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5 Ways To Prepare For Holiday House Guests

Welcome Friends & Family with Thoughtful Details This Holiday
Filed Under > Entertaining

Holiday entertaining tips via @waitingonmartha Holiday entertaining ideas by @waitingonmartha How to prepare for holiday house guests via @waitingonmartha Preparing a tray for house guests, @waitingonmartha Welcoming out-of-towners for the holidays by @waitingonmartha Holiday entertaining ideas for the nightstand, @waitingonmartha

I’ve always looked forward to hosting overnight guests.  Yes, I’m admittedly a homebody, but I relish the opportunity to have loved ones here with us at home, especially this time of year.  

As you may remember, I shared my five steps to get the house “guest ready” a few years ago.  It’s one of our most popular posts with its easy entertaining inspiration and hotel-like details to replicate at home.  It’s still a favorite of mine as well, but I’d like to say I’ve honed my house guests prep game even more since then.  Today’s post is the proof.  

The secret to hosting friends and family throughout the holidays (and really any time of year) is in the details and little luxuries that so many people overlook; include things that make them feel like they’re staying at a 5-star hotel.  Think of the necessities you need and the extras you would want, but wouldn’t want to ask for!  I’ve broken the details down to five separate areas below with none being outlandish or fussy, but instead achieving that warm welcome and feelings that will make guests never want to leave.  Truly, MKR

P.S. As you prepare the guest room, find these 8 easy steps to properly dress the bed. xo



Fresh Linens

Because beautiful bedding makes all the difference

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Nothing beats clean sheets and gorgeous bedding…it’s the obvious statement of the room that can always easily be changed.  I recently bought a new comforter; I realized I was sort of over duvets in general and how they lay. So being ready for a fresh change, I ordered this punchy comforter and sham set.  I’d say it was just the refresh the room needed!

The personalized sheets are a detail I just love too; they’re subtle, crisp and simply timeless. 

The Basics

Everything they don't want to ask for

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I always like to prepare a tray or two with the necessities that people never want to ask for.  That includes things like Advil, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, razors, and even your wifi password written out on a piece of paper. 

These rattan trays are great because they’re easy and functional as they organize and corral all of these necessities. They don’t have huge handles, so they add just the right amount of texture without being overpowering to the overall design.

Cozy Details

Create a welcoming escape

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You want to make your guests feel welcome—almost as good as home—and one of the easiest ways of doing that is by providing cozy details.  A huggable throw blanket and sets of pajamas are two of my go-to’s when creating am oasis for guests.  But remember: when buying pajamas, you’ll always want to have them bigger than smaller, so size up if you want to offer a standard pair. 

More cozy details to include: offer a waffle pique bath robe, a pair of cashmere slippers or a silk sleep mask for the best beauty sleep they’ve had in awhile. 


Water, snacks & treats

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One of the reasons being away from home gets wearisome sometimes is the feeling of dependency over the little things.  By offering plenty of refreshments in the bedroom, you give your guests the chance to feel more at home…on their own.  

I like to stock up on distilled or sparkling water, healthy snacks (my favorite are from Nourish Snacks), and of course, little seasonal treats like these gourmet candied pecans

The Final Touches

Seasonal details & design

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To celebrate the season, I knew I wanted to hang a giant boxwood wreath above the bed.  Hanging a wreath is nothing new, I know.  But unlike other wreaths, boxwood won’t allow trimmings to fall on your guests’ heads in bed.  Boxwood and eucalyptus are my preferred greens whenever hanging a wreath like this one. I hung this one with a gorgeous green velvet ribbon; one that was substantial enough to hold the large wreath and had wire to make a nice bow.  And to keep things fresh, spritz frequently with a homemade Balsam Fir spray (check out @thewellcode) for more on that. 

I also displayed paperwhites I sprouted from the bulbs, along with a basket of white poinsettias.  Both are so festive, but a lot less expensive than other flowers this time of year.  But you’ll want to be careful with your poinsettias on the ground if you have furry friends around. 

Lastly, I like to have a few magazines, newspaper and any other reading material on-hand for guests.  I also place a guestbook on the dresser; it’s such a nice tradition to have people share memories, especially at Christmastime! 


Photography, Rustic White for Waiting on Martha

As pictured: pajamas | wool throw | throw pillow (different color) | comforter | personalized sheets | rattan tray with handles | rectangular rattan tray | candle | toothpaste | hand cream | soap | paperwhite bulbs | ribbonmatches | pecans | glass tumblers | glass carafe | taffy | candy | wreath | lamp (similar)

A Bold Bathroom Makeover with Behr Paint

Four easy and inexpensive ways to completely transform your bathroom
In Partnership with BEHR Paint
Filed Under > Interiors

Bold green bathroom goals via @waitingonmartha @behrpaint #paint #bathroom #spon #DIYGreen bathroom reveal by @waitingonmartha Statement chandelier by Stray Dog Designs in green bathroom | @waitingonmartha @behrpaint #spon #behrpaint
Green bathroom goals with simple organization cart | @waitingonmartha @behrpaint #spon #bathroom behr_paint Green bathroom inspiration with Dorothy Shain bikini artwork | @waitingonmartha @behrpaint #spon #behrpaint #greenbathroom #bathroom

Two years ago when our house was being built, we could only pick from a certain range of options for cabinetry, countertops and flooring.  As you can somewhat see here, the countertops are a mixed neutral, and the original cabinetry a cream with all bronze fixtures.  I did my best to stay true to my personal design aesthetic, but the result has never felt quite right.  If I had free reign, I would have picked white marble for the countertops and white cabinets with silver or gold fixtures.  And if this was our “Forever Home”, I would consider ripping it all out and doing just that, but it’s not.  

So what does one do when they don’t want to spend the money or time to demo it all and start from scratch?  You go bold to make a big impact and you change what can be changed, specifically four different things: paint, lighting, fixtures and accessories.  

Beginning first with paint, since color always set the tone for the space.  I took to Snapchat (username WAITINGONMARTHA) and asked everyone to vote on the color theme they liked best.  As you can probably deduce from the photos, green defeated purple and deep burgundy by a landslide. Once we had color chosen, the next logical step was to swatch numerous shades of green on the walls and trim before I settled on the winning three.  I chose three different greens because I’m a big proponent in painting with various shades within the same color family.  This way, you add dimension and can instantly accent specific details.  

Then I used three different shades of green from BEHR Paint.  Longmeadow S430-5 in eggshell on the walls, Brook Green N410-2 in eggshell on the ceiling and Forest Edge S430-6 in a satin on the trim, doors and cabinetry.  A semi- or high-gloss would have looked fantastic as well on the cabinets, trim, and doors, but because I have so many doors in the space, four to be exact, I was worried the high-gloss might be just a tad too much.  And don’t be afraid to paint doors; I didn’t even take the doors off to paint them.  Going bold with the doors was a move I think definitely paid off in the space. 

Second, to carry a big impact through the entire space, I switched out the bronze faucets for silver ones.  The new faucets were easy to install, and inexpensive finds at The Home Depot.  I then changed out all the bronze cabinet knobs to these beauties.  Now, I definitely splurged on these gorgeous knobs. But to me, these additions were the jewelry on the space, making the Forest Edge green pop bringing it all together.  I did, however, keep the original bronze hardware so that I can replace them when I move (shhh don’t tell whoever buys this house) and take the fancy knobs with me.   

On a side note, I initially wanted to go gold (brass and acrylic knobs are something dreams are made of and would look insane on the green), but I also wanted to keep expenses down.  I knew that if I went gold, I would have had to invest in some pricier faucets, and again, it’s not worth the investment in a home we don’t plan to be in too much longer.  And honestly, it was fortuitous as now that I’m looking at the silver fixtures, gold wouldn’t have looked as good with the countertops!  

Next up, lighting; an easy and significant way to change up any space.  I removed my very sad looking bronze wall mount lighting and opted for these fresh, clean and striking 3-arm fixtures. The bright white and polished nickel gives the space a more elevated and modern feel; I couldn’t be happier with my choice.  And because my ceilings are quite high and because you know I always like a big statement, this decopauged chandelier from Stray Dog Designs seems to have been built specifically for this space!  It’s SO beautiful, and would look equally as good in a breakfast nook or nursery (this piece will definitely be coming with me to the next house, for sure!).  

Lastly, accents and accessories.  When I settled on green as the color theme, I immediately called my friend Dorothy Shain to commission a few pieces.  I’d been lusting after her itsy bitsy bikinis and knew that together with the green, they would be jaw dropping…especially this particular duo in matching floating frames.  Don’t you just love how you can see the Longmeadow green through the floating frames?!?!  Other than art, I zhushed up the space with a new shower curtain whose stripes happen to be almost the exact same Brook Green color I painted on the ceiling, a vintage turkish runner, and a caddy complete with all of my favorite soaps and scents.

All big statements, all relatively easy updates, and it all started with a little green paint from BEHR.  I know it can be scary to go bold when painting, but it really will pay off in the end when you see your totally transformed space.  And if you’re thinking about tackling a project like this on your own, and are still a little uneasy about painting cabinets (and an entire space with such a bold color, tune in tomorrow when I’m sharing a few quick DIY tips to help you master it all.  Truly, MKR

Photography, Rustic White for Waiting on Martha | This post is in collaboration with BEHR Paint, a brand we love and adore.  All opinions are 100% our own. 

As pictured: knobs c/o | faucets | lighting c/o | chandelier c/o |  shower curtain | shower curtain tassels 

How to Choose the Perfect Blue Paint

discussing the art of many shades of blue, and what to look for when settling on the one
In Partnership with BEHR Paint
Filed Under > Ideas & Inspiration

Picking the Perfect Blue Paint, @waitingonmartha

It’s really no surprise that blue is one of the most calming and healing paint colors you can choose. We’ve often seen it used to create a relaxing oasis in the bedroom, but it can also promote a cleansing, tranquil feel in the bathroom and a bold, fierce ambition in the home office.  The versatility and wide range of beautiful blues is infinite; the color is a go-to when infusing depth into spaces all around the home (check out these nine different rooms that prove it!). 

I, of course, have always gravitated towards blue when decorating my own home.  I’ve learned how the endless shades can work perfectly together, whether that’s through throw pillows, accents or paint.  Decorating with blue offers so many possibilities as it’s a lot like the ocean; a multitude of blues, constantly changing and effortlessly mixing. And unlike most colors, decorating with a myriad of multiple shades works no matter what. 

When settling on your own blue paint options, rest assured that this color family is probably one of the best ones for you—even if you’re a little hesitant to paint.  It’s a classic, timeless color that both men and women can usually agree upon, and it can transcend redecorating for years to come.  But as you decide on what exactly blue to paint with it’s good to remember a few things. Blues, much like greys, can take on a chameleon-like quality on your walls as light changes throughout the day so test swatching all over is a must.  Dark blues can have some sneaky purple tones in them, and the darker the shade the more it will affect the amount of light you actually get in the room.  So when going bold make sure you’re ready, and remember the paint on your walls usually reads darker than you planned.  When painting with light blues keep in mind they can read very baby-ish so it’s best to keep them to nurseries, small powder rooms, and accents. And lastly, never forget about the ceilings and doors.  I turned to a deep, almost-indigo blue on my ceilings, doors and island (rather than paint the entire downstairs) to keep things light and airy, while still giving a nod to my absolute favorite color around. 

Below I’ve rounded up my favorite blues and provided some helpful insight as to how I’d use each shade.  Let me know which shade is your favorite and I’d love to know if you’re as big of a blue fan as me?  Truly, MKR

The best blue paint by @waitingonmartha @BEHRpaint #spon

Photography, Rustic White for Waiting on Martha | This post is in collaboration with BEHR Paint, a brand we love and adore. All opinions are 100% our own. 

Colors pictured: Sailors Bay M510-5, Optimum Blue M540-7Very Navy M500-7Ice Drop M530-1Elegant Navy M530-7Hawaiian Sky PPU14-07Brisk Blue S530-SNight Flight S520-7Blue Me Away M510-1

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