Key Art of "Summer of Rockets" featuring Keeley Hawes and Toby Stephens.

Summer of Rockets

Start watching


Start watching

SoCal Update

Start watching
Death in Paradise Series 10

Death in Paradise

Start watching
millionaire still

KCET Must See Movies

Start watching

Independent Lens

Start watching

Tending Nature

Start watching
Southland Sessions

Southland Sessions

Start watching

Earth Focus

Start watching
City Rising

City Rising

Start watching
Lost LA

Lost LA

Start watching
Your donation supports our high-quality, inspiring and commercial-free programming.
Support Icon
Learn about the many ways to support KCET.
Support Icon
Contact our Leadership, Advancement, Membership and Special Events teams.

How to Ready Your Home for Holiday Guests

Support Provided By
Photo by <a href="">Sonja Lovas</a>/Flickr/<a href="">Creative Commons</a>
Photo by Sonja Lovas/Flickr/Creative Commons

Whether you're greeting carolers at the door, hosting friends for cocktail parties or family members for overnight stays, the holidays always mean guests -- and guests, no matter how welcome, always mean stress.

But with a little preparation, you can get your home ready for the next wave of holidays and not break a sweat as soon as the doorbell rings.

Start with the entryway.
This is the first stop for all your guests, so you'll want to tidy up the space to make it more welcoming for them and less hectic for you. Stow your unworn shoes in a closet and clear off a few hooks to make room for guest garments. If your entryway table tends to be a haphazard drop zone for mail, keys, coins and other little things, corral all that clutter into a basket.

Cozy up the guest bedroom.
Change the sheets, fluff the pillows, and designate a space for your guests to set down their suitcase or hang up their clothes. Create a charging station for phones and other gadgets by clearing an outlet to plug into and leaving a note with your wifi password.

No guest bedroom?
If all you have is a sofa bed for guests to sleep on, consider adding a foam mattress topper to make it more comfortable. Leave a few empty hangers in the coat closet for their clothes and designate a space to store linens during the day (such as the coat closet, your bedroom closet, or an ottoman) so you can still entertain on the couch.

Refresh the guest bath.
Hang a set of clean towels and stash extra toilet paper within reach in the bathroom. Place a toilet plunger in a discreet but visible spot beside the toilet — hey, it happens, and it's much less embarrassing for a guest to handle the problem himself than to ask you for assistance (especially if you're in the middle of entertaining a crowd).

A warm home is an inviting home.
I once visited a friend whose house was so cold (because he believed in setting the thermostat at 65°F to save energy) that I wore my down jacket the whole time I was inside. Needless to say, it was neither warm nor inviting. Don't make your guests suffer by being stingy with the heat. Keep the ambient room temperature comfortable enough for a single layer of clothes, and throw down a few rugs if you have cold floors.

If you have a fireplace, inspect your chimney to see if it needs to be swept or repaired. For wood-burning fireplaces and stoves, stack a night's worth of logs inside and keep another stack outside, near the house, in a sheltered area. (Need some 411 on firewood? Check out our guide.)

Stock up on snacks, wine, and beer.
Small nibbles like almonds, olives, cheese and crackers are a must to have on hand, whether you have a few friends show up unexpectedly or you're hosting a cocktail party with co-workers. Likewise, keep a few bottles of wine and beer (or cider and sparkling water) to offer your guests while they mingle.

Create ambiance on the fly.
Drape throw blankets over chairs and couches. Their function is twofold: to keep your guests comfortable as well as hide any pet hair or stains you weren't able to remove before company arrived.

Fill a vase with fresh flowers or better yet, hang a wreath on the door. Skip the artificial fragrances and make a simmer pot on the stove to add delicious smells to your home and help humidify the air.

No time to do a thorough clean of the house? Dim the lamps and light votive candles in each room; it's a simple trick that instantly makes a space feel warm and inviting.

Support Provided By
Read More
An illustration of the Three Sisters Garden depicts a tall stalk of corn with beans growing up its stalk. Broad leaves from the squash plant and squash are at the bottom of the stalk.

The Importance of Restoring Ancestral Seeds to Indigenous Communities

Through the process of seed rematriation, where seeds are returned to their place of origin, Indigenous communities restore relationships with their ancestral seeds.
A blue and purplish corn on a table.

Acoma Blue Corn Restored to Its Community of Origin

The restoration of Acoma blue corn to its community of origin represents a hopeful example of how seed rematriation can improve Indigenous foodways.
An asymmetrical ceramic dish holds a small, bite-sized piece of white steamed fish sitting in a thin, broth-y sauce. The fish is topped with a fine green powder. Additionally, someone is pouring more of the sauce from a small ceramic container.

Jon Yao of Kato Finds Confidence in the Flavors of His Taiwanese Upbringing

Los Angeles' Kato Restaurant, where the dishes are edible mnemonic devices for Asian Americans, is an homage to Chef Jon Yao's Taiwanese heritage.