Social Living

279165_1426_gross_888It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what makes us choose one property over another while house-hunting, but chances are at least part of your decision was based on how easily you could imagine sharing meals at the dinner table, curling up in the lounge and talking in the garden on sunny evenings. Although we all picture filling the house with friends and family when we first move in, it’s often hard to find the time to actually invite them over – particularly if they live far away.

Rather then leaving your friends uncomfortably cramped on the sofa or stretched out on the living room floor, it’s worth putting some thought into your home’s capabilities for receiving guests. Whether you’ve already moved in or are still searching, here are our E&V suggestions for simple steps that take the stress out of hosting.

Look for a home with a finished attic. Not only are you maximising your home’s living and storage space, you’ll also have an ideal upstairs lounge that can be quickly converted to a guest bedroom when needed.

Consider an alternative to a bed frame for your designated guest room, if you don’t host regularly. A futon or a fold-out settee are better options if you want your guest bedroom to be a study or second sitting room when you have the house to yourself, without compromising on your guest’s comfort. If you have children, this also gives them some extra space to entertain friends without completely taking over your home.

Ensure that you’ve got enough bathrooms to handle large numbers of visitors. A queue in the mornings is frustrating at the best of times, before you factor in three or four more people than usual waiting in line. The additional bathroom doesn’t need to be an elaborate affair – the emphasis should be on getting people in and out as quickly as possible, so forego a bath in favour of a shower cubicle.

Don’t underestimate your garden as another way of maximising available space. An attractive and tidy garden area will encourage more people outdoors, reducing congestion inside. Wooden decking is a simple and cost-effective touch that can help your garden feel like more of a social space.

When designating a guest room, steer clear of the noisier parts of the house – for example, near the kitchen or lounge. This is particularly important if you’ll be hosting elderly relatives who will likely wish to retire before the rest of the family does. However, rooms conveniently near the bathroom are likely to be appreciated – an en-suite is even better.

Put some thought into how you organise your kitchen, trying to ensure cutlery, crockery and glasses are stored in a way that is easily accessible and intuitive. If you want your guests to pitch in with cooking or tidying up, things will run much more smoothly if they aren’t asking for directions every five minutes. The same applies for bathrooms – always place soap, shampoos and toilet paper in clearly visible locations.

Although hosting family and friends can be stressful, finding a home you’re happy to welcome them into doesn’t have to be. Engel & Völkers have international experience and a hands-on approach that can help you navigate the property market with ease. Visit us online for more details.