With the holidays fast approaching, now is the time to start planning for visits from out-of-town visitors. A well-appointed guest room will have everyone feeling right at home.
Location, location, location: First, choose the right space for your guests’ stay. Ideally, the guest room will be a bedroom with its own bathroom attached. If possible, it should be tucked away from the busiest parts of the house (the kitchen and the living room) and, for the sake of privacy, not too close to a curious child’s room.
Clear out: If your guest room doubles as an office, remove everything you need to complete your day-to-day tasks so you won’t be going in and out of the room during your guests’ visit. Then, move as much office material into a storage closet as you can so that the space will feel like a proper bedroom. Set up the bedside table with a vase of fresh flowers, a clock, a lamp and a selection of reading material that might appeal to your guest.
Make space: Check to make sure there is adequate closet and drawer space for your guests’ belongings. Be sure to include a variety of hangers for trousers, dresses, jackets and coats as well as a full-length mirror. If nothing else, put out a chair or rack to give your guests easy access to items packed in their suitcases.
Provide possibilities: When making up a double bed, provide four sleeping pillows —two medium or firm and two soft—as well as a light and a heavy blanket plus a lightweight throw. Because room temperature preferences vary widely from person to person, it might be a good idea to include a space heater or fan in the room.
Privacy considerations: Make sure the bedroom door closes all the way and latches properly, and that all the windows have curtains or working blinds.
Tech support: Be sure your guests will have easy access to an uncluttered outlet to charge their phones and other devices, and include a notecard with the WiFi, Netflix and other relevant passwords.
Washing up: If you are not able to provide your guests with a private bathroom, take time to deep clean and organize the shared space so they don’t feel like they’re intruding. Clear an area for their toiletries and stock the bathroom with new toothbrushes and tubes of toothpaste. For a special touch, put out beautiful soaps and bottles of lotion, special shampoos and conditioners and scented candles. Beyond that, make sure each guest has a supply of clean towels—two large bath towels, two face towels and a wash cloth for each guest—and a clean robe.
Snacks: Ask your guests about any dietary restrictions before they arrive and stock the pantry accordingly. Be sure to have coffee, tea, milk and water easily available. When they arrive, show them where to find drinking glasses and utensils and welcome them to help themselves.