Sometimes life gives you little surprises. This winter/early spring we are expecting our first two grandchildren, both granddaughters! The first decided to surprise her parents 3 weeks early! So what was originally planned as a weekend away out west, took me on a little journey for two weeks to see our beautiful granddaughter and help her parents decorate their new house they had just moved into two days before we got there. My plan was to actually go there to stare at and hold the baby for 10 days straight. My son had another plan for me. After several gallons of paint, too many trips to Home Depot and major muscle aches on my old body, their kitchen was transformed!
At the end of each day as I fell into bed, my mind wandered to decorating the guest room we were in (I’m saving this for the next trip). Since we are empty nesters, we have several ‘guest rooms’ of our own and host many friends/family passing through. This got me thinking of ways to make sure those guests feel at home and can be comfortable in whatever space you can offer them, whether it be their own room or a space on the family room sofa. So here are 10 things every guest room should have or things to make available to them:
1. A Luggage rack – or space to set their belongings gives them that first impression of “glad you are here”. If you are making do with guests on the couch, pull the ottoman or a small bench over to the corner and designate it ‘their spot’. This will (hopefully) establish mutual respect to a place that is theirs in a room that everyone else may need to still use.
2. Tissues – whether it’s a bedside box or a small pouch on a tray of necessities, everyone needs a tissue at some point during the day or night. Make it easy so they don’t have to go searching.
3. Trash Can – seems like a no brainer, but I have stayed in many spaces and had to pile my trash inside my cosmetics case until I could find where the trash can was being hidden. Guests might need to dispose of used tissues, q-tips, price tags from new clothes, receipts and used boarding passes.
4. Extra Blankets/Pillows – apparently not everyone prefers to sleep in a colder house like me so they can snuggle in jammies under a down comforter. I always notice when the kids come home all the extra blankets get pulled out since I am “freezing them out” in the house. Extra blankets ensure everyone will be comfortable. If you can provide a few varieties of pillow firmness as well, guests can choose their preference and not go home with a sore neck.
5. Clean Towels – this is especially important if guests are sharing a bathroom with other family members. I would also show them a place to hang up their towel to dry. If you don’t show them, they may choose a spot you don’t like (such as the floor or the couch arm, who wants a wet towel on there? yuk!) Also, if they are having an extended stay, offer them clean towels at least every other day.
6. Extra Toiletries – I know I’m not the only one who brings home little soaps and small shampoos, so set these out for guest use. Target also has an entire aisle devoted to travel size toiletries. It’s always nice to have these items available to share with your guests. I also keep a good supply of extra toothbrushes (available super cheap from the Dollar Store) since everyone seems to always forget one.
7. Drinking water/snacks – since most people aren’t comfortable just digging into your kitchen, or may need to take medicine when they go to sleep or get up before anyone else, provide them with some bottled water and even a few snacks so they can be satisfied until the rest of the house gets rolling.
8. Good lighting – this is nice if they want to read in bed. A variety of lighting is helpful in any room and offers the guest the right lighting to complete any tasks. Also a night light would be important incase they needed to make their way to the bathroom in the middle of the night. It’s always nice to do this in unfamiliar surroundings without breaking your toe.
9. Mirror – access to a full length mirror is best. If you can offer a table mirror for them to do makeup as well, this is even better.
10. Entertainment – if a TV isn’t available to them, place a stack of magazines or a few books for them to read and even take with them when they go. This is a good way to ‘recycle’ your paperback books as well.
Of course there is a fine line when making it “too comfortable” for those who might then extend their stay and stretch their welcome! However, making our house a ‘home’ is a nice thought, even for those who visit it temporarily. Be happy, Jill