The holiday season is officially upon us, and for many people, that means hosting friends and family for festive gatherings. It’s such a luxury to have an extra room just for guests, but creating a comfortable, inviting guest space is more than simply placing a bed and some furniture in a spare room.
Even though your guests will appreciate even the most basic space, a thoughtfully designed guest room can make them feel at home during their stay. Also, taking the time to anticipate their needs before they arrive can make hosting less stressful for you, so it’s really a win for everyone. Whether you're hosting family, friends, or acquaintances, here are some tips to help you create a warm and inviting guest room.
Even a dedicated guest space is still part of your home, so it should be decorated to look like it. Give some personality to the space with thoughtful decor that reflects your own style and creates a cozy ambiance. Avoid overwhelming the room with clutter; you don’t want your guests to feel like they’re sleeping in a storage closet. Feel free to use color in this room to make it feel cheerful and bright. Since it’s a guest room, it’s OK to go a little quirkier with the design than you would in other areas of your home. Have a little fun with it!
The focal point of any guest room is the bed, so invest in quality, comfortable bedding.
Choose soft, inviting sheets, and provide a variety of pillows to cater to different sleep preferences. For example, some people prefer to sleep on a fluffy pillow and others need a flat pillow. It’s also a nice touch to place a cozy throw or blanket at the foot of the bed for added warmth and comfort. Even in warm weather, people have different preferences for indoor temperatures, so it’s better to keep it cool and offer them an extra blanket in case they get chilly.
Having a dresser or console table in the room gives your guests a place to set small items such as jewelry, watches, phones, etc. You can place one or two items on them as part of your decor, such as a lamp and a small decorative item, but keep most of the space clear for your guests’ belongings. Provide some space in the closet with a few empty hangers. If you have a dresser, keep a couple of empty drawers available for guests. A luggage rack or an ottoman placed in the room can also be helpful; it gives your guests a place to keep their suitcase open for easy access.
Anticipate your guests' needs by providing essential amenities. If your guest space has an attached bathroom, place a few toiletries, such as shower gel and body lotion, along with fresh towels on the sink vanity. Otherwise, place those items in a basket in the bedroom, either on the bed or a nearby table, so they’ll know where to find them.
Place a few bottles of water on the bedside table in case they get thirsty during the night. I recently learned how important this is when I visited a friend who lives in a dry climate. I woke up extremely thirsty every night and was grateful for the water she had put in my room. It’s also a nice touch to leave a basket of individually wrapped snacks (a variety of sweet and salty), in case they feel snackish in the evenings.
Create a well-lit and inviting atmosphere with a variety of lighting options. A bedside lamp with adjustable brightness is essential for late-night reading, while overhead lighting brightens the entire room when they’re picking out clothes to wear or applying makeup. Also remember that adequate lighting includes blocking out natural light when necessary. If you have sheer or lightweight curtains on the windows, install blackout shades so your guests can sleep past sunrise each morning.
Everyone has at least one device that needs to be charged, and many people have multiple devices. It’s very helpful to your guests if you can provide a charging station with multiple ports to easily charge their devices. It’s also a nice touch to leave an extra charging cord plugged in, in case your guest forgets theirs.
Leave a note with the Wi-Fi password prominently displayed so they can stay connected without having to find you if they’ve waited to login until retiring to their room for the night.
A welcoming guest room is more than just a place to sleep; it's an experience that makes your guests feel valued and at home. Taking these steps ahead of time to make them comfortable will allow everyone to relax and enjoy a great visit.