With the holidays on our doorsteps, many of us will be welcoming guests into our homes. What makes a good guest room? You probably already know without really thinking about it; when a host puts a lot of thought into the guest room, you wake up rested and refreshed with everything you need (or possibly forgot).
Many of us use guest rooms as extra storage and the closets are chock full of seasonal clothes, sports equipment or other items you have not been able to get rid of quite yet. When you are preparing for your guests’ arrival, carve out some space in the closet (complete with empty hangers) and clear out at least one drawer for the guests to put away their belongings. This will help your guest keep the room tidy which is a win-win for the guest and the host!
Here is a list to get you started on creating the perfect guest room (Warning: Your guests may never leave):
TV and DVD player
Reading material - Include some of your favorite books or paperbacks that are not in bookcases in public areas of the home.
Current issues of popular magazines
No matter the size of the bed, make sure the bed looks as inviting as possible. Clean sheets (hopefully matching!), a down comforter with an extra blanket or quilt across the foot of the bed and several pillows will always do the trick. Decorative throw pillows will complete the look.
Lamp - seems pretty self explanatory, but I’ve spent the night in several places with no bedside light and it makes it hard to read to go to sleep when you have to cross the room to turn the (overhead) light out. Besides, I’m opposed to using overhead lighting in a bedroom, unless it’s a twinkling chandelier. Check out the Stockholm Table Lamp from IKEA -- I’d definitely swap the shade for a larger drum shade.
Luggage Rack - Your guest will undoubtedly need a place for their suitcase. A luggage rack will keep your guest from having to bend down or get onto the floor every time they need something from their suitcase. I like the Gaspar Luggage Rack from Ballard Designs.
Notepad and pen/pencil - give your guest a place to jot down thoughts and or numbers. I love the FYI notepad by William Arthur available through Crane and Company. Doesn’t the logo remind you of the old-school NYC subway tokens?
Alarm clock - so you (the host) are not responsible for the wake-up call! This vintage alarm clock available via etsy really caught my eye.
Water carafe - you can find great water carafes that uses the lid as a cup. CB2’s Cora Carafe is a steal at $9.95
Scented candle - creates a homey feeling for your guest, and makes them feel special. Why not get the Dark + Stormy scented candle from Paddywax? It sounds super-unique and the glass it is packaged in can be used for cocktails later.
Make an extra set of house keys so your guest can come and go as they please.
An Universal Charger - Get one of these handy chargers so your guest can charge any or all of the devices they bring with them. This one from Amazon combines a battery charger with two USB ports.
If your guests are bunking in a room or space that is usually occupied, like a den or living room, make room for them and clean up the area around the bed, especially the bedside table.
One final touch that will make your guest feel like royalty is the welcome note. It can be as simple as a personal note that reads:
“Welcome to my home. I’m so excited you are here and can’t wait to catch up”
You may also leave a more detailed note that may include restaurant recommendations, wireless password, house phone + fax numbers, and any other contact information. You may also include an itinerary for the guests’ visit -- i.e any dinner parties, cocktail engagements or dinner reservations.