By Chirag Sharma
Photography: courtesy personal collection
Get guest-ready in less than 30 mins...
Although receiving guests is a programmed affair in the modern age we live in, the pure joy and fun of welcoming guests at short notice is a different high altogether.
Speaking to several home-makers and a few interior stylists, I learnt that although they seem to put up a brave front, many a time, home-makers harbour a niggling doubt that keeps their eyes darting across the home, secretly ensuring that everything is in order.
Here are a few easy run-along tips that can make a world of difference at lightening notice!
The Preparation: First things first - check your stock – do you have enough eats and drinks to serve your guests? Great if you do! If not, call up your trusted grocery store immediately and order the delivery pronto!!
Now look around the home - clear up the living and master bedroom (that your guests are likely to peep into) of everyday clutter – newspapers, toys, hairpins, tea-stained coasters, and the like. But remember to keep the current day’s newspaper handy! Empty ashtrays, if any. If you have a store room that you always keep shut and are unlikely to use during your guest’s visit – dump everything in there for the time being or else – under the bed!! Make sure that your bedcover is clean and straightened out and long enough to hide the mess beneath.
Fluff up the upholstery and drapery and using a good clean duster, wipe clean all the wooden, metal and glass surfaces in quick adept sweeps. Arm yourself with a glass cleaner and wipe clean your glass surfaces at top speed.
Now for the kitchen and bathrooms – clear the kitchen of its clutter – similarly stuffing things into cabinets and allowing more time to select and bring out the crockery, cutlery, serviettes, mats etc., that you would be immediately needing. In the bathroom, flush the toilet bowl clean and add a fresh soap cake and hand towel to complete the picture.
Caution: Don’t neglect the pile of dirty clothes standing in the corner. Or the dump behind the door! Stow them away in a clothes hamper – if any – or stack them away neatly in a bucket. If not – remember the bed!
The Usual Décor: Bring out new/fresh TV covers, sofa backs, coasters, artefacts, et all that you generally adorn your home with and place them strategically wherever you find them appealing – just a few good ones – not all!
The Special Touch: Once you have your rooms sparkling, quickly light some candles around – they drive away any smells around the home – or spray a room freshener around the house. But remember to clear them away pretty quickly too. If you possess some nice aroma candles, leave them burning on a corner table or to complement the fruit plate as a centrepiece on the dining table.
Use a table runner; pick out a few wine glasses; bring plants indoors; depending on the hour, either tieback your drapes or spread them out to shut out the sunshine. Forgo general lights and switch on the dimmers instead – of course this largely depends on the kind of people visiting – the purpose of visit and the kind of hospitality you’d like to extend.