‘Tis the season when out of town guests show up to stay with you. Assuming you actually want them to stay, here are a few tips for the gracious host on creating a welcoming guest room.
Think of your guest space as a boutique hotel suite, and plan accordingly.
1. Make sure the bed is comfortable.
A gracious guest room is not a dumping ground for the unwanted lumpy mattress you replaced in the master suite…even if you buy an inexpensive mattress, you can up the comfort level by adding a memory foam topper, sheepskin mattress pad, or even a featherbed. Use wonderful bedding that feels as good as it looks (check out our Beautiful Bedding, Sweet Dreams post from July 13, 2015, to demystify the sheet selection process), and be sure to offer plenty of extra blankets or comforters so your guests are sure to be warm enough and a variety of both soft and firm pillows.
2. Create a seating area.
Every room can accommodate at least a chair and side table, and having a place to sit and read or catch up on email or at least to sit and put on shoes is essential to a well appointed guest room. If space permits, an ottoman or footstool would be a lovely addition to the seating.
3. Provide a luggage rack or equivalent place to open a suitcase and space for clothing storage.
Free up at least part of the closet space in your guest room for your guests to hang their clothes. Add a set of matching nice velvet or wooden jacket and skirt/pant hangers as well. These are an inexpensive luxury and much more welcoming than a pile of stray wire laundry hangers. Add a dresser if space permits, or use a pair of small dressers as nightstands for additional clothing storage.
4. Provide adequate lighting
Have a pair of lamps at the bed and a reading lamp in the seating area. Most rooms require at least 3 light sources…overhead lighting is the most unfriendly and least flattering, so try to avoid it in a bedroom space. A nightlight is a nice addition to the guest bath as well.
5. Add extra touches for a warm and gracious welcome.
Fresh flowers, a basket of toiletries, magazines or books that match your guests interests, pens and stationary items for jotting notes, and bottled water are all thoughtful touches. For the ultimate luxury, add terry robes and a gourmet fruit/food basket!