‘Tis the season to... have lots of people descend on your house. Some might only pop in for tea and a mince pie, while others will be staying that little bit longer. Our top tips will help create a home away from home for overnight guests and make them feel truly welcome.
First things first: guest bedroom and bathroom essentials
It goes without saying that all bedding should be clean and dry. Give the room a good vacuum and, if it hasn’t been in use, air it out the day before to get rid of any musty smells.
Guests bedrooms are often handy storage spaces, but, left unchecked, they can quickly turn into a dumping ground for odds and ends from around the home, so either tidy these away or clear them out. Look under the bed for any wayward items, and make sure you have an extra blanket if the weather is chilly or at least let guests know where they can find extra bedding should they need it.
Then remove any unnecessary clutter – half-empty shampoo containers, old cosmetics behind the mirror, rogue toothbrushes. Make sure it’s stocked with plenty of guest bathroom essentials, including loo roll, clean towels, hand soap and a plunger (don’t put your guests in the embarrassing position of having to ask for one!).
How to make a guest room comfortable: 8 inspiring ideas
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1. Add some flowers
Make guests feel special as soon as they walk in the door. You don’t have to blow the budget on this one – they can be blooms from your garden, some seasonal foraged twigs, or even nice dried flowers in a pretty vase.
2. Stock up on toiletries (including a toothbrush)
A genius hack for guest bedrooms is to add a little basket of travel-sized essential toiletries. You can easily stock up on these on hotel stays and add them to a “guest essentials” drawer so they’re always handy. Think things like mini soaps, bottles of shampoo and conditioner and even mouthwash, moisturiser and toothpaste.
The one thing hotels rarely have in miniature is deodorant, so it might be nice to pop a bottle of spray deodorant in the loo as well.
3. Leave out some slippers and bathrobes
Collect slippers from any hotels you visit and leave them out for our guests when they stay over. If you have a spare bathrobe, give it a good wash and hang it behind the guest bedroom door.
4. Add a luggage rack
For that hotel-grade touch, why not include a luggage rack? These are easy to find online and will save your guests from stumbling over suitcases on the floor and make getting at their clothes so much easier.
They come in particularly handy if you have a small guest bedroom (and if you have a sturdy TV tray, that could do the trick too).
5. Keep things cosy
Some of the best guest bedroom ideas are the simplest: popping a hot water bottle at the foot of the bed would be a lovely thoughtful surprise on winter nights.
6. Include a mirror
We often forget to add a mirror to guest bedrooms, but it would no doubt be much appreciated.
7. Place scented candles and matches in all loos (and not just the guest one).
8. Share your WiFi password.
Either leave it written on a sheet of paper in the guest’s room, or place it on an easy-to-find sign in a common area like the hallway or kitchen. You can find lots of cute signs for just this purpose on Etsy or make your own using a spare photo frame.
Pssst…. And don’t forget these 5 nightstand essentials:
A decent reading light that is easy to switch off.
A carafe of water and clean, empty glass.
Reading material: leave a novel you loved or a few magazines on the nightstand. If your guests are from out of town, you might want to add a local guidebook.
A box of tissues.
Have a phone charger set up on a chest of drawers or by the bed (this saves your guests fumbling behind cupboards looking for a power port). Again, if you have overseas guests, consider leaving out a travel adaptor.
For a final check, put yourself in your guests’ shoes and ask yourself if there’s anything you would feel embarrassed asking for. Or you could go the extra mile and actually sleep in the guestroom yourself one evening, to see firsthand what the space needs.
Short on time? Our speedy cleaning hacks for when guests are on the way will sort you out…