How to create the perfect guest room

Creating the perfect guest room doesn't mean creating a hotel-like experience.

Creating the perfect guest room doesn’t mean creating a hotel-like experience.

With the holidays just around the corner, fall is the perfect time to start sprucing up your home in preparation for family and friends. One of the most important aspects of hosting overnight guests is preparing a warm and inviting guest room. Thankfully, creating a cozy guest space doesn’t always require an entire bedroom makeover; with just a few thoughtful touches, your visitors can enjoy the same conveniences and comforts as home. Below are a few tips on how to transform a spare room into an unforgettably special space for guests.

When it comes to your perfect guest room, don’t skimp on comfort. Paint the room a warm, neutral color and add coordinating furniture pieces, including a mirror, a dresser, a bed, and side tables. Since sleeping preferences vary, be sure to have a variety of blankets and pillows available. Cover the basics by purchasing a medium-weight, down-filled comforter and duvet cover, a wool blanket or coverlet, and at least two different pairs of pillows; for example, two feather-filled and two memory foam. For the winter months, layer the wool blanket or coverlet over the sheets, then fold the comforter across the bottom of the bed. Place the memory foam pillows in front of your bed shams, then put the feather pillows on top. Guests can shuffle through the mix to create their own perfect combination. Add a scented candle, matches, and a vase of fresh flowers to the bedside table to further encourage relaxation.

Depending on their length of stay, guests will likely want to unpack their belongings and store them in a dresser and closet. Make sure to clear out both spaces to create ample room for their things. You want visitors to feel welcomed and prioritized, not like an intruder. If you are working with a dual-purpose closet space, then organize and neatly pack your storage items into coordinating fabric-covered boxes (not see-through plastic storage bins). If you must use the hanging space, purchase a large fabric garment bag to create a visual divide in the closet, and leave at least a half dozen empty hangers in the space allocated for guest clothing. Remove everything from the closet floor and set up a luggage rack for easy packing and unpacking.

Whether your guests are staying for a week or just overnight, they will likely appreciate a place to charge their phone and check their email. A “tech station” can be as simple as a small side table placed near an outlet or power strip. Add a universal smartphone charger, an alarm clock, and a framed, printed card that contains your Wi-Fi information. If there is a television in the room, place the remote controls on the same table and add a printed card that lists popular channels, such as the news and weather stations.

Next, add some creature comforts to make the room feel like a true “home away from home.” Fill a basket with freshly-washed towels and place it in the room so guests can freshen up immediately when they arrive. Include several plush body towels, hand towels, and face cloths, along with an assortment of travel-sized toiletries. Include a bag filled with over-the-counter medications, a disposable razor, a toothbrush, and toothpaste. Top your amenities basket off with a couple of water bottles and a small tin of mints. If your guests are planning to stay more than one night, be sure the room is stocked with a hamper.

Whether you are expecting guests to drop by for the weekend, or planning on a long-term stay for the season, pulling together a space just for them is a sure way to extend a warm welcome during the cool winter months to come.

Kristin Hauch-Melton

Kristin Hauch-Melton is a writer and communications consultant. She earned a degree in Communications and Business from University of North Florida, serves on the board for the Fayette Chamber of Commerce and lives in Peachtree City with her husband, horse, and dog.