Preparing the guest room for the holidays is part of your secret initiation into this thing called responsibility and adulthood. Holiday travel is stressful enough, add in guests who are in an unfamiliar environment, with different schedules, and staying as a guest in someone else’s home and you’ve created a recipe of Griswold proportions. Creating a warm, welcoming guest room will soothe the weariest of travelers and make you their number one person.
The best guest rooms I’ve stayed in feel like a retreat, a well-appointed home away from home. Simple additions will make your guest room feel like a luxury retreat for guests, without having to put forth a lot of money, or effort.
1. Fresh flowers. Pick up a few bunches at the grocery store, snip and put into a vase on the bedside table. They brighten up the room and don’t require a lot of work.
2. Books. Books on the nightstand are always a great addition. Keep the stories light-hearted and enjoyable. No matter how much you like meaty Russian literature, avoid that topic unless you know your guests very well.
3. Plush Linens. The best guest rooms have a fluffy duvet, crisp cotton sheets, and extra pillows. You don’t need to go to great expense for these items. I find mine throughout the year at TJ Maxx and Marshalls
4. Robes and slippers. A robe hanging on the back of the door for guests to wrap up in post-shower saves room in their luggage and is an extra welcoming touch. Slippers will keep their feet warm on chilly floors. These items are discounted throughout the year by various retailers, making it an economical addition.
5. Mirrors. We forget how much we look in the mirror during the day. The addition of a mirror allows guests the time to give themselves that final check before starting their day.
6. Alarm clocks are a welcome addition to the guest room. Guests may want to wake-up early for activities they’ve planned separately.
7. Surge Protectors. Most people now travel with their smartphones, tablets, and laptops. A surge protector strip in the guest room allows extra slots to charge equipment while protecting it
8. Toiletries. I always have a few extra new toothbrushes on hand for out of town guests, along with lotion, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, and mouthwash. After all, you don’t’ want your guests (or you!) going out late in the evening to pick up something they’ve forgotten
9. Snacks. A basket of goodies is a welcome addition to the guest room. Miniature bars of chocolate, bottles of water, teabags, nuts, and crackers help conquer late-night cravings.
10. Wi-Fi. Leave a small card on the nightstand in your guest room for visitors to log on to your wi-fi. This will prevent the dreaded data overage, and allow them to check their email in privacy.
Having a cozy guest room doesn’t take a lot of work or expense. Little things go a long way to making everyone feel comfortable and at home.
Tell me about your ideal guest room.
Want more ideas for making your guest room a sanctuary for visitors? Head over to Rajean Blomquist’s blog and check our her tips on Holiday Prep and Practice.
Photo credit: iStockphoto/ronen