiday season

Try these 5-star entertaining tips from an Airbnb host and make it easy for guests to stay over – whatever size your space.

A bed made up with blue bedding, a step stool doubles as a side table, on it is a carafe of infused water and drinking glass.
A bed made up with blue bedding, a step stool doubles as a side table, on it is a carafe of infused water and drinking glass.

1. Give guests a cosy bed

Whether there’s space for guests to have a room of their own, or your living room is on double duty for the night, a happy guest is one that gets a good sleep! Make their bed inviting. Even if it’s the sofa, you can boost the comfort by swapping cushions for a proper pillow and layers of fresh bedding to snuggle under. Then think about small things that make you feel at home and add them…

2. Treat them to morning luxuries

“Make sure your guests have everything they need,” says Rena, who invited us to see how she’s turned part of her Norwegian farmhouse into a popular stop for Airbnb guests. Your place doesn’t have to be a hotel to offer hotel-style luxury. Keep a couple of spare fluffy bathrobes on hand for sleepovers.

Make it 5-star: Add a personal touch, like the notes on the local area Rena leaves visitors.

3. Remember towels

Actions can speak louder than words. Handing guests a towel lets them know you’re happy they’re staying and that they’re welcome to take their time in the morning and treat your home like theirs. “‘Mi casa es su casa’ is the motto of your stay here,” says Rena’s husband Sam.

Make it 5-star: roll your towels and hold them in shape with twine. For an extra flourish, add a seasonal sprig.

4. Add small home comforts

Little things make you feel at home but you rarely have space to pack them. Candlelight, cosy slippers – they’re details that will give guests the feeling of home.

Make it 5-star: The new TÅSJÖN slippers are super affordable. Buy a few pairs then make them unique by embroidering on a pattern – we added a seasonal fir tree using wool thread.

Be friendly, create a comfortable and inspiring space and make sure your guests have everything they need. I always try to welcome guests the way I would like to be welcomed.


5. Put water on tap

Upgrade the idea of taking a glass of water to bed by setting a full carafe and glass on the bedside table.

Make it 5-star: Boost your water with this antioxidant-rich infusion. Add pomegranate seeds, persimmon slices, peeled orange segments, allspice berries and cinnamon sticks to water and let it steep.

6. Share a welcome drink

Help guests shake off the stress of their journey with a welcome drink. Hot chocolate works wonders. For this homemade version, shave a bar of dark chocolate into pieces, mix with cinnamon powder and milk then heat. Pour into mugs and top with marshmallows, a sprinkle of cinnamon and chocolate shavings.

Make it 5-star: Serve with biscuits in a jar they can take to their room for a midnight snack!

Be a happy host

Rena moved from Holland to Norway with husband Sam last year. The idea to open their house to Airbnb guests came from a wish to meet new people. “We like to share what we have. Every day we get to enjoy the beauty of this place, to give that – and a nice bed – to others feels good. We put guests at ease by giving them a space that’s clean, green and has a ‘home away from home’ feeling.”

We love to see our customers get creative with our products. Go for it! But please note that altering or modifying IKEA products so they can no longer be re-sold or used for their original purpose, means the IKEA commercial guarantees and your right to return the products will be lost.

Made by
Interior designer: Ashlyn Gibson
Photographer: Benjamin Edwards
Art director: Jules Rogers
Writer: Helen Bazuaye
Follow Rena: @studiohearhear