The Top Things Guests Notice When Visiting Your Home

Last Modified 09 January 2024  |  
First Added 29 November 2023

For those that revel in playing host or hostess, welcoming guests into your home can bring great joy. But even as you delight in spending quality time with friends and family, it’s perfectly natural to wonder what they really make of your abode.

We surveyed 2,000 people to find out the top things guests notice when visiting someone else’s home, as well as what makes them feel the most welcome.

How often do people have house guests?

1.   A few times a year – 19%
2.  Once a month – 19%
3.  Never – 16%
4.  Once every two months – 11%
5.  Once a week – 10%
6.  Fortnightly – 10%
7.  Once a year = 9%
8.  A few times a week – 5%
With a majority (19%) saying they have house guests a few times a year and 16% saying they never have guests, it seems most people prefer for their home to remain their personal sanctuary. 

How long do people spend preparing for welcoming guests?

1.    2 - 3 hours – 31%
2.    31 minutes - 1 hour – 23%
3.    I don’t spend any time preparing – 15%
4.    4 - 6 hours – 13%
5.    30 minutes or less – 12%
6.    7 - 10 hours – 3%
7.    16 - 20 hours – 2%
8.    11 - 15 hours – 1%
The most common amount of time to spend preparing for guests is a moderate 2-3 hours (31%). Only 1% of people spend 11-15 hours making sure that their home is immaculate before inviting guests in. 

The top 5 things people notice when visiting someone's home

1.    Smell
2.   Interior design style
3.   Clutter
4.   Colour scheme
5.   Ambience

It seems the majority of people notice a home’s smell before anything else, followed by the interior design style, clutter, colour scheme and ambience. 

While your home is an extension of you and should therefore be designed to suit your own taste, decluttering is a simple way to make your guests feel more comfortable. This can start with the smallest action, such as disposing of any out-of-date magazines or journals lingering on coffee tables. 

What makes people feel the most welcome when visiting someone's home?

1.    When you are offered a drink – 43%
2.    Welcoming ambience – 41%
3.    When the house looks clean and organised – 33%
4.    When the host cooks for you – 19%
5.    When you are shown around the house – 16%
We’re a nation renowned for our love of tea, so it’s perhaps no surprise that offering your guests a drink is the fastest way to make them feel welcome, with 43% of people stating this to be the case. 

Almost as many people (41%) stated that creating a welcoming ambience is what matters most to ensure guests feel at home.

What makes people feel the most welcome when staying overnight at someone's house?

1.    When the host provides a comfortable bed and bedding – 64%
2.    Welcoming ambience – 36%
3.    When the host provides necessities like towels and toiletries – 32%
4.    When the host cooks for you – 26%
5.    When you are given a storage space – 10%
Above all else, providing your guests with a comfortable bed and bedding is paramount to a welcoming overnight experience. This means it’s well worth investing in premium beds and luxury bedding, especially quality duvets and beautifully soft bed linen. If you can clear some personal storage space amongst the bedroom furniture, 10% of guests will feel very welcome indeed. 

Which interior styles do guests most admire in someone’s home?

1. Modern
2. Classic 
3. Rustic 
4. Coastal 
5. Scandi 
6. Mediterranean 
7. Bohemian
8. French Country 
9. Minimalistic  
10. Eclectic  
When it comes to which interior styles are most appreciated by guests, it’s perhaps no surprise to see the modern and Scandi styles appear in the top five, with clean lines, sparing use of colour, and natural materials all firmly in fashion. Classic, rustic, and coastal styles will also impress your guests and contribute to a warm and inviting home interior. 

Tips on how to make a guest feel welcome

Spend five minutes with Laura Burnett, luxury bedroom expert at Feather & Black, and discover her insight on how to make guests feel welcome in your home:

  • Perfectly-made beds – Treating your guests to a night’s sleep worthy of the finest hotels starts by learning how to make the perfect bed. This extra step will show the level of care and consideration that has gone into their visit.
  • Attractive scents – Smell is the thing people take note of first when stepping into your home. Using a reed diffuser, scented candle or fragrance oil will ensure that your home’s aroma is always pleasant and appealing.
  • Clever lighting – Warm and soft lighting plays a significant role part when creating a welcoming ambience. Take the time to understand how to use lighting effectively, and you’ll be well equipped to create an enticing atmosphere.
  • Soft furnishings – Simple touches such as arranging cushions and throws on the bed will encourage your guests to relax and make themselves at home.
  • Extra amenities – Providing your guests with small amenities like extra pillows, toiletries and refreshments is a thoughtful gesture that will ensure their presence feels acknowledged and appreciated. 

With the inevitable comings and goings of family and friends throughout the year, it’s well worth taking the time to prepare your home for their arrival.

For guests who are just popping in, swiftly making refreshments available will help to ensure they feel welcomed into your home. If you’re entertaining overnight visitors, the provision of a comfortable bed and high-quality bedding will make sure they feel not only welcome but truly cared for.

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