I was in desperate need for a girls weekend in sunny Los Angeles, so I immediately called Kate and asked if I could crash at her place for the weekend. She tells me she just finished setting up the guest room in her cute LA flat so I book my flight. After a smelly airplane experience and a frenzied Uber ride, I finally arrive to Kate’s Parisian-style home and I am greeted with the most beautiful aroma of Lavender as she opens the door. I immediately let out an exhale and feel both relaxed and excited for the weekend ahead. Kate welcomes me in and shows me to the guest room, which might I add looks like a chic, crisp hotel room. Upon entering, I notice fresh linens adorn the bed, water graces the nightstand, and on the pillow, the cutest wrapped toiletry set from Youth To The People next to a handwritten note welcoming me to her home. Lastly, I finally see what makes her home smell so good… Lavendar Sachets! Kate clearly spent time making sure my stay with her was both relaxed and refreshing. All these little details made me feel so loved and wanted, and it confirmed I had the most thoughtful, classy friend in the world. It’s a memory I will never forget which is why I had to share it with GatherHouse readers.
So without further ado, please meet the girl behind the unforgettable guest room experience, the hostess with the mostess… Kate Brickley! Kate is here to share her tips on making your guests feel at home in your house along with a D-I-Y tutorial on how to make Lavender Sachets. These seriously make for the perfect holiday gift!
Hi Kate! Tell us a bit about how you learned to create such an inviting space for your guests. Is this a tradition passed down from your family?
Definitely! My family is from Ireland, and in Irish culture, it is actually frowned upon if you do not stay with friends and family when visiting. They practically consider it rude if you book a hotel instead! In Ireland, every home feels like a bed & breakfast and the warm hospitality is what makes the experience so memorable.
My Irish Grandma lives here in Los Angeles, and even as a child, I noticed she would prepare her guest room differently when we stayed with her and it made a big impact on my life. To provide context, we would always arrive to Grandma’s house usually around dinner time and after a long drive. As we entered her home, we would always smell dinner cooking in the kitchen. As she escorted us to our guest rooms, I remember the lights were always already turned on, as if welcoming us in. She always had a stand for suitcases, a closet open with empty hangers, fresh flowers and linens, and an array of toiletries for our use. She would put water in a cute decanter by the bed next to a handwritten note. One of the more unique things she did was switch out the pictures in the frames. She would put pictures of us next to the bed and it always felt so personalized. She immediately connected with us just by this one simple detail. These details were calming reminders that it was okay to settle in, as if saying, ‘you’re still safe and comfortable here’.
What inspired you to carry on the tradition?
I have come to learn that life is all about relationships. It’s the only thing that truly matters. These are the moments that take your relationships deeper. Yes, curating these details takes time, but prioritizing your house guests makes them feel special. A little task like putting water next to their bed so they don’t have to roam into your foreign kitchen in the middle of the night says, “I care about you, I love you, I prioritize you”.
How have you made the tradition your own?My signature touch is adding Lavender Sachets into the pillow cases. Over the years, I have had trouble sleeping and I was looking into natural ways to find calm and rest. In the past I had always used lavender to keep things smelling fresh in my closet, drawers or suitcase, but then discovered the healing properties of lavender and how it promotes sleep. I did not want to spray anything on my pillow without knowing if it was all natural and non-toxic, so I decided to put real lavender sachets inside my pillow cases. That way, whenever I wake up at night or feel stressed, the lavender calms me back to sleep. I hope this is the case for my guests as well! These sachets also make the perfect parting gift for my houseguests, or a great stocking stuffer for the holidays. Check out my Do-It-Yourself tutorial below and let me know how they turn out!
DIY Lavender Sachet
For more information on the Lavender Sachets, or to get in touch with Kate, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org