Getting Ready for Guests: A Guide by SHnordic

We're getting ready for hosting season with a little help from our friend Susanna Hawkins of SHnordic. The lifestyle product stylist and photographer is known for her gorgeous, infinitely Instagrammable setups: bright, beautiful open spaces comprising of neutral foundations and enviably cosy touches (Follow her @shordic.)

With the season of spare rooms and pull-out sofas almost upon us, we felt that we could all do with a little refresher course when it comes to getting ready for guests. Whether you’re simply throwing a dinner party or prepping your place for an extended stay, we asked Susanna of SHnordic to share her hosting tips on how to lovingly transform your abode into a home away from home for family and friends.


Meet & greet

Travelling can be hectic, which means treating your guests to a warm welcome will be much appreciated. And a welcoming atmosphere starts right at the front door.

“Be sure to tidy away all excess coats and shoes to make space for suitcases, their shoes and coats, and those lengthly Christmas greetings,” says Susanna. ”My own hallway is quite small, so this makes all the difference!”


Walking in from the hustle and bustle of travelling–especially over the holiday period–should feel like a sigh of relief. When your guests cross the threshold, treat them to the feeling of sinking into a soft rug and let plants and succulents set a serene scene from the door onwards.


Eat, drink and be merry

“My favourite part of a dinner party is prepping the table,” says Susanna, “It’s the perfect opportunity to get out the best dinnerware and glasses out. New table mats, arranging the plates and bowls, laying out the cutlery… I find it completely irresistible! I often find myself setting the table hours and hours before the guests have arrived.”


For her own festive gathering, Susanna’s set the table with a mid-winter palette of moody blue and grey, elevated with surprising highlights of rose. She invites light to the table with golden patina and an iridescent vase full of seasonal blooms. “Fresh flowers are always lovely,” she adds.


Prepare the guest room 

While it’s true that there’s nothing like your own bed, Susanna supplies that with fresh bedding, a cosy quilt and plenty of pillows, a guest bed can be the next best thing.


“Keep the decor simple and free of clutter,” she says, “Clear out some space in the wardrobe or chest of drawers, and stock the bedside table with magazines, books and little extras (a note with your wi-fi password, candles, and of course, fresh flowers).”


Scrub up

As for the bathroom, Susanna advises to “Set out an abundance of clean towels and mini toiletries to cover anything your guests may have forgotten.” Stock up on essentials like toilet paper and hygiene products. Thoughtful touches such as a fresh bar of chunky, artisan soap can be the difference between ho-hum and hostess of the year.


Guests on the way? Find everything you need to serve up a fantastic feast here