Here are some product ideas that can help you manage a busy Holiday Season of entertaining guests, whether they be overnight or just stopping by for impromptu holiday cheer.
If you are expecting a large number of guests, there is a good chance that you will have completed a renovation or two, especially kitchen or entertainment related. We classify this type of article under “TGIFO”, as in “Thank God It’s Finally Over”, which focuses on enjoying your newly completed spaces!
Though these products can be used throughout the year for all types of entertaining, now is the time to start planning for the holidays to prevent shipping delays or product unavailability. All products have a theme of “flexibility”, such that they can adapt with both your immediate and long-term needs. They also provide convenience and familiarity to your guests when they are away from home. Enjoy!
1. Convertible Dining Tables
Is it a bookshelf or a table? Well, you decide. This incredible transitional bookshelf becomes a table – so easy a child can do it! SWING is an innovative product from Smart Living, based in Germany. It is a great space saver for small dining areas and can be quickly moved and converted into the “kids table”, using embedded rollers. The table locks easily into place that allows it to lay flat to seat four to six people.
To convert the table back into a bookshelf, simply stand at the far end of the table and lift upward to the transitional bookshelf state. Now you have a place to keep all of those cups and glasses or set up the after meal dessert cart!
This style of table design has been used in retail for flexible merchandising display applications, as well. They also have an outdoor version that is suitable for gardens and patios.
Unfortunately, this manufacturer’s products are currently only available in Europe, so we have also provided a few other options and concepts for shoppers outside of this market.
Manufacturer: Smart Living Made in Germany
Alternate Convertible Dining Tables:
Convertible Dining Table Bookshelf (Houzz)
Traditional Convertible Dining Table (Amazon)
Console Table Bookshelf (Amazon)
Adams Dining Console Table (Wayfair)
Washam Convertible Dining Table (Wayfair)
More Convertible Dining Table Concepts:
Expand Furniture has coffee tables and consoles that convert into dining tables.
2. LED Motion Sensor Lighting
LED and motion sensor lighting are two concepts that create a great marriage for innovative residential use. There are many different types of LED lights from which to choose depending on the look you are attempting to achieve based on brightness, color, or intensity. Here are two ideas for using motion sensor enabled LED lighting for holiday entertaining:
i. Pathway Lighting for Overnight Guests
Prior to the holidays is a good time to install motion detected LED lighting in guest rooms (e.g. under the bed) and on pathways to the guest bathrooms for your overnight visitors. Guests unacquainted with your home’s layout will be guided by the under the bed lighting the minute they swing a foot in front of the bed, helping them to navigate unfamiliar territory. Continue lighting from the room to the bathroom to facilitate the journey without the need to search for hallway switches or room lights.
ii. Pathway Lighting for Party Guests
Similarly, LED pathway lighting is a great use for parties (both indoor and outdoor) to direct your guest toward powder rooms, bars, or buffets, if you have a large set up. To enhance the experience consider using different hues for different destination areas.
Here some lighting products available on Amazon that could be used for these types of applications:
Jobar LED Motion Sensor Light (Amazon)
Mr. Beams Battery-Powered Motion-Sensing LED Stick-Anywhere Nightlight (Amazon)
OxyLED Motion Sensor Activated LED Wall Sconce Night Light (Amazon)
Aukora Motion Sensor Light Bulbs (Amazon)
URPOWER 10 LED Bulbs Motion Sensor Light (Amazon)
ZEEFO Retro Motion Sensor LED Night Light (Amazon)
3. Sonos Move Speaker
Sonos has just introduced a durable, battery powered, wireless smart speaker for both indoor and outdoor listening, called Move. The weatherproof and drop-resistant Move can be controlled with your voice or the Sonos app. If you need to upgrade the music system in your home quickly to include gathering areas, such as an outdoor deck or patio, kitchen or den, this is the product for you. When entertaining guests, you can easily move your speakers to accommodate wherever your guests organically gather, indoors or outdoors. Convenience and flexibility are key benefits of this product.
Sonos Move Smart Portable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Speaker with Alexa (Amazon)
- Weatherproof: With an IP56 rating, stands up to humidity, rain, snow, dust, salt spray, UV rays, and extreme heat and cold
- Control with your voice, the Sonos app, and Apple AirPlay 2 at home
- Stream via Bluetooth when WiFi isn’t available
- Automatic Trueplay tuning that balances the sound for where you are and what you’re listening to
- Amazon Alexa integration
- Connects with existing Sonos system
- Includes a custom rechargeable battery
- Battery can be fully recharged within 2 hours
- Only comes in shadow black to stand-up to UV exposure, high temperatures, and the outdoors
- Can play while charging
- Battery can last for up to 10 hours of playback at moderate volume
4. Fingerprint Smart Lock
Continuing on the theme of flexibility and convenience, have you thought about how you are going to manage a limited set of house keys across a large group of visitors? Though you may expect to spend a lot of time together, holidays can be a flurry of activity with divergent schedules, especially involving shopping and visiting other hometown friends and relatives.
If you don’t have enough household keys to distribute to the masses, why not install a Fingerprint or Smart Keyless lock and provide interim access for your guests? Testing with family members and friends is also a low-stress way to get familiar with features and settings, before using this feature with third-party vendors or contractors.
This is also a great product to install on the home of elderly parents, so that caregivers have instant access without fumbling for keys. Access can be granted or denied as needed.
Lockly Bluetooth Keyless Fingerprint Smart Lock (Amazon)
- Keyless Entry
- DIY Installation
- Universal Fit with doors up to 2” thick
- Auto Lock can be set from 5 seconds to 5 minutes
- One Touch Lock
- At Home Safe Mode
- Access Monitoring
- Secure Digital Keypad
- 3D Fingerprint Sensor
- Works with Physical Key
- Works with Bluetooth and iOS and Android app
- Lock is water resistant but not waterproof
- 4 Ways to Unlock: Fingerprint, Code, Physical Key and Bluetooth App
- Can store up to 8 Access Codes: 1 Admin and 7 Users
5. Portable Charger with Built-In Flashlight
What kind of modern host would you be if you did not offer your holiday guests the ability to charge their electronic devices anytime, anywhere? The GETIHU portable charger would be a delightful and convenient surprise for your guests, as they could easily keep their devices charged throughout their stay. It also comes equipped with a flashlight to help navigate unfamiliar areas at night and to provide visual assistance in poorly lit situations.
GETIHU Portable Charger with 2 USB Ports, High-Speed Battery Backup with Flashlight (Amazon)
- Ideal for all-day outings, camping, travel, business trips and more
- LED Digital Display with Charge Status
- High-speed Charging: 1.4 times faster than regular chargers
- Can charge two devices simultaneously
- Power bank can charge phones several times from single charge
- Capacity: 10000mAh/37Wh
- Battery type: Li-ion polymer battery
- Input: 5V/2A
- Output: 5V/2.4A
- Size: 5.69 X 2.72 X 0.69 inches
- Weight: 6.7 ounces
- Package includes: power bank, micro USB cable, travel pouch, user manual, 3-year after-sale support
Another related convenience to offer guests, is to have a dedicated charging station that comes to the aid of visitors that may be low on battery power.
Lanshion Tower Charging Station with 6 Power Outlets and 4 USB Ports (Amazon)
- 6 Power Outlets
- 4 USB Ports
- Space Saving Vertical Design
- 9.8 Feet Retractable Extension Cord
- Surge Protection
- Overload Protection
- Fireproof ABS Plastic
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