Entertaining with Hardwood Floors

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Many of our clients with hardwood floors ask the question annually: “How do I manage my guests for the holiday season so that I can also keep my wood floors in good condition?” Our typical client uses their home for a showcase of their lifestyle, and they want to ensure that the guests do not feel restricted, yet they want to find a solution that will work for the aesthetic of their home and event so that they are not confronted with a costly flooring repair bill in the new year.

And our response depends on where our clients are located – those in urban areas often worry about high heel damage, while those in resort areas worry about water damage from either snow boots or wet feet from the beach or lake. We also remind our clients in snowy areas that they should be concerned about damage from salt/sand applications on the sidewalks just prior to entry in the front door – as those little crystals can do a lot of damage over an evening.

The simple solution for entertaining is to require all guests to remove their footwear upon entry to the home. And have the following to ensure that everyone is cooperative:

1. Have a basket of ballet/evening slippers or non-slip socks.
2. Ask everyone to either coordinate it to their outfit or make a complete mismatch to make it humorous.
3. Invite everyone to keep the footwear to take home as a gift…maybe personalize the slippers for the event.
4. Inform guests on the invitation so that they will be able to dress more casually.
5. Have a paid staffer handle the front door so that the host does not have to deal with difficult guests.

Your initial cost for the slippers and socks may seem expensive but it will be a lot less expensive than the thousands of dollars that you will have to spend if you have to repair your solid hardwood flooring.

Hardwood floors are durable enough to last a lifetime, but you have to ensure that damage is not done due to a few people who wear inappropriate footwear which can mar the beauty of your flooring.

Robin Wilson is an eco-friendly interior designer and a lifestyle brand with products sold at Bed Bath & Beyond.com. She is an ambassador to the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America and author of Kennedy Green House (Greenleaf, 2010). She regularly appears on the speakers circuit, on television and offers commentary in print on wellness, sustainability and allergy & asthma issues. Learn more at www.robinwilsonhome.com .

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