For much of the year, guest bedrooms go largely unused. With Thanksgiving approaching rapidly, we’re coming up on the season of guests. Friends and family visiting can be a stressful time, but being prepared and making your home visitor-ready ahead of time will make the experience fun and enjoyable.
Outfit the bed. The bed is the most important part of a guest room: treat it as such. Put high thread-count sheets on the bed. Make sure all bedding is freshly cleaned and relatively new. Having a comfortable place to sleep can make all the difference when you’re sleeping away from home.
Decorate deliberately. No one wants to sleep in a cold, clinical space, but trying to relax somewhere that is chaotic and overly done up can be equally jarring. Choose some elegant and subtle art or knick knacks to bring out your style.
Stay in the room overnight. Spend some time hanging out in the room, and consider even sleeping a night or two in the room to troubleshoot any potential issues. Know what pitfalls exist ahead of time, so you can address them quickly before company arrives.
Make sure you leave closet/drawer space. The lightest travelers still need somewhere to put their bags. Having a closet or chest of drawers available to receive their clothes and belongings will keep the floor clear, making them feel more at home.
Desk supplies. Clear a little table or desk space, and leave out a small notepad and pens. Perfect for jotting down phone numbers, notes, directions, and whatever else may come to mind without having to rummage around the house.
Bedside water. Providing water on your guest’s night stand is one of the little comforts of home that they will truly appreciate. If you want to bump up the style, arrange a couple cups and a carafe.
Newspapers and magazines. Provide your guests with something to sit back and read in their down time. A couple good books, light reads, recent magazines, or a newspaper gives them something to look over at the end of the evening or in the morning before entering the world.
Throw pillows. You can never have too many throw pillows. Not only do they accent and accessorize your guest bed, but they offer your guest the chance to prop themselves up for reading, as well as position themselves comfortably while sleeping.
Install dimmers. Harsh overhead lights are unflattering and difficult on the eyes. Installing a dimmer switch on your wall or providing three-level lamps on bedside tables allows your guest to regulate the light in their space.
Rearrange furniture strategically. Change around where your guest room furniture is positioned to maximize the space available. Consider moving a desk in if your guest will need to get work done. Think of their habits when you place items.
Extra blankets. Provide your guest with several extra blankets, especially if they are traveling from a warmer climate to a cooler one.
Fresh flowers. Fresh cut flowers smell and look great in a guest bedroom. For the budget-minded, you can get a cool vintage vase at an antique store and make a stunning impression. Be sure to match the blooms with your decor for the full effect.
Hide the hamper. If your guest bedroom is usually where you store things you otherwise don’t want around, be sure to move them out before company arrives. Take the hamper out of the closet, move the extra sweaters and kids toys.
Clock on the nightstand. It’s the little things that make people feel like they’re at home. Don’t forget to put a small clock on the nightstand. Waking up in a strange bed is disorienting enough, much less when you have no idea what time it is.
Fill your cupboards. Remember to stock up on food early. You’ll have an extra mouth around, so preparing accordingly is important. Check to see if your guest has any dietary restrictions ahead of time as well.
Bathroom essentials. Make sure you have more than enough of all bathroom essentials: toilet tissue, Q-tips, etc. Pick up a fresh bar of soap for your guest as well, in case they forgot their own. Always anticipate need.
Get creative with your decor. Teacups are a fun and creative way to offer your guest small items like cotton balls and q tips. Dressing up your space for guests can be fun!
Extra seating. Bring out extra seating in common spaces so your guests will feel welcome. Also, if space is available, consider putting an extra chair in their guest room as well.
Provide things guests may forget. From toothbrushes to phone chargers, people tend to forget important things at home as they rush out the door. Having a couple extra items your guests may need on hand will save you a trip to the store.
Put maps and transit schedules out. Help your guests get around easier by keeping copies of local maps and transit schedules on hand. Let them explore without having to ask you how to get around.
Move fragile things to safe space. Take some anxiety out of the occasion by removing expensive or irreplaceable fragile items out of guest rooms and into safe spaces. It’s not that you distrust your guest, but accidents do happen.
Scented candles. Make your guest’s space smell as wonderful as it looks with a calming scented candle. Choose a scent that is subdued, as you don’t want to overwhelm anyone.
You can make a big statement with your friends and family with some simple preparation. Getting everything organized before the holidays start can make a big difference in your stress levels once people start booking flights and knocking on your door. Undertaking just a few of these tips will make your guests feel welcome and at home.