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Hosting 101: 30 Ways to Welcome Weekend Guests

By: H. Camille Smith and Jennifer Huskey

Ensure a stress-free visit — for both you and your guests — with these hosting rules of thumb.

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Host Like a Pro

Whether you're expecting in-laws, far-flung family members or college pals, our tips will make it easier to get your house (and yourself!) ready to welcome guests warmly and plan a memorable weekend that everyone, including you, will enjoy.

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Photo: Sarah Busby; Styling by H. Camille Smith. From: H. Camille Smith.

Create a Great First Impression

Your front porch is the first 'room' guests will see so tidy it up by sweeping it clean and knocking down any cobwebs. Freshen up the planters with a seasonal display and put out a cheery mat that lets guests know they're welcome.

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Know Your Limits

The first rule of thumb, says entertaining expert Dana Christine, is to know the limits of your home and don't invite more guests than you or the house can accommodate. 

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Photo: Colleen Scott. From: Carla Aston.

Tidy Up the Kitchen

Much more than just a food prep space, today's kitchens are the hubs of home life and inevitably accumulate a lot of everyday clutter — from kids' backpacks to unopened mail and prescription bottles. First, clear the clutter and give the countertops and backsplash a good wipe down. Then, brighten things up with vases of fresh flowers and displays of colorful fruit. Short on time? Simply piling oranges or apples into a low bowl or basket will create a pretty display that also puts a healthy snack in easy reach.

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