uninvited guests

Easy Entertaining: How To Prepare For Unexpected Guests

Published 24th May 2021
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After much anxious anticipation, we’re finally able to invite friends and family back into our homes! For the first time since last year, up to six people (or two households) are now able to meet inside, seeing the reopening of not just the public hospitality sector, but our own private hospitality, too. By this, we mean that house parties, shindigs, and shenanigans are back on the menu, so grab those cleaning supplies, brush up on your hosting skills, and get your glad rags on - party season has officially begun! 

Okay, so as much as we’d all love to say that we’ve kept our homes clean and pristine over the many lockdowns, the reality is that we’ve all got a little bit lax with our chores, right? No matter how clean your kitchen or dust-free your dining room, we’ve all fallen victim to the crippling pain of house-barrassment in recent months (those with clever custom Zoom backgrounds, we’re looking at you!). But, now that guests are free to pop in at any time *gasp* in person, it’s time to slip on some Marigolds, throw out those piles of takeaway boxes, stock up on the essentials, and spruce up your space for the better. 

Here at OnBuy, we’d love to introduce you to our fabulous selection of party-pleasers and planning proposals that are sure to keep your home permanently prepared for the unexpected. With our handy tips, tricks, and advice in your amusement arsenal, the pressure of unanticipated entertaining will soon become a thing of the past. Yes, say goodbye to the stress of unexpected guests forever - your home will be visitor-ready in no time at all!

Create a classy space for cuppas and catch-ups

classy guests

Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve all had to sacrifice many of our social pleasures, including the traditional coffee morning. Yes, cafés have been open, but who really wants to drink their spiced Chai latte in the pouring rain?! Now that restrictions are easing though, it’s likely that family and friends will be keen to drop in for a cuppa on a more regular basis, so it’s more important than ever to update and modernise your space. Little embellishments are, by definition, small and inexpensive lifesavers when it comes to revolutionising your home without the high-end price tag, and will make all the difference when people unexpectedly show up at your door… trust us on this one! So, with some new crockery, mugs, and tableware in your culinary collection, you’ll never have to worry about homeware hesitation again! We recommend this charming cup and saucer set as a fabulous place to start. 

For the more artistically-minded among you, there’s no better way to set the tranquil springtime scene than with some creative, colourful tablescapes. Not only great for teatime guests but also a fab means of showing off your inventive and imaginative skills, these stunning centrepieces and simple countertop designs will delight you and your visitors across the sunnier seasons, and are unbelievably easy and affordable to DIY. Where real blooms can be costly, delicate, and short-lived, these artificial handiworks are unique, robust, and long-lasting. To achieve a beautiful bouquet, ideal for complementing floral teapots and treats, simply add some Gypsophila or Baby’s Breath to a large Mason jar adorned with butterfly stickers. Quilted tablecloths and garland runners are alternative options for those who are limited on space, as they can be instantly whipped out from the cupboard when unexpected visitors come knocking. 

If general home improvement is your preference, simple enhancements like mirrors, candles, cake stands, and dainty milk jugs can make wonderful additions to your tea party aesthetic, blending the original charm of your home with some much-needed modernisation and rejuvenation. If nothing else, your mum will certainly appreciate the serving platter of brownies! To help you rest easy when it comes to unexpected arrivals, it might also be worth thinking about spare seating, such as bar stools and bean bags, so no one is left cross-legged on the floor. Rearranging your living room to fit a few extras can be an extremely cathartic experience, and will really help to maximise your space for when those unexpected guests drop by.

Make yours the go-to garden of 2021

guests in garden

When we’re blessed with blue skies and warm weather, a garden can make a gorgeous alternative to indoor catch-ups and chinwags. The ultimate al fresco experience, outdoor chit-chats are a fantastic way to keep up-to-date with your buddy’s news while taking advantage of all the fresh air and scents Mother Nature has to offer. To transform your patch from drab to undeniably fab this May, start with some patio furniture. If vintage luxury is your vibe, for example, how about this Mosaic Tile Bistro Set from Outsunny? Or, if all-inclusive, larger gatherings are your preference, why not invest in a high-back rattan corner sofa to fit all your chums and relatives? Whatever your style and inclination, there’s something for every budget and buyer in our extensive online selection. 

In terms of evening entertainment, barbecues and pizza ovens can be super convenient solutions to food-related reluctance, should guests arrive unexpectedly. Lets face it, we’ve all been there! No one likes the thought of slaving over a hot stove, especially in the heat, so often an outdoor cookoff is the only option… and a tremendous one at that! To stay prepped and primed for the inevitable ‘I’ll pop in after work’ text, keep your tongs and turners handy, and never be afraid to stock up on those burger buns and condiments. You never know when some ketchup may come in handy!

Stock up on last-minute supplies


There’s nothing better than preparation, and no better way to expect the unexpected than with some stockpiled supplies in your store cupboard. Though the thought of friends, family, acquaintances, or pen pals showing up at any moment may seem daunting, it really doesn’t have to be if you’re willing to invest in the little things (yep, loo roll, that means you too!). Staying organised definitely doesn’t have to be as intimidating as it sounds… so long as there’s legroom in your larder and space in your sideboard, you’ll never have to worry about sustenance shortages again! 

Here at OnBuy, we understand that gastronomic gear is essential, so have taken the hard work out of sourcing all your foodstuffs for you. Top of the list? Tea and coffee, of course! With everything from capsules to creamer, cold infusions to herbal concoctions, we have a beverage for every brew enthusiast and aficionado. For the snack-obsessed among you, chocolates and sweets are also worth amassing if confectionery and mouth-watering sugary delights are your personal preference. Or, for the more *ahem* mature, perhaps consider squirreling away some wines, beers, and spirits, for when the drinking urge may strike you. Handy storage-friendly models, like this Vipava 1894 Boxed Merlot, are particularly well-suited to smaller pantries and cupboards. 

Bedding? We’ve got you covered

bedding for guests

So far we’ve covered all the essentials when it comes to daytime entertaining, but what happens when you’re required to host throughout the night? It may have been a while since you last had lodgers in your home, but we’d love to help remind you of all the handy tips and tricks a domestic god or goddess must simply know. Number one on the list: consider making a guest kit. These helpful hampers are a lovely way of making your visitors feel special, and can conveniently be prepared months before they arrive. Overnight basics like toothbrushes, face cloths, slippers, and eye masks are excellent examples of the ‘fundamentals’, though don’t be afraid to add items that may be a little more unique. To truly tailor your package, adapt the objects to their likes and interests, and wrap them up beautifully in a retro-style basket to finish the gift with a flourish. 

When it comes to bedding, be sure to invest in a range of spare linens, blankets, throws, and new towels. Scatter cushions and reed diffusers (or air fresheners if you prefer) are brilliantly budget ways to update the look and smell of your dormant guest bedroom, without punishing your pocket, and can enhance the overall appearance of your home for the better. If you’re slightly more limited on space, sofa beds and air mattresses are wonderful alternatives to solid structures, and won’t ever encroach on your precious space. This foldable velvet model is sophisticated, elegant, tasteful, and trendy, and would make a gorgeous addition to your interior. 

Another one fights the dust!

cleaning supplies

We know, we know… cleaning your home in anticipation of guests is no new idea, but we’ve got a few helpful hacks to help you out before you reach for the bleach! If your cupboards aren’t full of lotions and potions and you don’t have time to rush to the shops before your guests arrive, don’t panic: make use of those kitchen essentials instead! 

Let’s start with your sofa. Over the last few months, we’ve all spent more time than we care to admit sitting and snacking on our sofas while making our way through the entirety of Netflix. While this has been fun, our sofas are probably looking a little worse for wear by now, and will most definitely be in need of a little freshening up! Sure, fabric and upholstery cleaners are a quick and easy way to get rid of the grub, but what do you do if you’ve got none to hand? The answer? Baking soda! Simple yet effective, baking soda is a fab way to give your sofa a much-needed freshen up, and it doesn’t require even half the elbow grease of your typical scrubbing session. All you need to do is sprinkle a generous amount all over your sofa, leave it for approximately 20 minutes (or up to an hour, if you have the time!), and then vacuum it up - it’s as simple as that! If your sofa is covered in spills and stains from serious snackfests, you can even make your own stain remover using nothing but cupboard staples. For this, all you need to do is grab an empty spray bottle, combine 1 tsp washing up liquid with 1 tsp baking soda, and quickly screw on the lid to prevent it from bubbling over. Then, grab a clean cloth, spray the offending area, and gently dab to lift the stain away. Simples! 

Now for the carpet. First things first, vacuum! After blitzing away the vast majority of the dust and general grub, grab a clean shower squeegee and scrub it all over the carpet to remove embedded hairs. This is particularly good if you own a pet with coarse hair or your house is full of teens who are constantly grooming their manes - trust us on this one! You’ll be surprised at the mass your squeegee will unearth! 

For all other surfaces, in lieu of an all-purpose cleaner, why not create your own with some baking soda (can you spot a theme here?) and warm water? Simply combine 4 tbsps baking soda with approximately 1L of warm water, add to a spray bottle, and get wiping! For stainless steel surfaces that require a little more TLC, simply add less baking soda and water to form a paste, and apply in circular, buffing motions. Before getting stuck into the cleaning, you may want to dust your surfaces first (particularly those pesky skirting boards!). No duster to hand? No problem - find an old, clean sock, wear it on your hand like a mitten, and wipe the sins of the last few months of neglection away (we won’t tell if you don’t!).

Unexpected guests? No stress!

guest hugging

We hope you’ve enjoyed this foray into all things unexpected entertaining, and now feel better equipped to become the ultimate host this summer. Should you require more information though, or are simply in need or some advice on how to amuse the troops, why not explore our blog and buyer’s guide resources? Packed full of helpful suggestions and recommendations on everything from lawn games to drinking alternatives, barbecues to adult party ideas, there’s something for everyone in our extensive selection. Browse the range and level up your post-lockdown gatherings today!

Or, if you’re in search of something specific, be sure to check out our vast online shelves. Abundant in categories and products to suit every social king or queen, you’ll find plenty of fun-filled items that’ll help you prepare for unanticipated guests and visitors. Need to stock up on those snacks? Explore our mouth-watering Food and Drink selection. Thinking of purchasing some new interior furnishings to truly impress your family? Dive into our Home and Garden range. Whatever your plans this May, one thing’s for sure… with OnBuy in your arsenal, you’ll never be stuck for activity ideas again!

The information in this blog is correct at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.

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