With so many people hosting guests for several days over the holidays, I thought it would be fun to tackle etiquette surrounding that extra room in your house: The Guest Room.
Setting up a guest room can be very fun. From on-point trends to themed rooms, creating a welcoming guest room can be an exciting and expressive undertaking. But the main concern is making sure your guests have what they need for a comfortable stay.
For the purpose of this post, we’re going to assume that you have a full room to use as a guest room, rather than converting an office or den by using a fold-out couch or daybed. But those are good options, too, and many of the things in this article will still apply.
Tip: For those of you looking to spruce up your guest room, I invite you to try this little test: Sleep in your guest room for a night or two. By spending some quality time in your guest room, you’ll figure out very quickly what needs attention and what’s really working well. Go one step further: Pack a little overnight bag so you can better understand the needs for dealing with luggage and clothing in the room.
A good guest room should feel welcoming and comfortable. It should also have the necessities ready for your guest to use. So let’s break out a checklist:
- Bed, fold-out couch, futon, day bed or air mattress made up with clean sheets and pillowcases
- Extra blanket and pillow
- Dresser with empty drawers (If you use this dresser for your costumes, fly-fishing gear or holiday wrapping paper, be sure to clear it out so your guests have enough space to put clothing away during their visit.)
- Closet (If your room doesn’t have a closet, consider using a small clothes rack so that a guest can hang clothing as well.)
- Variety of hangers: regular, heavy duty for coats, clips for pants and skirts
- Bedside table
- Curtains or blinds on the windows
- Luggage rack or other table that can hold a suitcase
- Mirror (A full-length one is great, but a mirror over the dresser is also an option)
- Alarm clock (Even with every phone and watch now containing an alarm clock function, it never hurts to have one available.)
- Box of tissues on a bedside table
- Empty wastebasket
And don’t forget the bathroom
- Fresh bath towels, face towels, washcloths, bathmat
- New soap
- Hair dryer
- Clean water glass
- Full roll of toilet paper in the dispenser and a spare in the cabinet
- Box of tissues
- All-in-one shampoo-conditioner
- New toothbrush (in case your guest forgot) and toothpaste
- Headache and stomachache remedies
- Feminine supplies
Now let’s play fancy hotel. It’s fun to make your guests feel extra pampered. Looking to some of your favorite hotels and B&Bs for inspiration is a great way to get set up. If you’re interested in going all out, consider the following for your guest room.
Special extras to consider
- Carafe and water glasses
- Candle (Flameless candles are also a good option if you’re nervous about lit candles being left unattended.)
- Cotton balls or Q-tips (also could be kept in a bathroom)
- Nail polish remover
- Shoe shine
- Small sewing kit with pre-threaded needles
- Static guard spray
- Snack basket
No matter how you choose to decorate, making sure that most of the items on the first list are in place will mean your guest will feel taken care of and comfortable. When you have more time and more of a budget to work with, you can turn your guest room into an even more enjoyable retreat.