Hot Drinks Station: Making Guests Feel at Home

To me, nothing is quite as soothing or homey as a warm cup of goodness clasped between your hands.  Can I get an “amen”?

Hot Drinks Station via The Thinking Closet

My most amazing parents are flying in today {jumping up and down} from New York to visit us in FL for the first time.  So, in preparation for their highly-anticipated arrival, I set up a special “hot drinks station” in our guest room.  What do you think?

Hot Drinks Station via The Thinking Closet

My inspiration came from the Parker Family, a wonderful family of seven in Wheaton, IL, who Mark first met back in his college days.  They are one of the most loving and welcoming families I know, and a role model for me in terms of hospitality.  When you’re in their home, they make you feel like a special guest, all the while making you feel like part of the gang; it’s a fantastic balance to strike.

During our last visit to their home, we got in late at night – – like everyone’s-in-bed-asleep late at night.  We crept downstairs to the guest room, tired, weary, and needing…well…a bit of comfort.  And what did my eyes behold when we opened the guest room door, but a Keurig coffee machine, a carousel of K-cups, and a stack of mugs, inviting us to have a cup of Sleepy-Time tea before bed.  Sigh.  And boy did it ever deliver on the comfort.

That experience clearly made an impression because we ended up investing in a Keurig B-40 (got a great deal with a rebate and 20% coupon through Bed Bath & Beyond…though I’m linking here to my Amazon affiliate shop, for full disclosure) and our very own carousel, which I stocked with a variety of K-cups.  Thus, my vision for a hot drinks station in our guest room started to become a reality.

We picked up this cutie cabinet from Home Goods last week; although we’re thinking it might need to be repainted in a blue wash to better match our minty walls, it provides the perfect staging area for the hot drinks station, not to mention the storage for our guests’ clothes if they want to unpack!  (Another way guests feel at home.)

Hot Drinks Station via The Thinking Closet

And the teacher in me felt the need to write out a set of simple instructions for operating the Keurig.  It’s not rocket science; heck, it’s not even science, but for first-timers, it can be a little daunting.  Remember the font I created of my own handwriting for my DIY Clothing Labels?  Well, I used that font to add some personalization to my typed instructions, printed it out on cardstock, “laminated” it using clear packing tape, and voila!  Clear and inviting…I hope!

Hot Drinks Station via The Thinking Closet

Hot Drinks Station via The Thinking Closet

Which one are you: a one-cupper or twelve?

I added some boxes of tea bags and of course, honey – – my favorite sweetener for tea.

Hot Drinks Station via The Thinking Closet

Pooh bear would be relieved.

And on the other side, my favorite sugar dish and coffee mugs from Crate & Barrel along with an antique tea cup.

Hot Drinks Station via The Thinking Closet

This teacup is a family heirloom. Heirlooms are meant to be used!

And all atop our Crate & Barrel table-runner.  (Can you guess where we registered?)

Hot Drinks Station via The Thinking Closet

To catch any drips!

Oh, the peanut M & Ms, you ask?   Just a sweet treat for munching on.  And maybe I had to refill the dish after eating half of them in the process of setting up my hot drinks station…and so what if I did?

Hot Drinks Station via The Thinking Closet

Mark and I love using our fancy ice-cream bowls as candy dishes.

Just a few more hours until I drive to the airport to pick up my parents.  My excitement is nearly impossible to contain.  I keep dancing while cleaning.

I’m eager to see my parents for the first time since early August, eager to show them our new digs, and eager to see the hot drinks station in action, doing what it does best: making our guests feel at home.

Hot Drinks Station via The Thinking Closet

P.S.  The Thinking Closet has reached 50 followers!  Wow, the fact that anyone other than my family care to follow my blog amazes me.  Thanks to all of my readers out there across the globe.  You inspire me to keep creating.

Update!

Check out my new-and-improved Hot Drinks Station along with my Beginner’s Guide to Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  {And find out why we moved the station out of the guest room and into our main living space….}

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Lovely comments so far...

  1. says

    Great drink station! That is such a great idea to have it in the bedroom, especially for guests. I love Homegoods! We have a a huge TJmaxx with Homegoods in it…it’s the best. There are so many great finds there. I don’t go there often though, because my money would be gone…

    • says

      Thanks, Vanessa. I’m sort of new to the Home Goods train, but it’s clear to see why it’s good to limit your visits there; it was so tough to refrain from buying too many furniture pieces and stick to what we actually needed.

  2. says

    What an awesome way to say “Welcome!” Love this…we are moving to FL at the end of this year and will have an actual Guest Room…have to do something like this!

  3. Jill @ Create.Craft.Love. says

    Such a wonderful idea! Hope they enjoy their stay! Thanks for sharing at the Pomp Party! Hope to see you back next week!

  4. says

    I love this idea but I’d like to have this in my own bedroom though. I can just see my self waking up in the morning and sipping my tea in bed while reading my emails….. I’ll let you know how it goes.

  5. Marmie says

    As the first beneficiaries of this hot-drinks-station I strongly endorse it! We’ve gone through lots of different hot drinks already. The set-up made us feel so special and welcome! Your directions for the Keurig were very helpful. I was so touched to see one of my mom’s tea-cups (from the china set we used growing up) there, too! The cabinet is such a lovely, tropical touch; great for guest storage and makes us feel like we are truly on vacation. You and Mark are amazing hosts and you have made us feel like your casa is our casa!!

    • says

      Thanks for initiating our hot drinks station and really making good use of it! I feel utter confirmation that this project was a good idea and is here to stay. I’ve so enjoyed our visit together! Just wish it didn’t have to end.

      • says

        Ooh me next, me next! I can’t wait to experience the hot drinks station for myself! Save some special Keruig coffee for me! :) Plus, I love that last picture. It’s so profesh! Should be pinned all over pinterest!

        • says

          We cannot WAIT to have you in our home, Bartle. Whenever you have a break from school and work, let’s book it! You can have all the K-cups you want.

          And thanks for the kind words on the pic! I’m having way too much fun editing my photos on Pixlr. It’s free and online. Try it…you won’t be able to stop!

          • says

            Ooh Pixlr! Never heard of it, but sounds like it will be my biggest new distraction! :) Thanks for the tip! And yes, a trip soon…spoke to MM and PP and got my wheels spinning on how to make it to FL. Maybe a combo trip to see the Lankers and Catheys!

  6. says

    This would make me feel so welcome! I think it’s a wonderful idea! We LOVE our Keurig so much! It’s the best. I’d love to have you link up at my party, Creative Me at The Southern Institute. Here’s the link: http://thesoutherninstitute.com/2012/10/creative-me-linky-party-7.html/

    I hope to see you there if you have time to add another linky party! It’s a great group of inspiring ladies and a really great community!

    Blessings!
    Jenny

  7. says

    Wow! What an awesome idea and such a beautiful way to display it!!! I think I may just have to try this for our next guests. Great to see another FL blogger…and not to far either. :) Pinning this so I remember it and following along now so I can see your other great ideas. :)

  8. says

    You are featured this week on Busy Monday at A Pinch of Joy! I hope you will stop by and grab a Featured Button from the Button Box on the sidebar this afternoon. Pinned. Can’t wait to see what else you’ve been working on!

  9. says

    I love the color of that cart! I had to click and see the full post, because I love using this shade of green. The drink station is so cute! Not quite sure which party I found you at. There’s a party at my place if you feel like linking up! jedandivy.blogspot.com

  10. says

    pinning this idea! I have a drinks station in my kitchen, but one for the guest room is a fab idea.
    Oh, and btw, I’m a twelve-cupper — nothing says ‘love you’ like hot cuppa refills.

  11. Marmie/Lauren's mom says

    We did feel right at home! Thanks so much for putting this together…and now we can enjoy every time we visit you! xxoo

    • thethinkingcloset says

      That’s right! It’s ready and waiting for Lisbeth later this week, and for you in December! Will have my K-cup carousel properly stocked with an assortment of caffeinated and decaf coffee, as well as yummy chai!

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