Thinking of converting an extra room into a guest bedroom? Just need to temporarily make room for guests? Expecting extra guests for a special event? At it’s most basic, a good guest room is a comfortable place where your houseguests can sleep, get themselves ready and have privacy from the rest of the household. Guests don’t expect a hotel room with an empty closet, mini bar and en suite bathroom. But they generally wish for a comfortable space or area that they can temporarily call home. Here are some basic rules of thumb when getting any room set up for overnight guests.
1. A place to put their head
The most important feature of hosting an overnight guest is the bed they’ll use to sleep on. Not every guest will have an actual bed. Your guest space might simply be a pullout sofa, a daybed or an air mattress. Regardless of what the guest will be sleeping on, make sure you have sheets, blankets and a pillow or two. Borrow them from other beds or purchase a set specifically for the guests. Take the time to make sure your linens are clean and if you can, make up the bed before their arrival.
2. Provide some extras for bedtime
Having an extra blanket or pillow is a nice gesture for guests, especially in the colder months. During the warmer months you might want to keep an extra fan or lightweight blankets on hand. Point out where these “extras” are kept in your home so that they can feel free to grab them in the middle of the night if necessary. Some homeowners also like to place extra drinking glasses near the bed or ask their guests ahead of time if they have any special needs or requirements. For example, a jet-lagged guest who may need to sleep in would probably appreciate a new set of earplugs.
3. A simple nightstand
A nightstand makes it easier for guests to keep a lamp, glass of water, a clock, their phone or any other must-have items close at hand. You don’t need to have an actual nightstand, anything with a flat surface (like a stool, bench, or overturned container) will do. If you need to set up a nightstand quickly, find something flat and durable in your home that can serve this purpose. Even a serving tray will do – and perfect for a low air mattress. In this day and age, it’s also not a bad idea to provide a power strip. Guests frequently need to charge phones, computers or other portable devices. Having a nearby power strip will allow your guests to keep everything in one place and not take over all the outlets in your home.
4. Give them light
Whether your guest is a night owl or not, it’s a good idea to have a small lamp near their bed. Remember that some houseguests may be jet lagged, may have never been in your home before, and unless you want them turning on lights in the middle of the night, consider placing a few night-lights in the bathroom or hallway.
5. A place for their clothing
Your guest room may not be a room at all, and you may not have a cleared-out closet or set of drawers for guests to use. Depending on how long your houseguests will be staying with you, they may not need anything beyond a hook for their coat. An easy thing to purchase is a multiple hook set that fits over a door. Find a good place to hang this and give your guest several hangers for their belongings. An extra chair can serve as another place for a guest to hang pants, shirts or other clothing items.
6. Don’t forget the bathroom
If you have a guest bathroom then you probably already own a set of towels for guests. But if you don’t, and everyone is sharing the same facilities, it’s a good idea to leave the guest towels on their bed so they know which ones they can use. Some homeowners find it handy to even purchase a separate color of towels for guests to avoid any post-shower confusion. Save the extra bottles of shampoo or toothpaste from hotels and keep them on hand for guests. When traveling, these items are sometimes forgotten; it’s nice to have extra on hand so guests don’t have to use your own personal supply.
7. Make them feel comfortable
You know your houseguests best – they may be dear friends or family, they may be mere acquaintances. Regardless of length of stay in your home, every guest appreciates small gestures of hospitality. For example, if they haven’t been in your home before offer them a brief tour so they know where everything is. Along the way you can offer suggestions such as use of your laundry room, which bathroom they should use, if they should feel free to make coffee, etc. You may even need to go over house rules like not adjusting the thermostat, how to access your wi-fi, or how to lock up when they leave. Remember what it’s like to be a guest in someone else’s home and you’ll find it easier to set up your own guest space.
Top image credit: Tiek Built Homes