Even the simplest of spaces can feel like a luxurious retreat for guests when every detail has been carefully considered. When you start to plan your guest room, think about what you'd expect to find in a 5-star hotel and try to make your room measure up to that standard in any way you can, understanding that it obviously won't be perfect. Your budget may not have enough in it to let you create a getaway oasis, but you can clear the decks, arrange what's necessary, and provide a quiet home away from home for company.
Put Out a Welcome Basket/Amenities
Nothing makes guests feel more at home than a selection of treats and goodies. Fill up a basket with everything from travel-sized soaps to small snacks to munch on after you've gone to bed, and add in a few travel essentials: Stain sticks, medications for aches and pains, hair bands, and mini lint rollers—whatever you think your guests might need. Leave out a water pitcher and glasses for your thirsty guests so they don't have to wander in search of glasses and water. Even better- check in with your visitor ahead of time to get the lowdown on their favorite foods, and sneak a few into the basket as a personalized surprise.
The Best Bed Your Money Can Buy
A guest room should always have a cozy bed. Purchase the largest size mattress that will comfortably fit in the room and consider that your guests will probably have different sleeping preferences, so don't select something too firm or too soft. It's better to under-make the bed and leave blankets and linens in the closet that guests can add if they need to. Make sure to leave extra pillows in the closet—that way, your visitors have full control over their comfort level.
Make an Info-sheet
There's no denying we live in the digital age, and chances are good the first things your guests will want to do—after catching up, of course—is plug in their phone and check their emails. Make this super easy by creating a packet ahead of time with all of the information they'll need, like your WiFi network name and password, instructions for controlling the heat.
A Place to Unpack
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. You might use your guest room closet for storage, but make sure there's room for your guests, too. Don't force your guests to live out of their suitcase: Clear out at least half of the closet, and leave plenty of open hangers so your guests can hang their clothes and jackets right away. Make sure some of the dresser drawers are available, too. If space is limited go for 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.
If you're quickly trying to revamp your guest room from storage or a home office to a comfortable space for cherished visitors, the easiest way to de-clutter is to clear the surfaces. Make sure the top of your nightstands and dressers are empty of all unnecessary items, so your guests have some room to unpack and relax. Resist the temptation to fill the closet with out-of-season clothes. In a guest room, less is more--more space, more comfortable, and more welcoming.
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. Your guests may want to stay up later than you do, but sometimes overhead lights are too bright for reading. Add low lighting to the room, ideally in the form of a table lamp by the bedside, so they can read or write before going to sleep. Not to mention: Soft lighting makes a room far cozier, so their stay will be so much more comfortable.