Make Your Guests Feel Like They’re At Home

Every su2007-11-12-GUEST BEDROOMmmer, without fail, there is a steady stream of visitors to our house. This means we have a revolving door when it comes to our guest room.  There is nothing more thoughtful than offering up a nice retreat for your visiting friends and family. With this in mind, and a few extra little luxuries, you will really make your guests feel like they’re right at home.

Guest rooms are often overlooked. They usually serve as the room where extra furniture or toys get stored, or they double as a home office. But when it comes to decorating a guest room, keep it simple. A dresser, a small chair and a bedside table will do. Don’t over decorate, but add some beautiful accessories to make the room pretty. I always provide a small tray on the dresser so my visiting friends have a place to stash their jewelry and watch before they go to bed.

A good reading lamp is essential in a guest room, along with a working alarm clock. They may be on vacation, but it’s always nice to know what time it is! I keep a stash of the latest magazines so they have something to read at night. Keeping a pen and paper on the nightstand is also a nice touch so your guests can jot down a quick note or idea.

Save some space in the closet and keep some extra hangers on hand so your guests can put their luggage away and hang up their clothes. Also keep an empty drawer in the dresser for folded clothes; as a guest, it’s always convenient to be able to unpack your travel bag and not live out of a suitcase.

Linens for the guest room should not be disregarded. Nothing is better than slipping into luxurious, pressed sheets. They will appreciate that extra step you took to ensure their comfort at night after a long day of sightseeing or catching up on old times. You don’t need a high thread count for the guest room sheets – just a set that is soft and comfortable. Also provide a good duvet and a cotton blanket (for temperature control). IKEA has wonderful duvets that last forever and are the ultimate in coziness.

Your guests will love stepping out of the shower and into some clean, fluffy towels. I like to toss a lavender packet from Trader Joe’s into the dryer so that the linens and towels smell as if they were dried outside in the south of France. As an added luxury, offer your guests a plush bathrobe, since it can be awkward to run from the bathroom to the bedroom in your towel, or to dress in a steamy bathroom.

It’s also a nice gesture to provide guests with some basic toiletries – shampoo, conditioner, mouthwash and bath gel. Those extra toiletries you snuck into your bag from your last hotel visit work well. But you can also find small travel kits to place in the bathroom on a small tray. And your guests will appreciate walking into a fully stocked bathroom and leaving their travel kit in their luggage!

Aside from those basic comforts, adding a few extra touches will really make your guests feel spoiled. Keep fruit and dried nuts on hand for those late night cravings. Nothing is worse than a rumbling stomach late at night when you’re visiting someone’s house! A decorative water carafe by the bedside will also save them from a late-night run to the kitchen for water.

A scented candle and a small bouquet on the nightstand is a simple extravagance that will surely make your visiting friends and family feel special. A few stems of roses or flowers from your garden can fit in a little glass on the nightstand and fill the room with a lovely aroma.

Creating a retreat for your guests is simple. Is there anything better than being spoiled when you visit someone’s home?

August 6, 2009

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Erin Vosti Lal

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