Best-Dressed Guest Nest
Here is a great set of heartwarming guidelines for guest beds, bedrooms, and accessories. My mother did most of these things for her houseguests, but I didn’t for mine (lack of time and I got hung up on the fact that I didn’t have a special guest room), and my daughter never learned from me, so here is something to inspire her and us all, from a fun new book Nesting: It’s a Chick Thing by by Ame Mahler Beanland.
Most of us can rise to the challenge of entertaining guests for an evening, but some guests feel like they’re fleeing the Bates Motel after an overnight stay. Much as we might enjoy our overnight guests, there’s a trick to making them feel at home when they’re at your home. We’ve quizzed those rare birds who have a great knack for making a guest’s overnight stay both luxurious and fun.
Beds and bedding. A comfortable bed is a must for a high-minded hostess, and if your sofabed is more than a few eons old, try it out for a night. If you’re too scared to do that, ask a (brutally) honest relative who has spent some time on it to describe the experience. You don’t always have to replace a mattress–you can just top the bed off with a featherbed to make it more comfortable, or sometimes a board placed underneath can give a saggy mattress much-needed support. If twin beds are all you have for your guests, consider investing in a converter kit that fuses twin beds into a king.
Bathroom. Nothing is more tiresome for both the host family and the guest than the guest’s need to keep requesting bathroom items; and let’s face it, some people need an entire pharmacy. Stock your bathroom as if your guest is the queen of England, and she has lost her overnight bag. That is, include items for all the basic (extra toothbrushes), emergency, and even decadent (elegant lotions, etc.) bathroom needs. Also, be sure to provide extras of items that tend to run out–toilet and tissue paper, soap, etc. And place a night-light in the bathroom. If you share a bathroom with your guests, make sure their towels are a different color than yours, and have them on their bed when they arrive.
Welcoming space. Besides a comfortable bed, guests need space for their things. Clear a closet, drawer, and counter space in the guest room and find a place for them to put their luggage.
Flourishes and caring touches. If you want to create a very special visit for your guests, here is a list of seven little extras for their room that will make even the most weary traveler feel like she’s in a posh bed-and-breakfast.
1. Small guest-room bouquet.
2. Guest room library filled with good reads, as well as information and guidebooks about your area.
3. Reading light.
4. Guest basket filled with tasty snack items, lotions, a throwaway camera.
5. Fuzzy bathrobe.
6. A new toy or book for a visiting child.
7. “Welcome” cards/signs created by host-children.