6 Items You Should Always Have in Your Living Room When Guests Come Over
These are the essentials experts say you should have accessible when entertaining.
The living room is the center of most homes. It's where a family gathers to watch television and play games. It's also usually the focal point of home entertaining, as it's where guests will gather for welcome cocktails or reconvene for after-dinner coffee. It's important to make it a warm and welcoming space visually, but there are also some important essentials to keep on hand to ensure guests are comfortable. To make sure you're prepared, keep reading to hear from home experts about the items you should always have in your living room when guests come over.
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A bar cart
A well-stocked bar cart can serve as both a gathering spot and a functional tool for a host.
"Keeping a bar cart in the living room ensures the host and their guests do not need to leave the room or conversation to mix a drink and instead creates a warm and inviting space," says Courtney Opalko, a certified etiquette coach.
And to ensure guests feel comfortable mingling with their beverages, "be sure to strategically place enough coasters on furniture like coffee tables and end tables for guests to use," advises Opalko.
A coffee table
Speaking of tables, a functional coffee table is another must-have item for your living room when you have visitors.
"It provides an area to set down snacks, drinks, or other items during conversations and gatherings," notes Louie Lavec, lead interior designer for All Barndominium Plans. "Make sure to select a sturdy but stylish piece that fits the size of your space."
One of the most important items to have in your living room when guests come over is comfortable seating.
"This could include a sofa, armchair, or even bean bags," says Lavec. "Make sure you have enough seating for all of your guests and that the pieces are comfortable enough for people to sit and relax on."
It's also a good idea to have flexible seating options so guests can freely move around. "Consider the number of guests and the activities you have in mind," advises Opalko. "In a large space, you could create several conversation areas, whereas a smaller space should be arranged so that everyone feels included in the conversation."
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Whether cozying up for a movie night or enjoying hot cocoa on a cold evening, it's always considerate to have a few extra warm, cozy blankets on standby.
"It's a good idea to have throw blankets for those close friends who come over and curl up on your sofa to binge-watch a show with you or for those friends who are always chilly and need an extra layer to keep warm," says certified interior decorator Liz Toombs of PDR Interiors.
It's considerate to have a basket of house slippers near the entrance of your living room—especially if you plan on asking guests to remove their shoes.
"This will make it more comfortable for your guests to walk around, especially on cold or hard floors," said Lavec.
You can usually buy hotel-like slippers in bulk, which is a great way to save money while also making your home more inviting.
No one wants to realize their phone is dead when it's time to book that Uber ride home—which is why Toombs says it's a nice touch to have an extra electronics charger or cable around so guests can charge their cell phone or iPad with ease if the need arises.