Guest rooms are funny. Oftentimes they go unused and quickly ease into a dumping ground for laundry and other random stuff. If you’re like me, knowing that you’re going to have guest stay over triggers anxiety because THERE’S SO MUCH TO DO. As an adult who is busy adulting, finding ways to make your guest room uber thoughtful is most likely on the back burner. Hell, you probably just want to get it clean in time.
Believe it or not, developing a welcoming guest room that is considerate of the needs of visitors can actually alleviate some of your stress. You’ll KNOW that they are taken care of. You’ll KNOW that they are enjoying your space.
By considering everything that your guests will need ultimately sets them up to be more self-sufficient and might make them actually want to stay in the room more (this might be a plus for you, depending on who your guests are.)
Ultimately, what makes a guest room so welcoming is not necessarily the objects that you have in the room, but rather it’s the experience that you curate for your guests! Consider how you want them to feel while staying with you and brainstorm some ways to foster those feelings.
Hook them up … in order to get you off the hook (Yes, I’m corny)
We’ve all been guests in people’s homes and there is nothing worse than feeling like you are being a burden to someone. It sucks. Properly setting up your visitors doesn’t have to be stressful or very time consuming. Just take some time to really think about what they would need in order to operate independently of you. Supply enough towels to last throughout their stay, provide basic toiletries and a simple waste can that you can dump when it’s convenient. Even a little welcome card with the Wi-Fi info on it is super thoughtful and easy to do. Also, consider where they’ll store their stuff. I once had to store my luggage in a friends living room because her guest room was so crowded… no bueno. Envision owning a mini-AirBnB (AirBnB Plus of course) and set them up for comfort.
Tap into your own experiences and take note of all of the things that have made your stay in your favorite hotel or friend’s house really special. You don’t need to pull out all of the stops, but the small details are what transforms their experience. For example, be considerate of what goes on the nightstands. Aside from the basics like a lamp, think about adding things like a water carafe with a glass. As a guest, it can be pretty strange bumbling around someone’s kitchens at 2 am to look for a water glass. Yeah … no. Get into the head of your guest and think ahead. Even something as simple as a phone charger is cool. And if you’re like me you have PLENTY of iPhone chargers from every upgrade that you get. lol #TeamiPhone.
Netflix & Thrill (Still corny)
I love spending quality time with people. In fact, quality time is my love language. As much as I like spending time with guests, let’s be real … hosting can quickly start to feel like work. Provide your lovely guests with enticing entertainment (no, the Fodor’s city guides don’t count). Seriously, though … make sure that they have access to their favorite shows or super interesting reads. I especially like to visit friends who have what I like to call “an Alexa” (Amazon Echo). Being able to listen to my favorite music with little to no effort just makes the experience more enjoyable and personal. It’s such a simple thing that I look forward to … especially since we don’t own “an Alexa.”
Consider your little guests too. Try and equip the room with some things that they might find interesting, they’ll be more into the toys than your precious objects. I like to stock up at the dollar store – cheap entertainment.
Yay for extra credit! Taking hosting to the next level is totally my steez. I absolutely love making small welcome baskets for my guests with local goodies, especially if they’ve never been to wherever we’re currently living at the moment. This does not have to be super expensive, but I do recommend buying some small items, like luxury votives, in bulk. I also always have customized stationary so that I can write them a personal note, welcoming them into our home.
One of the easiest, yet most impactful touches that you can offer is fresh flowers. Having fresh-cut flowers just brings a new, refreshing energy to a room! Even if you don’t have the time to pick-up fresh flowers every time someone drops in, keep some low-maintenance plants or artificial greenery in the room. It develops an invigorating feeling. Get up to speed on how to choose no-hassle artificial plants that will leave your guests fooled.
Finally, make the guest bathroom feel like a damn day spa. Put the clean towels in wicker baskets, provide your guests with high-end toiletries and add a nice candle to the mix. Also, bath sheets with a little weight to them always feel more luxurious. For some true opulence, equip your guests with robes & slippers to lounge around in.
However, you decide to enhance your guest room, keep in mind that it’s all about the experience that you’re creating for your guests. As a little experiment, engage in a true “staycation” and be a guest in your own home. Sleep in the guest bed, use the guest restroom, and pinpoint where the experience can be elevated. Martha Stewart has a remarkable guest room checklist that you should check out here. Share what you do to create a thoughtful guest room, or what experiences you had as a guest that left you feeling impressed.