Tips for Laying Out the Welcome Mat
Balance is the key to creating an inviting guest bedroom—that is, a balance between making visitors feel like they’re at home, while also making them feel like they’re in a boutique hotel. While a comfy mattress, soft sheets and lush pillows are a given for any guest bedroom, you can easily help friends and family feel pampered by going above and beyond those standards. Start with the following for upping the bar on everyday basics and accommodating for temperature swings, then add finishing touches to boost the room’s ambiance.
When preparing for guests, do an audit of your room to make sure it contains these useful necessities.
- Bedside table— A bedside table ensures visitors have a place to put their phones, eyeglasses and the like. A table with drawers is ideal, so you have a place to store other items guests might need.
- Universal phone charger— A universal phone charger is just the thing to store in a bedside table’s drawer—for guests who have forgotten theirs at home.
- Notepad and pens— Writing on paper may seem old-school compared to typing notes into a phone—but being able to jot something down quickly on a piece of paper comes in handy.
- Alarm clock— Don’t assume your guests use their phones for morning wake-ups. Plus, a clock easily lets them see the time at a glance.
- Tech notes— Write down the Wi-Fi password and instructions for operating remotes and any smart home technology, then display that info where guests can’t miss it.
- Small, decorative dish— A small dish is great for holding jewelry, so guests don’t misplace an earring or bracelet.
- Mirror—A wall or full length mirror (which you could prop against a wall or attach to the back of a door) ensures guests get can dressed in the guestroom rather than in a bathroom.
- Luggage rack— No one wants to bend over to dig through a piece of luggage that’s on the floor. A luggage rack, or even a pretty ottoman, eliminates that hassle. Guests will also appreciate an empty (or almost-empty) closet with ample hangers.
- Tissues—Guaranteed guests will need a tissue or two at some point during their stay, which is why a box in the guestroom is essential.
- Wastebasket— Guests will need someplace to toss those tissues!
Feeling just right, as opposed to too hot or too cold, is paramount to enjoying the guestroom experience. An extra blanket, whether folded at the foot of the bed or over the arm of a chair, is handy for when nights turn chillier (or the air conditioning is a bit too much). A light throw blanket is also a thoughtful touch for those afternoon cat naps. If you don’t have a ceiling fan in the room, a table or tower fan (depending on your room’s size and layout) is a must. And if the floor isn’t carpeted, a small rug on either side of the bed is a warm welcome when feet hit the floor in the morning.
Want to go beyond guestroom must-have’s? Nothing takes a room’s vibe up a few notches like a vase of fresh flowers, the guestroom no exception. Choose long-lasting blooms, such as zinnias, lilies, alstroemerias or chrysanthemums, for bouquets that will maintain their cheeriness for more than a few days. And if you’re going the fresh flower route, you might also want to put out a small bowl of sweet treats, such as wrapped chocolates or hard candy.
Having a selection of recent magazines on hand is also considerate, in case guests want to kick back midafternoon or wind down before calling it a day.
Of course, good illumination is a must for nighttime reading. Bedside lamps with plug-in light dimmers attached ensures guests will be able to create just the right light levels. Dimmed light is also preferable to jarring, bright light if guests need to get up in the middle of the night.
Rounding out an inviting atmosphere are shades, specifically, shades with room-darkening liners. Not only do they provide privacy in the evening, the darker room invites a deeper sleep.