Expecting company? Here are our best tips for making their stay a pleasurable one.
1. Make Things Accessible
According to the authority, Better Homes and Gardens, “You want to avoid a guest having to ask you for something.” This means making items like towels, toiletries, an alarm clock, and a reading lamp readily accessible. Keeping some spare pillows of varying degrees of softness is never a bad idea, either. If you have a guest bathroom—which any visitor will appreciate—make sure it’s stocked, but leave enough room for company to easily incorporate whatever they may have brought with them.
Hint: To really get a feel for what a guest room needs to feel accommodating, you might try staying there yourself for a few nights and making note of what’s working and what’s missing.
2. Air it Out
Guest rooms often go unused for long periods of time, which means there’s a good chance trapped moisture and stale air have been allowed to settle in. Opening the windows or plugging in a dehumidifier several weeks beforehand can be the difference between a guest room that feels inviting and one that feels more like a place to store luggage rather than loved ones. Don’t forget to check bedding, too: A quick wash and dry can easily take the musk out of sheets, blankets, and pillows.
3. Provide Adequate Storage
Speaking of luggage, your visitors are going to need a place to store their stuff while they are in your home. Guest room storage should be simple. Several hangers, some space in the closet, and one or two drawers in a chest should be enough to give your guest a sense of belonging and the feeling of being at home away from home. If your closets and drawers seem too full already, it might be time to implement a few new storage techniques. A simple shelf or two in a closet can create incredible amounts of room in no time.
For already cramped houses: If you are really pressed for space, you may be able to utilize unused areas like basements, attics, and garages (as long as they are water-tight, which they should be anyway) as temporary storage areas for larger items. If it works out, you may consider making these permanent storage spaces.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Decorate
While many of us put a lot of planning into the rest of our homes, guest rooms often end up containing whatever didn’t fit in elsewhere. The best guest rooms are as inviting as the rest of the house. If yours is filled to the rim with leftovers, now is a great time to give the space a facelift.
Note: Pay special attention to window dressings. How and when the light enters the room (and what time of day it hits the bed) can mean the difference between an enjoyable night’s sleep and being unexpectedly woken up at the crack of dawn. You might need to invest in new window treatments if your old ones are musty, outdated or have been eaten away at by pests.
5. Create a Multi-Tasker
Guest rooms are great when company comes over, but there’s no reason why the space can’t be used effectively all year round. By picking furniture and other items that are versatile (think Murphy bed), you can have a home office, den, or any number of options most of the time, and a spare room when you need it. You might hire an interior designer to help you with the space so you get the most out of it for the right price.
Tip: Though it’s great to have a guest room that functions as something else, don’t make it so essential to your daily routine that you’ll have to disrupt your company to get at what’s in there.
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