Creating space for guests in your home involves more than providing a comfortable place to sleep; it's an opportunity to make people feel welcome and ensure that their time spent with you is memorable.
1. Choose the Right Room
Ideally, a guest room is a bedroom with a bathroom attached. It should be inconspicuously placed, so that guests don't need to cross the busiest parts of the house to get to it for privacy. It also shouldn't be next to a child's room for peace and quiet.
2. Decorate Sparingly
In a strange room, comfort and space are more soothing than a clutter of unfamiliar things. On a bedside table, a simple bouquet, a nice clock, and a selection of books or magazines suited to your guests' tastes.
3. Outfit the Bed
Make up a double bed with four ample sleeping pillows -- two medium or firm, and two soft -- as well as two smaller pillows to prop up the head when reading. Use cotton or linen sheets, starched and ironed for hotel crispness. Provide both light and heavy blankets, as well as a lightweight throw for afternoon naps.
4. Closets and Drawers
Make sure there is adequate closet and drawer space. Supply a variety of hangers -- at least a dozen good wooden or metal ones -- that will hold trousers and jackets, flimsy dresses, and heavy coats. And make certain there is a full-length mirror.
5. Bathroom Essentials
If the bathroom is shared, clear space in it for guests' toiletries. Stock it with new toothbrushes and toothpaste, and a supply of clean cotton towels (two large bath towels, two face towels, and a washcloth) for each guest. Supply a few luxuries that one might not find at home: a beautiful soap, an unusual cream, a special shampoo, or a small bottle of perfume or cologne. If your guest has allergies, provide a hypoallergenic soap and moisturizer like Dove unscented.
After you've provided the basic necessities, consider some extra touches to make guests feel at home like a plush robe and salt or sugar scrub.
6. Sitting Area
Space permitting, set up a comfortable chair or settee with a pillow and throw, an adjacent table, and a good adjustable-brightness lamp. Assemble a small personal library, including some magazines and a daily newspaper (useful for local listings like concerts). A radio for morning news and quiet evening listening is a thoughtful addition.
7. Desk Supplies
Provide a small desk or a cleared table top, and stock it with pens and paper, note cards, envelopes, and stamps. Compile a list of some favourite local places -- restaurants, cafes, museums, antiques shops, movie theatres -- and provide timetables, if appropriate, for buses, ferries, or trains. A telephone in the room is a convenience, but not a necessity.
8. Extra Warmth
If the room has wood floors, place a small rug beside the bed. Make sure you have a reliable water heater and plush comforters and bedding.
9. Food and Drink
Consider your guests' food preferences: If one is a vegetarian, or allergic to fish or dairy products, be sure your menus include options and that your pantry and refrigerator are appropriately stocked. Show guests where to find snacks, drinking glasses, and utensils, and encourage them to help themselves. Leave a few bottles of water on the bedside table in the guest room.
10. Don’t Overlook Technology Needs
No matter where I go, I can’t escape my television schedule. As long as my show is current, I have to stay up to date. And I can’t overlook a good Law and Order SVU marathon no matter what’s happening. Make sure your guests have access to a TV so that they can keep up to date with their favourite shows. And most importantly, have your Wi-Fi password written down and ready for your guests. Wi-Fi is very important because no one wants to use all of their data just because they’re away from home.