Monday, February 25, 2013

Happy Hosting: 6 Things You Should Never Forget to Put in your Guest Room

By Jennifer Adams

Hosting friends and family in my home is one of my favorite things to do. But not all guest rooms are created equal, and there are some minimum requirements that each guest room should have in order to make your guests feel as comfortable as they would if they were in their own home.

An ideal guest room should provide the comforts of home because it not only makes your guests feel welcome, it actually makes for an easier time for you, too. Regardless if you have more than one guest suite in your home or a guest corner in your home office, here are some ways to make your guests’ stay as enjoyable as possible.

1. Privacy. Most guests aren’t picky about their free accommodations, but a closed door goes a long way in making everyone more comfortable. If you have a choice of rooms in your house to dedicate as a guest room, choose the one that’s furthest away but still close to a bathroom if there is not one “in suite.”

If the room has multiple uses besides a guest room, let your guests have their privacy and move the computer or sewing machine out into another room for the duration. Don’t try to share the room, none of you will feel comfortable.

2. A comfortable and clean bed, fresh sheets and extra blankets. You don’t need to buy an expensive mattress since it won’t be used every day. Do use zipped mattress and pillow protectors, however. This will reduce allergens for your guests and keep the whole bed cleaner. Go easy or don’t use scented fabric softeners, too. Some people are very sensitive or allergic to fragrances.

If you’re on a tight budget or don’t have a full room to dedicate to a guest room, camping stores such as REI sell reasonably priced inflatable mattresses. Ask the staff for a comfortable one that won’t lose air overnight. 

For a bit more, Frontgate has a wonderful collection of inflatable beds with frames, so they are at a standard bed height. Check out their "EasyRest" bed, pictured at top. It even has a headboard!

Other space saving options include Murphy style beds that pull out of cabinetry and sleeper sofas or futons, which are much better than they’ve been in the past.

3. Space for their stuff. A little closet space and clutter-free nightstands or dresser surfaces go a long way in making your guests feel welcome. A bench or folding racks for luggage will keep dirty suitcases off your clean bedspread, and will make their stuff more accessible than spreading it all out on the floor.

4. Clear pathways. Consider your guests wandering around in an unfamiliar house in the dark. Use nightlights in the hall and bathroom. Provide one for their use in the room itself, too.

Benches, chairs and beds should have rounded or recessed legs to reduce tripping hazards. Move the clutter on the floor, especially the bulky things with sharp corners like storage crates. Make sure rocking chairs have plenty of space around the runners, otherwise don’t put them in the guest room.

5. Goody Baskets save your guests from being uncomfortable asking you for a snack. Stock with bottled water, both healthy and decadent snacks such as granola or protein bars as well as candy, travel maps and restaurant guides, extra overnight supplies such as toothbrushes, floss, toothpaste, soaps, shampoo, unscented lotions, disposable razors and even a little case with some feminine supplies and some general interest magazines.

Extra clean towels and washcloths are useful, too. I also keep some cleaning supplies handy, if not in the room then in the bathroom. A couple of old (but clean) rags, carpet cleaner, clothing spot remover and a spray cleaner will allow your guests to discreetly clean up an accidental spill without using your best towels.

6. Additional Furnishings. Take some notes from hotel rooms. Make sure there is a working lamp on each side of the bed, so your guests can read in bed or do some work. A small desk, waste basket and a reading chair is great, too, if there is room.

An alarm clock, plenty of outlets for charging cell phones, Wifi or internet access and a TV also help make your guest room very functional. Make sure the remote is easy to use and has working batteries.

And a mirror in the room makes morning routines easier especially if the bathroom is shared with your family.

Lastly, test out your guest room! Sleep in it so you know how it works. You may be surprised at something you thought would be nice but is actually in the way! And, relax. If you’re stressed out about providing the ultimate experience, your guests won’t feel as comfortable.

Send us a picture of your guest room or tell us a horror story! We’d love to share what you think.

Photos courtesy of Frontgate.

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posted by Jennifer Adams Design Group Blog @ 7:40 AM 


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