As the holiday season approaches, you may find yourself—and your space–unprepared for hosting overnight guests. But a little planning ahead of time can go a long way in creating a guest room that feels like a hotel room; one that’s ready to accommodate guests year round.
Basically, you need to be able to offer all the comforts and conveniences of home (and then some) without any of the clutter or work. To get on the right path to creating a guest room no one will ever want to leave, you should consider…
All guest rooms are not created equal. Either you have:
- An enclosed room dedicated to the sole purpose of housing guests, or
- Part of a room used most often for other things (like the home office, living room, kids’ room, etc.).
Whatever space you have available, you want to set it up so that your guests have a sense of privacy. A separate room has the obvious convenience of a closed door. In a common area, however, you can provide privacy with a folding room divider or curtains.
If you have a dedicated guest space, furnishing it with an actual bed is a no-brainer. In that particular space, a bed also sets the stage for the particular sense of style you would like to convey, from upholstered and plush to ultra-modern and streamlined.
In smaller and/or shared spaces, the more compact dimensions and multi-functionality of a sleeper sofa makes much more sense. While convenient, sleeper sofas are notorious for being somewhat uncomfortable. So for the sake of your guests, invest in a sleeper sofa with a nice, thick mattress.
Depending on how long your guests are staying, you want to offer them the convenience of clothes storage. Leave a few empty hangers in the closet or wardrobe, and set aside at least a couple of drawers in a dresser for folded clothes. A nightstand with one or two drawers can pull double duty as a side table and small dresser.
If you have room, a lounge chair provides your guests with an additional seating option. It also gives the impression that the guest room is designed for lounging and relaxing apart from just sleeping.
The final touch to a bed or sleeper sofa is freshly laundered, soft and fluffy bedding. Of course, not all guests require the same number of blankets, pillows and such. So the best approach is to give them the option of customizing their perfect bed. Pile on the pillows, and have an extra throw nearby for guests to remove or add on as needed.
Again, options are important. Let your guests create their most comfortable light layering scheme. You want at least a single overhead light for general ambience, and one or two bedside lights (table lamps, adjustable wall sconces, mini pendants) for reading/sleeping preparations. From there, you can add in more lighting options by putting a reading lamp next to the lounge chair, providing a nightlight for safe late-night travels to the bathroom, etc. (To see a selection of recommended bedroom lighting fixtures, click here.)
Whether the bathroom is en suite or somewhere down the hall, it is a necessary continuation of the comfort you’ve already established in the sleeping quarters. Provide guests easy access to towels and washcloths. Complete the sense of hospitality with a basket of assorted toiletries, body washes, shampoo, conditioner and body lotions. (And make sure the whole bathroom is nice and clean!)