Have you ever noticed how most of us love playing host but generally don’t like being guests quite as much? The reason? Guest bedrooms! In our own homes we get the best of both worlds- no travelling, a night with our friends or family, food and music WE like and at the end of it all- our own bed! As guests a night usually ends up with a cramped and uncomfortable sleep in a (barely) adult sized cot! This is a real shame as with a little thought and marginal expense, all our spare rooms and box rooms have the potential to become inviting and luxurious guest bedrooms.
Take a look at this handy list of things to do or buy to make sure you guests come back again and again.
- Buy the best bed your budget will allow
Don’t give your guest the oldest, most saggy mattress you have. If you can’t afford a new or good used bed, think about getting a quality air mattress. They’re really quite comfortable and can be placed on top of a box spring, over a sofa bed mattress, or on the floor.
- Remember the bells and whistles.
Beyond clean bedding, think about adding wonderful bed linens and comfort items often supplied by fine B&B’s: a featherbed mattress topper, a choice of pillows, a cosy down comforter, extra blankets, and freshly ironed pillowcases.
- Keep some spare bed sets handy.
Always have an extra set of bed and bath linens available for your guests. Accidents DO happen! Or you may have one of those wonderful guests who insists on changing the sheets when they leave. Let them do it! And thank them profusely!
- Include some counter space.
Clear a space to put a luggage rack or a small table or bench to set down a suitcase. No one likes to have to stoop over to the floor to pull out a clean pair of socks. Even a chair is better than nothing!
- Resist Fuss.
Resist the temptation to put your beautiful collection of dolls on the dresser or fill the closet with out-of-season clothes. In a guest room, less is more- more space, more comfortable, and more welcoming. Get rid of anything that you would not find in the room of a fine hotel. Keep only the most useful items in the room, like a clock and calendar.
- Provide alternative seating to the bed alone.
Some people absolutely do not sit on a bed! And your guests shouldn’t have to. Place an upholstered armchair or side chair in the room with a table and lamp close by.
- Provide different level lighting options.
It always amazes me when I walk into an otherwise nice hotel room and there’s no light to read by! It’s always nice to have a light control near the bed, so your guest won’t have to stumble around in the dark, just to turn a light on. If nothing else, provide a good reading light near a chair or over the bed. Another fixture or lamp near the desk would be great. A small night light is helpful and a lighted magnifying make-up mirror is a real luxury!
- Create some wardrobe space.
If your guest room shares space with a home office, clear at least a foot or two of pole space in the closet. Or purchase an inexpensive over-the-door hook that can accommodate some hanging clothes. Don’t forget a supply of 6 or 8 hangers. A simple hook on the wall or behind a closet door can hold a robe, coat, or a purse.
- Try to make the space as self sufficient as possible.
I need to have a lighted clock next to my bed. An alarm clock or clock/radio is even better. Provide paper and pens or pencils, scissors, tape, tissue, and a hair dryer and have all the bases covered. If you don’t have an extra iron and ironing board to offer, be sure to tell your guest where they can find yours. A phone in the room will be a much-appreciated bonus item. How about a pre-paid phone card and instructions on how to use it?
- Provide privacy.
You might know that the big maple tree just outside the window camouflages everything going on, but your guest won’t. Choose window coverings that not only add to the character of the room, but provide privacy and light control, as well. Thick bedroom curtains are fine in most settings. If you must keep it simple, a nice vertical window blind can offer complete privacy and works great.