When buying or building a home, a space for guests is often high on our checklist of requirements. Most of us desire to open up our homes to family and friends, especially when they are in need of a place to stay. Regrettably, too often these spaces are left unfinished, undecorated, and even unfurnished because of their minimal use.
I’ve been guilty of the bare guest bedroom, and after having a recent visit from a family member, realized just how uninviting that room must have felt. I have to say, I felt like a poor hostess as I helped carry her things up the stairs and into the empty (aside from a few miscellaneous pieces of furniture), bare-walled room. Ladies, boxes and unloved furniture have no place in the guest bedroom. Shame on me!
When we bought our home at the end of last year, I immediately dove head-first into decorating and renovations. The guest bedroom, which had been so necessary, was left neglected and misused. I’ve now decided to turn a new leaf, and make the room my next home project. As I make plans for the space, I thought I’d share some ideas and tips, in case you’ve found yourself equally guilty.
As you prepare your guest bedroom, be mindful that the space should be a neutral extension of your home. Focus on invitation, rather than personality. The bedroom will house a variety of individuals, all with different tastes and preferences, and it should be able to comfortably accommodate each of them. Consider choosing a calming, monochromatic color scheme and adding accents that reflect the decor of your home.
Keep it clean! It seems that a busy woman has enough things to worry about as it is. While it may be tempting to skip over it, make sure to routinely include the guest bedroom in your cleaning routine. While we’re at it, resist that urge to use the room as a hiding place for clutter or clothing until you can find time to sort through it later. We know how stressful preparing for a guest can be, and doing a last minute deep cleaning and organizing will only make it worse.
The thriftiness and ease may be tempting, but the guest bedroom should not act as a retirement home for rundown furniture. If you wouldn’t use it in other parts of the home, it may not be suitable for your company either. If room allows, include a small desk, comfortable chair, and books and magazines. Your guest may want some time to themselves during their stay, and you guest room should provide the opportunity.
Additionally, though it may seem obvious, it’s still worth mentioning: fragile or valuable possessions have no place in a guest room. Don’t leave your visitors worrying that they may break something. The last thing anyone wants is a quarrel between family or friends due to an accident!
Most of us have arrived at our destination only to realize we forgot a toothbrush or aspirin, and chances are your visitor may feel uncomfortable asking for toiletries. We’ve all forgotten to pack some necessity when we’ve traveled, and you should assume your guests may do the same. A brilliant solution to the dilemma is to provide a variety of items that are easily forgotten. This discomfort can be completely eliminated by having a variety of items ready and waiting when they arrive. Consider including a note asking them to help themselves to anything they may need. If you don’t have a guest bathroom, arrange a cart or basket in the bedroom..
Above all, it’s important that ensure that the bedroom will be a comfortable place to sleep for your guest. Be sure to have heavy or light-blocking drapery to avoid early wake-ups, and keep the bedding lightweight. In case it gets chilly, leave extra pillows and blankets near the bed. As a precaution, try to rid the room of any potential allergens, such as pet dander, feather pillows, or flowers. And don’t forget the bedside lamp! You’re visitor will not be familiar with the layout of the room, and you don’t want them injuring themselves after they’ve turned off the lights.