As the rules around overnight stays have now changed, but are people ready to welcome guests back into their homes?
A new report on the state of home hosting in the UK, from Swyft has found that 39% of Brits plan to have guests stay the night in their home once lockdown restrictions ease, with 13% already having visits planned.
However, not everyone is keen to jump back into the hosting saddle, with further results showing that 26% are waiting until later in the year to decide, and 23% won’t have guests for at least the rest of this year.
It would seem that some have got used to the complete peace and quiet as 12% of respondents said they will never have guests to stay overnight again.
So, who gets to stay?
Well, pre-pandemic, almost half (51%) of Brits allowed guests to bring their children and/or pets with them to stay, 43% let their guests just bring children.
28% only allowed for just pets, even though 10% of respondents claimed that the worst thing about hosting was cleaning up their guest’s pet hair. 12% said they didn’t let guests bring children or pets.
What do we offer our guests?
When overnight guests come to stay, Brits offer them the below:
1. Bedside lamp (43%)
2. My own towels (34%)
3. Guest only towels and bedding (33%)
4. Toiletries (30%)
5. Guest only towels (28%)
6. My own bedding (27%)
7. Guest only bedding (26%)
8. Storage (20%)
9. Plugs (18%)
10. House key (16%)
12. None of the above (10%)
With so many people ready to jump back into the hosting saddle, do we actually enjoy having people round?
When it comes to having our partner’s family over, there are mixed feelings; 20% of Brits’ say they always enjoy having their partner’s family to stay, whilst 35% sometimes enjoy this and 19% do not enjoy hosting their partner’s family.
Apparently, the worst things about having people over are:
1. Cooking for everyone (35%)
2. Cleaning (34%)
3. Having to entertain (28%)
4. There is nothing bad about hosting guests (28%)
5. Pretending to like guests I don’t like (13%)
6. Laughing at unfunny jokes (12%)
7. Cleaning up their pet's hair afterwards (10%)
8. The expense (16%)
On average, hosts spend £31.46 on getting their home ready for guests (including bedding and food). Three quarters (74%) of respondents said they would never ask for money from their guests during their stay, but 26% would ask their guests to contribute during their stay.
Where do guests get to sleep?
More results found that two-thirds (67%) had guests stay in a bed in the spare room, whilst others set guests up on a sofa bed (21%), sofa (18%), blow up bed (15%). Some hosts (11%) even give up their own bed.
And of the two-fifths (40%) of Brits that own a sofa bed, 10% have slept on theirs and find it uncomfortable. While 7% have never slept on their sofa bed.
What about cleaning?
Well, when asked if they did a ‘deep clean’ for guests pre-pandemic, 33% of respondents said they do for all their guests, 18% would only deep clean for some of their guests and 28% would not deep clean for any guests.
When preparing for your nearest and dearest’s first visit you may want to consider buying a few spare toothbrushes, as just under a quarter (24%) said they would use their host’s toothbrush if they had forgotten their own during an overnight stay.
19% said they would either ask before using, or tell their host afterwards, and 5% would use it and not tell them.
We all know the cleaning job ramps up when the guests are about to leave, and some hosts are wise to this. A quarter (25%) expect guests to help clean before they leave.
And it’s not a bad idea to ask your guests to do a ‘once over’ before they leave to make sure they’ve not forgotten anything as 15% of respondents have had overnight guests leave dirty underwear in their home.
Whether you set your guests up in the spare room, or on your sofa bed, there’s a question of cleaning the bedding afterwards. When it comes to this, 72% said they always clean the guest bedding, 17% only do so if guests stay for more than one night, 7% only clean the bedding if it looks dirty and 2% never clean their guests’ bedding.
Kelly Collins, head of creative (and a trained interior designer) at Swyft, has offered top tips for ensuring your guest space suits a variety of styles:
1. Keep the colours neutral to help suit a broad range of tastes, opt for calling tones.
2. Guest rooms often have fewer things in them which can make them look a bit empty and uninviting; try choosing slightly darker neutrals for the walls, this will make the room feel cosier. Taupe is a good option.
3. Adding a mixture of textures will make the space feel a little more interesting - throws and rugs - rather than adding too many bold colours and patterns.
4. Pick fabrics that aren’t irritating, cotton or silk is best when it comes to bedding.
5. Give your guest options when it comes to lighting, to help suit different needs. So, have a ceiling light and a small bedside lamp, for if your guest would like to read.