9 things your guests always notice (and 9 things they don't)

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If you're planning to have people stay at your house, there can be a real temptation to pull out all the stops and go a bit, well, nuts about how you present your home. But we want you to take a moment, enjoy a deep breath and get things in proportion! Interior designers have the keenest eyes in the business, which is why we've taken notice of all the things that they say your house guests will see and, just as vitally, all the little details that they won't. Come and take a look, to see where you should invest your time and effort and what you can simply put off for another day, or throw into a a spare bedroom!

Things your guests will see!

Dirty kitchen floors are something you simply can't get away with, so at least run a vacuum cleaner or a mop round!

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Cluttered dressing tables are a nightmare, especially in a guest room! Your visitors need somewhere to place their own toiletries etc, so always try to offer them clear surfaces.

A scummy bathroom is the last word in rank! Grab an antibacterial cloth or two, give your bath and sink a cursory wipe and throw some bleach into your toilet too!

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Dirty towels are an absolute no-no! Even slightly damp ones will give off a foisty, unpleasant smell, so always hang some fresh and fluffy linens before guests arrive.

A messy dining table is something that we all have to contend with now and then, but when guests come over, at least pretend that you always have table mats and place settings! Move the kids' homework and get out the best china!

Smelly textiles. Day-to-day life will always bring with it certain smells and spills and your sofa will make light work of trapping them in its fabric, so it's time to vacuum and be liberal with the Febreeze! Nobody wants to plonk down, only to release the scent of last week's curry!

An overly full fridge isn't a problem, but if you have a ton of food going to waste, everyone will notice, especially if they try to be helpful by grabbing the next bottle of wine for the table! Clear out your salad drawer, in particular, as there always seems to be a rogue courgette going mouldy in there!

There isn't a house guest on the planet that won't notice a distinct lack of hospitality, so as soon as your friends and family arrive, get the cocktail shaker out and start offering everyone a drink! It's only polite!

Unmade beds are fine, if they are in private bedrooms that have the door shut, but your guest rooms need to be perfectly put together. Fresh bed linen, crisp sheets and perfect corners are the only acceptable motifs!

Things your guests won't notice!

 Linens you've had for a while! Who cares how long you've had a certain set of bedding? As long as it is clean and well pressed, nobody will think anything of it, so don't go buying new sheets!

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A smattering of toys, in a family home, is nothing short of charming and your guests would have to be pretty heartless to expect you to put all of your little one's favourite things away, out of sight.

Your alphabetised books might bring you joy, but don't go expecting guests to be impressed by them. The chances are, nobody will even know that there is any discernible order in place!

A little dust won't kill anybody, so if you are worrying that you need to dust every surface, corner and nook in your home, forget it! Just concentrate on items that actually show the dust and forget the rest!

Spotless mirrors might be easier to use, but literally nobody pays any attention! As long as you don't have huge smears and streaks on the glass, they'll look fine, so chill out!

Your bedroom tidiness is your own issue, so if you can't be bothered to get super organised ahead of guests arriving, the answer is simple; lock your bedroom door! Out of sight, out of mind!

Unfinished DIY projects shouldn't bother you too much, as we've all been there! Very few people never have to undertake a little decorating, so if you have unfinished room, just don't show them to anyone!

Every tiny nook and cranny. We know you'll be tempted to clean and polish every last surface in your home, even down to the more bizarre items, such as your toilet roll holder, but step away from the cleaning products! Nobody is going to be inspecting everything, we promise!

You'll probably be tempted to start making unnecessary new purchases, such as fancy shower curtains, posher toilet roll or even glitzy new wine glasses, but your guests won't know that they are new and you could spend a lot! Just go with what you have and make the interactions the important part of the visit!

For more guest inspiration, take a look at this Ideabook: 10 forbidden areas you should avoid in people's homes.

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