Hubs and I are rather introverted, meaning we don’t have many overnight guests. For that reason, our “guest room” consists of an empty office, a Coleman air mattress, and two $5 IKEA Lack tables. That does not mean, however, that it can’t be comfortable and inviting. It’s all in the details!
Tip #1: invest in a variety of quality bedding. Some people like it warmer, some like it cooler. Offer layers of blankets: some thinner, some thicker, so people can mix and match to their liking. This goes for pillows, as well. We have a pillow menu: (2) firm, (2) medium, and (2) soft.
Tip #2: snacks and medicines. Staying at someone else’s home can make the acquisition of a midnight snack or pain killer feel like a hunting expedition. For this reason, we have a station of easily accessible items one might want in the middle of the night. Healthy snacks, bottled water, nighttime tea, ibuprofen, antacids, and sleep aids. Our guests get their own hot water kettle, as well as several bowls, spoons, and mugs.
Tip #3: be generous with quality linens. As a guest, I hate being given a single ratty towel, as if I were taking part in a Dickens novel. We have a set of high-quality towels reserved only for guests. When someone stays over, we make sure towels, blankets, washcloths, and sheets are clean, plentiful, and easy to find.
Tip #4: bathroom toiletries. It is so easy to forget your toothbrush, and wet shower poofs are hard to pack. Offering a small basket of these items can go a long way to a traveler. My guests always get their own hair dryer. I make sure the guest bathroom is stocked with extra toilet paper and Kleenex, just in case. I also like to include a few pampering items, like Shea butter hand cream and a pair of spa socks. Menstrual-related items for the surprise arrival of that pesky monthly visitor can be greatly appreciated, as well.
Tip #5: details. The little things can make your guest feel truly cared for. A stack of magazines of your guest’s personal interests on the night stand. The printed instructions and password to access your WiFi. Ear plugs to sleep better and an alarm clock that is easy to set. A night light, because a new environment in the dark can be disorienting. Hooks on the wall for coats and bags. A space heater and fan for better personal temperature control. If my guest is someone who struggles with homesickness, I’ll frame a photo of their family and set it up on the nightstand. This room is their temporary home; the little things are what make it feel welcoming and peaceful.
The best part: all this folds/rolls/packs away to take up only a few square feet in our home when we’re not using it. And I must admit: I get warm fuzzies when I see my guests posting on Facebook, “It’s like staying at a hotel!”