Tom Kalinski, RE/MAX of Boulder

Tom Kalinski, RE/MAX of Boulder

One of the most endearing traits of the holiday season is the warmth of opening your home to out of town guests. Not only is it fun, but the prospect of guests on your doorstep can be a great motivator to make inviting improvements to your home.

Here are some quick ideas from Better Homes and Gardens to go beyond general cleaning and make your home feel warm and inviting.

Make the most of your front entrance
A well maintained, attractive front door tells your visitors that you care for your home and look forward to their visit. Start by refurbishing peeling paint and scrubbing away dust and dirt. Give your home a quick face lift with pots of plants to add color and soften the lines. Make sure seating is clean and inviting. Use a new, seasonal welcome mat to freshen your home and give it a cheery feel.

Clear your front entryway
When your guests arrive, you need plenty of uncluttered room for greetings and luggage. Put away your family’s shoes, coats, and school and sports gear to make room and create an open feeling. If the area still feels crowded, clear away unneeded furniture.

“A front entry needs enough furnishings to provide a sense of transition—a bold piece of art, for example, acts as both a focal point and a visual connection to the living room beyond,” writes Better Homes and Gardens.

Organize the back entry
In contrast to the front entry’s ‘stage setting’ role, the entrance you use daily needs to be practical and functional. This is where you take off your coat and snow boots. There’s nothing more welcoming than having a place to hang your coat, so make space for guests to use this area, too. The beauty is that a simple row of coat hooks and well placed chair, bench or basket, can control clutter and provide a sense of warmth and personality.

Keep the guest room simple
Less is more when it comes to decorating the guest room. It’s best to leave room for your guests to put their things, while adding minimal touches that are warm, cozy and inviting while. A bedside table with an alarm clock, coasters and a lamp are practical and can add a touch of flare. High quality bedsheets, pillows and comforters are an excellent place to splurge. You may choose twin beds instead of a double or queen-size bed to accommodate a range of guests. Try to have a few empty drawers for guests to put their personal items.

A place to unpack
When traveling, nothing is more helpful than a flat surface to put your suitcase. Whether your guests wish to unpack completely or just take out their personal items, an empty bench or sturdy table for luggage will add a touch of practical comfort. Also, clear the top of the dresser to make room for your guest’s books, eyeglasses and other items.

Add a TV
Even in today’s computer-oriented media world, a television is handy for catching local news and weather, and movies.

Make room in the closet
Move the items that normally hang in the guest closet to another location and give your visitors a place to hang and empty hangers for hanging. Provide skirt and pant hangers, too. This will give your guests just what they need to have their clothes ready to put on and make them feel at home.

Make your holiday houseguests extra comfortable with these small, easy to do home preparations. You will receive the double bonus of giving you an extra sense of pride in your home.

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By Tom Kalinski. Tom is the broker/owner of RE/MAX of Boulder, the local residential real estate company he established in 1977. He was inducted into Boulder County’s Business Hall of Fame in 2016 and has a 40-year background in commercial and residential real estate. For questions, e-mail Tom at [email protected], call 303.441.5620 or visit