Hosting for the holidays? Scented candles, fresh flowers and ensuring you splurge on quilted toilet paper are three of the biggest ways to impress your guests, according to new research.

With many an American expecting to host guests this holiday season, a new study examined just what it takes to ensure guests leave with a good impression and found bringing out the nice china really does pay off.

Having delicious treats and even going as far as to iron your linens all featured on the list of the ten things that make a guest like your home the most.

The study of 2,000 Americans, conducted by OnePoll in conjunction with Schlage, examined the time and effort it takes to welcome guests and create a wonderful first impression. Results showed it takes an incredible three hours of labor to get the average home ready for a guest visit.

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Results also found that the way to impress guests is to spray a fresh scent around the house (60 percent), light scented candles (49 percent), and put out the best snacks (43 percent).

Americans will go all out in their attempt to impress their guests around the holidays. Three in ten have bought fresh flowers while another 23 percent tackled last-minute home improvement projects.

But what exactly goes into the typical routine to prepare your house for guests? It’s no surprise that cleaning the house topped the list of the things that go into a typical guest-ready routine.

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Other routines included going grocery shopping (67 percent), decluttering (58 percent), and organizing (54 percent).

Americans go out of their way to make their house feel like home when anticipating guests. Seventy-seven percent reveal that a house most feels like home when it feels lived in and warm.

Another 72 percent find cleanliness to add to the homely feel of a place. Other distinguishing characteristics that people associate with a house feeling like home are a nice smell (71 percent), the ease of coming and going (45 percent), and plenty of soft furnishings like rugs and sofas (39 percent).


  • Clean the house 85%
  • Prepare food 69%
  • Declutter 58%
  • Restock toilet paper in bathroom 54%
  • Light scented candles 47%
  • Bake delicious treats 45%
  • Do the laundry 43%
  • Brew fresh coffee 38%
  • Put out fresh flowers 27%
  • Tackle last-minute home projects 24%

The reason people care so much about leaving a good impression with their guests is because nearly half (49 percent) have copied something they liked from someone else’s home when they were a guest.

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Decoration ideas topped the list of the most commonly copied features of someone’s home – with 69 percent admitting to doing so.

But 63 percent have been at someone’s house, smelt a particular scent, candle or spray and then incorporated it into their own home.

Homeowners are proud of certain talking pieces in their home they love to show off. The kitchen was the most commonly discussed feature in a home – with 37 percent using the space as a talking point to share stories with guests.

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Other notable talking pieces included a beautiful painting/picture (35 percent), a TV (31 percent), and a coffee table (25 percent).


  1.  Spraying a fresh scent around the house
  2.  Lighting scented candles
  3.  Bringing out the best snacks
  4.  Doing the laundry
  5.  Putting out flowers or plants
  6.  Tackling last-minute home improvement projects
  7.  Bringing out the nice dinnerware
  8.  Splurging for quilted/2-ply toilet paper
  9.  Ironing the linens
  10.  Hiring a professional to clean the home

But that doesn’t actually mean all homeowners are completely happy with the way things are. Forty-five percent have a desire to renovate at least one room in their home prior to the arrival of guests – with one in five admitting the current state of their home isn’t ready for their guests’ arrival.

Ted Roberts, Style and Design Chief at Allegion, maker of Schlage locks said: “Consider taking a smaller, but detailed approach to room updates and renovations. Sometimes hiring a cabinet painting company for a little refresh of paint can go a long way to revamping your space. So can a new rug or even swapping out the metals and room finishes.”

Be Sure And Share This Handy Piece Of Research For Your Fellow Holiday Hosts On Social Media – Photo by Dnak, CC

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