Here’s a little confession: I know exactly which family and out-of-town friends have the most comfortable guest bedrooms to stay in, and I often base my length of “available visit time” accordingly.
Do you blame me? While I can roll with the punches to a point, there is a big difference between sleeping on a blow up mattress on a child’s bedroom floor or having a room to myself, just as there’s a difference between sleeping on somebody’s old, worn-out mattress rather than enjoying a comfortable bed that feels (almost) like home.
Get Your Extra Bedroom Into Shape Before the Holidays
With the holiday season right around the corner, this is a perfect time to prioritize a guest room makeover. Here are a few tips to get you started:
Choose relaxing colors. Regardless of your owner personal taste or penchant for bright colors, I feel guest rooms are best left to the relaxing and neutral areas of the color palette. Guests are often jet lagged or tired from the very nature of what it took to get them to you in the first place. Just being away from home and the normal routine is enough to create an energy drain – consciously or not. Therefore, chose wall and trim colors that are restful and relaxing – whites, grays, greens and blues are all good options. Feel free to add fun, peppy and more energetic splashes of color via accents and display items. If your guest room is on the smaller side, you can use color tricks to make the room seem larger.
Make them feel like royalty. If at all possible, try to provide a queen-size bed at the very minimum. While a double bed works for a singleton, couples are going to struggle sleeping well on anything less than a queen. Then, do invest in a fantastic mattress. Today’s mattress – especially memory foam options – will last a lifetime. If budget is an issue, look for the prolific 0% financing options, which provide you with a new, high-quality mattress for double-digits per month. Alternatively, go directly through the manufacturer for better deals.
Indulge in comfortable linens and bed sets. Cheap sheets feel terrible. While most hotel mattresses are all right these days, it’s the sheets themselves that can really drive you nuts. They are more irritating than they are comforting. Look for sheets with a thread count that is 300 or higher to give your guests a soft place to rest. Think along those same lines when it comes to providing soft bath towels. Then, think in terms of layers. I like to top my guest bed sheets with a thin, soft blanket so those that sleep hot can still enjoy that cozy feeling. Then a down or wool comforter can top that for those who need a little more warmth. I also like to provide four pillows (don’t go too crazy on the pillow front or guests don’t know what to do with them all each morning/night) – two for the head and an extra for those who prefer them or who enjoy reading in bed before going to sleep.
Give guests a place to keep their clothes. Living out a suitcase can be discombobulating at best and completely disastrous at worst, with favorite shirts, suits and dresses having to live in a perpetual state of wrinkled. If you use your guest room closet for storage, try to leave a dozen empty hangers and a small section of closet rod available when guests come to stay. Along those lines, an empty dresser drawer or three is always a nice bonus as well. If there is no closet space available, read, Creating a Closet in a Closet-Less Space, for ideas – most of which can be set up temporarily.
The little extras. Here are some of the little extras I like to provide for guests – arranged artfully in a basket – so they don’t have to ask:
- Shampoo, conditioner and bath gel or soap
- Unscented or gender-neutral lotion/moisturizer
- Shaving cream and decent razor
- Toothbrush, toothpaste and floss
- A tastefully hidden array of feminine hygiene products
- Q-tips and cotton balls
By having these items at the ready, your guests don’t have to feel embarrassed or burdensome if they forget an essential item or two at home. This “guest survival” kit is also handy for guests whose luggage gets lost along the way.
I choose to have beautiful houseplants rather than fresh flowers in my guest room as I have found that flowers in small places are more conducive to guests with allergy attacks.
Finally, leave a guest book on the nightstand. Our household has gone through several guest books over the course of the last few decades and it is such a delight to peruse them from time to time, remembering past holidays, gatherings, visits and special events.