I once read an article on guest room essentials in which a bedside coffee maker was recommended. I thought the idea was brilliant yet not realistic for my small guest quarters and my budget. Articles like that are inspiring for sure although can be defeating. If you haven’t gathered yet, I am really obsessed with easy solutions that are considerate and manageable regarding time and money (I assume most of us work and do not possess exorbitant amounts of free time). Considering my husband and I usually have guests at least once a month, I thought I’d share my tips for their preparation and what each good guest room and bathroom need to make guests feel at home, welcomed, and well taken care of.
A guest room’s bedside table should be equipped with a lamp (don’t you hate traipsing around in the dark in an unfamiliar place?), a delicious-smelling candle, fresh flowers, and a sleep mask with earplugs. The last addition may sound random, however, allows guests to block out strange noises and light (this is especially pertinent in our guest room considering our guests usually travel from different time zones and the room fills easily with morning light).
Cozy bed: Most people have different opinions on what constitutes a comfortable bed (hard vs soft mattress, many pillows vs just one), however I think it’s best to provide options. As someone who cannot sleep without at least four pillows (so high maintenance, I know), I truly appreciate a guest bed with plenty of fluffy pillows. Also, soft sheets make a world of difference; do not skimp!
Although many guests bring their own supplies, it’s thoughtful to provide extras in case something is forgotten or for those guests that may not have planned to stay the night. I usually have body wash, several different bars of soap, unscented and scented lotions, extra toothbrushes, and a shower sponge ready.
Cotton balls and Q-tips are often forgotten when packing therefore it’s helpful to have plenty on hand and visible so guests don’t have to ask for them. I like to fill the middle jar with seasonal decor, like fresh flowers in spring and ornaments during the winter.
Guest room decor can be tricky. Our guest room also works as an office, craft center, and storage center. To keep the sanity in check we try to keep everything très organized so guests can still go about their business rather than navigating a disaster zone. Although the wall hangings are not my favorite items, we’ve tried to arrange it in a way that is still homey (such as using old family pictures) rather than looking like a bunch of random stuff was thrown in haphazardly.
In the end, guests just want to feel like they are not being a nuisance and their visit is valued. Preparing for guests does not need to be daunting and these little steps can ensure a pleasant stay for them and, hopefully, repeat visitors. Other helpful hosting hints: have a baked treat ready to snack on throughout the weekend, make sure their essential food items are on hand (e.g., preferred type of milk, cereal, etc.), and a stocked bar. Happy hosting!