Summer is here and for me that means lots of houseguests! I know it’s more than my scintillating conversation and my husband’s wacky sense of humor that draws guests weekend after weekend to our home. You see, I live in a resort community on the biggest natural lake in Washington State, Lake Chelan, and more than 20 wineries dot its shores so there are plenty of reasons we have lots of guests. I love having family and friends visit but, as you might guess, a guest room is a necessity since it seems like our front door revolves during summer months.
Whether you have guests often or just now and then, I’ve got some first-hand tips to help you make them feel welcomed and at home during their visit.
Guest Room Tips
Take a look at your home while imagining yourself in a guest’s shoes. Is there a comfortable place to sleep? Is there room to unpack or access suitcases easily? Is a bathroom easily available? Figuring out ways to answer “YES!” to these key questions improves the chances your guests will feel comfortable instead of intrusive. Then consider these tips to enhance their stay:
- A Comfortable Place to Sleep ideally would be a guest room complete with a generously sized bed - but if that’s not possible don’t fret.
Alternatives include a day bed in an office,
a blow up bed wherever you’ve got the space,
moving your kids to sleeping bags on the living room floor so you can give guests their beds and, of course,
don’t forget the sofa (whether or not it’s a sleeper sofa it’s a place to bunk!).
- Provide Fresh, Clean Sheets, Pillows and
Extra Blankets (people have different temperature levels of comfort for sleeping). Without a good night of sleep the visit won’t be fun for your guests.
- Enable Guests to Easily Access Their Clothes. Clear hanging space in the closet or provide a few empty drawers. If this isn’t possible, add over-the-door hanging or hooks or, at the very least, a suitcase stand or a bench to elevate their suitcase.
- Provide a Nightstand and Reading Lamp. This enables guests to enjoy reading in bed (you may want to leave a few of your favorite books or magazines for them to peruse) and lets them forgo climbing out of bed to turn out the lights. If you don’t have a guest room in which to place a night stand or you just want to be a bit creative -
a chair or a pile of books can easily hold a lamp.
- Offer a Nightlight so finding the bathroom in the middle of the night is not a torture trek filled with stubbed toes or bruised shins from bumping into furniture.
- Supply Fresh Towels, Washcloths, and Soap. To make sure your guests know the linens are for them if they’re sharing a family bathroom, arrange them creatively in the guest room,
hang them over the door or lay them on their bed. Adding little travel size bottles of shampoo, lotion or toothpaste is a nice touch.
- Include a Mirror in the Guest Space so guests can easily do hair and make-up without feeling like they’re hogging the family bathroom.
- Place a Wastebasket in the guest’s sleeping area. It’s something you don’t think about until you need it - and guests will need one!
- Incorporate a Reading Chair in a guest room if possible. The chair offers a welcome relief – providing the guest a cozy spot of their own to retreat and, in turn, providing you a brief respite from hosting duties.
- Minimize Decorating Accessories in a guest room so the guest has room for their things. A room filled with personal photos and clutter only serves to remind guests that they’re crowding you out of your space.
- Notify Guests of Internet Availability by sharing a wireless password or showing them where they can plug in. Many people travel with a computer in order to keep up on personal email and stay in touch with their family.
- Include a Small Wet Bar or Dorm Sized Refrigerator in the guest space if possible or invite guests to help themselves to a cold drink and show them where fruit is in your fridge.
- Say “Welcome” with fresh flowers or a wrapped chocolate on their pillow.
Once you’ve got your guest space set-up, put it to the test by hosting yourself! Spend the night as a guest in your own home and discover what works and what doesn’t. If you’re not comfortable or if you find something lacking – your guest will also. Make any needed changes or final touches and then welcome guests confidently, knowing they, as well as you, will enjoy the visit comfortably.
If you need help creating a guest room, remember Your Decorating Hotline offers one-on-one consultations. We’d love to help. Check out our offerings by clicking here.