Hosting house guests can be great fun, but you—and your guests—will definitely enjoy the experience more when you have a comfortable place for them to call home, if only temporarily. No matter how much you love your friends and family, you’ll both be happier when they have their own space and can close the door to enjoy some down time throughout their visit.
So is your guest room up for the task? If you don’t have overnight guests often, your spare room may not be as prepared for family and friends as you’d like—or you may use your guest room for other purposes most days of the year and need to change it over into guest-worthy accommodations before they arrive.
No worries! If you’re looking to add a little extra beauty to your extra bedroom, here are a few ways to quickly and easily make the space comfy-cozy for guests.
Step One: Clean up Your Space
If you have a bona fide spare bedroom that you don’t use for any other purpose, congratulations! You can skip to the bottom of this section.
But if you’re like most people, your “spare” room is likely pressed into service as a combination guest room and office, or maybe it’s often used as a playroom or craft room. Even if you just use the closet and shelves for overflow storage, you’ll need to take care of any clutter before guests arrive. Clear off the top of your desk to tuck away loose papers and books so that guests can use the surface to unpack. If you use the closets for extra storage, spend a Saturday getting it organized by placing loose items in decorative boxes or bins. Make sure that there’s plenty of empty space on the hanging bar—and a few extra hangers—for your guests’ clothing as well.
Before your guests arrive, give the room a good cleaning. Be sure to dust thoroughly, sweep the floors and vacuum any rugs. Check all light bulbs and air out the room if it seems stuffy.
Step Two: Provide Extra Linens
Make sure your guests have everything they need for a good night’s sleep when you make the bed with fresh, clean sheets. In general, your guest bed should have a fitted sheet, flat sheet, a blanket and a comforter or duvet. Depending on the season, it’s a good idea to provide at least one extra blanket folded at the bottom of the bed. For your guests’ comfort, a spare pillow for each guest is also an excellent idea to allow for sitting up and reading before bedtime.
For convenience, provide a fresh, folded set of towels for each guest as well. You can stack these neatly on a dresser or desk where they won’t be missed. Your guests will definitely appreciate having towels handy before they’re dripping wet! The more you can anticipate their needs, the happier your house guests will be.
Step Three: Go the Extra Mile
You could easily stop at step two and have perfectly satisfied guests, but to really make your house feel like a special retreat, try making up a basket of useful gift items to welcome your guests into your home. You can pick up a decorative bowl or basket at any local craft or home goods store and fill it with a unique soap and lotion set. This idea is especially nice if you have a local soap maker to purchase from for a special souvenir. Complete the bath basket with shampoo, conditioner and perhaps a loofah or other bath scrub.
Likewise, you can fill a decorative cup or glass with fresh toothbrushes, a travel toothpaste and a bit of floss and mouthwash. This set is sure to be appreciated if your guests accidentally forget their own!
You can also help your guests have a comfortable night by outfitting their bedside tables with a bottle of water, a bookmark and a reading light. For a final touch, place a night light in the guest room and bathroom to help your guests find their way in unfamiliar surroundings. Choose ones that are activated when the sun goes down for the greatest ease of use – you can find them in any hardware store.
Step Four: Add Entertainment
Though you’ll no doubt spend most of your time visiting together and catching up, it’s also wise to plan for some down time. Consider leaving a small stack of great books or glossy magazines handy in your guest room for your friends to browse through. It’s also nice to include a local restaurant guide or a few pamphlets about nearby attractions.
If you think about your house like a hotel, you can type up a handy reference card for your guests, too. Include things like your Wi-Fi password, important phone numbers, the code to your alarm system and anything else that would be useful for your guests to know.
Be sure to make your guests aware of where to charge their phones and laptops as well as where to find the television or games to play to pass the time.
Step Five: Smart Guest Room Upgrades
To take your guest room to five-star hotel level, try shopping for a few easy pieces that will make your room even more convenient and comfortable:
- A Full-Length Mirror: Guests will be happy to check their appearance before breakfast and an over-the-door mirror is easy to hang either inside or outside of your closet door.
- A Folding Luggage Rack: These will tuck away easily when your guests are gone, but they make all the difference for unpacking those heavy suitcases. Home stores and online retailers have inexpensive luggage racks to match your decor.
- A Pillow Top Mattress: No need to buy a whole new mattress. Instead, invest in a cushioned mattress pad or pillow topper for your guest bed. The extra cushioning will feel heavenly after a long plane trip or car ride, and your guests will drift to sleep in no time.
When you take the time to add thoughtful touches to your guest bedroom, your friends and family will enjoy every moment of the time they spend visiting you. Just don’t be surprised when they make plans to stay longer next time!