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When you have a guest coming over to spend some time in your home, you are often jittery wondering how to make them comfortable. Well, it is easy if you approach it just right and it can be hard if you are ill-prepared. Of course, it can never feel 100 percent like their home, because it is not their home! It is your home.
However, with these 15 tips to make your guest room feel like home, you should do a good job of it. These tips will help you create a near-perfect guest room, just as you saw in the hotel in that travel magazine.
1. Have a welcome gift ready in the room
This doesn’t mean doing something as dramatic as getting a bottle of champagne in an ice basket, but if you can do it, go ahead. However, we are thinking more along the lines of something subtle yet very impressive and useful too.
Think of getting a small basket full of mini toiletries. These can be the kind of one-person toiletries such as you find in hotels and hostels. You may also buy a set of toothbrushes and toothpastes and keep them ready in the room. That way, whatever toothbrush the guest chooses, he/she can leave with it for keeps.
It is the small things such as these that make a visitor feel fully appreciated and wanted. Besides, they do not cost that much.
2. Provide eye masks and earplugs if you live in an urban setting
The good thing with these two gems is that they cost so little. Your guests may not need them, but they just show how much you care. If you have a noisy bird that rises early every day, the earplugs are a good thought. They can allow your guest to sleep off until they have had their fill.
If the guest room has a large window in the east, the sun coming up in the morning might disrupt the blissful sleep of your guest. That is why you need an eye mask to help them block the light completely. Even if you have opaque curtains or blinds, just leave an eye mask on the bed. They might want to use it. When they leave, pack the eye mask and ear plugs for them. They can have them as keepsakes.
3. Provide a homemade map of the neighborhood
Imagine such thoughtfulness! One of the best ways of making a guest feel welcome is to make them feel as if they are part of the neighborhood. You want them to know where they can catch the bus, where the pub is, where the restaurant is and where the coffee shops, the grocery and drugstore are. You never know what they might want to buy when you are away at work.
Make them a list of the best indoor and outdoor attractions in the neighborhood. Let them know where the cinema is, where the park is and so on. That way, they will not be bored when you are away. Make sure to include the right directions.
Leave them the spare keys. That way, they will not stay stranded when they come back home before you. They can let themselves in.
4. Take your guest around the home or make a list of where to find things
If you have a big house, you should make a list of where to find certain items or better yet, take them on a house tour. That way, they can be able to get something on their own even when you are away. When you take a guest on a house tour, he or she stops feeling like a stranger.
Among some of the things that you should ensure you guest knows where to find them are the drinks, food, WiFi passwords and so on. Anything that you think your guest might need, make sure it is available.
5. Provide a few vacuum bags for stowing away dirty things
You may not know it, but your guest could have forgotten to bring a small bag for their dirty stuff. Just make it easier for them by providing vacuum bags. You can even tag them with small stickers so that the guest knows what to use them for.
Vacuum bags or other plastic bags can be used for holding wet laundry. Your guest might want to wash somethings and they can use these bags to hold them. If you do not provide these bags, your guest may have no option than to ball their wet laundry and place it on the floor, table or on the sink.
6. Keep snacks handy in their room
Some people get hungry in the middle of the night as they catch a movie. However, being a guest in your house could dissuade them from going to the kitchen to find something. Just get them some snacks, and keep them in their room.
Packaged bites carry the day as donuts, apples, bananas and other fruits. Bring in some canned drinks while you are at it. A pack of soda, a pack of beer, hot drinks such as cocoa, tea or coffee also come in handy all the time.
If your guest is an early rise and wakes up ahead of you, they can have something to keep their spirits up as they wait for breakfast.
7. Provide your daily schedule
Borrow a leaf from the hotels. They provide their guests with their daily schedules. For example, they let their guests know when they serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. Be a dear and do the same for your guest. Just make a simple timetable to show when you cook breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Breakfasts are especially touchy because of the time conflict. For example, some guests are early risers and some are late risers. Whatever the case, if the guest is an early riser, keep snacks in their rooms as advised above. They can help themselves before you make breakfast.
If your guest is a late riser, make breakfast at the scheduled time and keep it hot for them. If you happen to leave before they wake, leave a note directing them to where they can find the food.
8. Embellish the room with a big mirror
Mirrors add character to the room. They amplify space, giving an illusion of space even where there is too little. A mirror is an important part of interior décor in these times. A big mirror can also reflect the light and bounce it around the room.
It also helps the guest to dress and get everything right before they leave the room. Everyone wants to ensure their eyes are clear and that there are no pieces of vegetable stuck between their teeth. We all love the mirror.
9. A washable mattress topper for old mattresses
Do not buy a new mattress if your have a usable old mattress. Just buy a cover or a topper for the mattress. Look for a washable one so that you can clean it and keep it for the next guest, or for your family.
A mattress topper is firm and comfortable. It is very nice for helping your guest relax after a long journey. Even if you have a new mattress for the guestroom, a topper still helps keep the mattress intact for longer. Toppers or mattress covers are also easier to clean. Therefore, you can have an old mattress smell fresh and newer just by cleaning the topper.
If you have old pillows, buy new cases for them. It is always nice to offer your guests a pillow so that they can rest their head after a hard day.
Please note: If the mattress is too old, getting a new one is better than buying a topper.
10. Keep a vase of fresh flowers
You can buy fresh flowers from the local florist or if you have a garden, pick some from there every couple of days and keep them in the room. Flowers bring a fresh scent indoors.
If the interior décor of your guest room is not very good, flowers can help capture attention, thus preventing the guest from noticing the bad patches. When watered, flowers can stay fresh for a couple of days, so it is not as if you have to buy new ones daily.
If you can bring in a potted plant, do it. A touch of nature in the house never fails to lift the mood of the occupant.
11. Buy a bathrobe, bathroom slippers and towels
Your guest might have packed their own bathrobe and towel, bit you do not want to take chances. Therefore, set out a spare bathrobe, spare bathroom slippers and towels. This will make bathing easier for the guest.
Rather than have them ask whether they can get these items or ask where they can buy them, just set them out before he or she comes. It is better to have the items and have the guest not use. This beats not having them when the guest needs them.
When the guest is gone, you can wash the items and keep them in the closet for another guest in future. If they are your own personal items, you can continue using them. Making such important but always forgotten items available makes the guest feel really appreciated and loved.
12. Keep the decorations scanty
We cannot overemphasize the importance of keeping the room’s interior décor as simple as possible. This is not the time to display all the family heirlooms and photos on the walls of the guest room. That would only serve to show the guests that they are strangers in this house. Leave the walls bare if you do not have a couple of generic paintings or framed photographs.
Some people travel with pictures of their spouse or children. They prefer to set these pictures on the bedside table. However, they cannot be able to do that if there are mugshots of your children smiling down at them from the wall. It feels too disconcerting to have strangers looking down at you from the wall all the time.
Do not use a lot of color. Keep it to the minimum. In fact, use darker tones similar to what hotels use. The temptation to use your favorite colors is always strong, but resist it. This is not your room. It is your guest’s home away from home for the time they will be there. Thus, keep the decoration as generic as possible.
13. Serve your guest breakfast in bed
How awesome can life get for your guest! It is not too hard to serve your guest breakfast in bed. You just need a good tray, a jug of juice, coffee, pancakes and whatever else you care to include. It is not about the food really. It is about how this gesture will make your guest feel.
Hopefully, you asked the guest whether they are allergic to anything the night before. That way, you wil know what to make for their breakfast. Breakfast in bed is perhaps the closest that your visitor will come to room service in your home.
14. Provide seating in the bedroom
Following the suggestion that you should serve your guest breakfast in bed, you need to provide seating. A small work desk and a comfortable chair can help a lot. Serving someone breakfast in bed does not mean that they should eat in bed. To prevent spillages, have somewhere they can sit down and have their meal.
If the room is small, do not drag in a full sofa. Save the space. Just provide a small work desk and a chair. Provide a nightstand where you can place breakfast, books, night lamp and snacks. The most important thing to have in the guest room is a bed, a makeshift rack, and a small table and chair.
15. Make sure there is fresh water always
Your guest will spend a thirsty night because they fear going to the kitchen at night to fetch some. Just keep a carafe of water in the room all the time. Remember to add clean glasses so that your guest can drink whenever they want.
These are just 15 things that you can do to make your guest room feel like home. However, there are many more things that you can do. For example, for a few dollars only, you can order a makeshift rack for the guest room. This will be used to hold the luggage of your guest. Add convenient things such as ambient lighting with dimmers for comfort, phone charger that can work with your kind of sockets, extra linens and many more.
You may love to read our 10 tips to host overnight guests in a studio apartment.