Fall is the start of house-guest season, that fun time of year when friends or relatives swoop into town to stay with you for a weekend or holiday. It’s a great chance to catch up and spend some quality time together, so you definitely want to give your visitor a comfortable and inviting place to sleep.
The best way to start? Scope out the space yourself. If you haven’t done so, spend a night in the room, which will help you identify any areas that could use some attention. Does a dresser block the only outlet? Is it drafty at night? Does sunlight flood the room at an unmentionable hour?
Getting the guest experience is the best way to figure out any specific spots you need to tackle, and after that, you might want to add some thoughtful extra touches. Ahead, eight easy steps to make your guest room the best it can be before your overnighters arrive.
1. Invest in Their Rest
A comfortable bed is arguably the most important thing you can provide for your guest. (Lack of sleep affects the whole dynamic.) The best way to ensure it is to start with a good mattress that matches your room’s size, add an excellent, fluffy topper, and then encase it in high-quality bedding.
Instead of shopping piecemeal, you can save time (and money) by getting all your bedding through a brand like Tuft & Needle, home of high-quality mattresses and linens. When you pair a mattress with certain essentials—a sheet set, down-alternative pillows, mattress protector—you’ll get a 15% discount through their Complete Mattress Bundle.
For a luxe touch, add a spritz of a calming linen spray, and don’t forget to drape a knit throw at the base of the bed or over a chair (we love this one made of 100% recycled yarn). You don’t want your guests to have to choose between waking you up or suffering through a chilly night.
2. Set Out the Necessities
Nobody likes to feel like a needy guest, so it’s a good idea to anticipate what your visitors might need before they get there. Put together a basket or tray of travel-sized toiletries (toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, conditioner, pain reliever) and leave it on the dresser, nightstand, or in the on-suite bathroom if you have one. Add a bottle of water and a glass on the bedside table in case your guest gets thirsty in the middle of the night.
3. Keep Towels in Easy Reach
Place freshly-laundered towels on the foot of the bed or on an empty chair if your visitors don’t have access to an en-suite bathroom. (A good guideline: two bath towels, one hand towel, and one washcloth per guest.) If your guests are staying for more than a few nights, swap out their towels for clean ones midway through their stay.
4. Place a Charger by the Bed
Since most of us depend on our devices for everything from keeping in touch with loved ones at home to getting directions to local attractions, a charger is a must-have, but it’s also one of those things we tend to forget to pack. That’s why it helps to equip your guest room with the various cords and chargers needed for cell phones, tablets, laptops, and e-readers in an easy-to-access spot on the nightstand or near the bed. (No need for them to ever ask to borrow gear or have to scour your house for an outlet.)
5. Add White Noise
When you’re away from home, the natural sounds of where you’re staying—clanging pipes, creaking floorboards—can seem louder than those in your home, and other environmental sounds, like a baby who wakes up in the middle of the night, can affect sleep too. To shield your guest from these sounds, add a white-noise machine like the T&N + SNOOZ; it uses natural, real-fan noise to deliver consistent sounds that help drown out unfamiliar ambient noise.
6. Give Them Some Space
Living out of a suitcase tends can make guests feel disorganized. If you can, clear out a small section of a closet (don’t forget hangers!) or leave at least one dresser drawer empty so they have room to put away their clothes. Not only does it help them find what they need more easily but it also keeps garments from getting wrinkled.
7. Leave a Welcome Note
Of course you’ll greet your guests with a big hug at the door, but take a tip from luxury hotels and back it up by leaving a thoughtful welcome note on their pillow or nightstand. Writing it on a local postcard or personal stationary is a lovely touch, and you can also include details your guest might need, such as the WiFi password.
8. Add Some Amenities
A guest room that’s stocked with a few snacks (just in case your visitors get hungry) will always make them feel like VIPs. You can set out something as simple as a small trinket dish filled with candy or create a little “snack station” by repurposing a bar cart and adding goodies like granola bars, nuts, and fruit. Bonus points for including local treats that can double as souvenirs!
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