When you start to plan your guest room, think about what you'd expect to find in a 5-diamond hotel and try to make your room measure up to that standard. Your budget may not have enough in it to let you create a getaway oasis, but you can clear the decks, arrange what's necessary, and provide a quiet place to relax.
Read our list of things to do or buy to help you set up a comfortable guest room for your visitors.
- The Best Bed Your Money Can Buy
Don't give your guest the oldest, most saggy mattress you have. If you can't afford a new or good used bed, think about getting a quality air mattress. They're really quite comfortable and can be placed on top of a box spring, over a sofa bed mattress, or on the floor.
- Bedding Upgrades
Beyond clean bedding, think about adding wonderful bed linens and comfort items often supplied by fine B&B's: a featherbed mattress topper, a choice of pillows, a cozy down comforter, extra blankets, and freshly ironed pillowcases.
- Fresh Linens
Always have an extra set of bed and bath linens available for your guests. Accidents DO happen! Or you may have one of those wonderful guests who insists on changing the sheets when they leave. Let them do it! And thank them profusely!
- A Place to Set Down a Suitcase
Clear a space to put a luggage rack or a small table or bench to set down a suitcase. No one likes to have to stoop over to the floor to pull out a clean pair of socks. Even a chair is better than nothing!
- Clear the Decks
Resist the temptation to put your beautiful collection of dolls on the dresser or fill the closet with out-of-season clothes. In a guest room, less is more--more space, more comfortable, and more welcoming. Get rid of anything that you would not find in the room of a fine hotel. Keep only the most useful items in the room, like a clock and calendar.
- A Comfy Place to Sit
Some people absolutely do not sit on a bed! And your guests shouldn't have to. Place an upholstered armchair or side chair in the room with a table and lamp close by.
- Good Lighting
It always amazes me when I walk into an otherwise nice hotel room and there's no light to read by! It's always nice to have a light control near the bed, so your guest won't have to stumble around in the dark, just to turn a light on. If nothing else, provide a good reading light near a chair or over the bed. Another fixture or lamp near the desk would be great. A small night light is helpful and a lighted magnifying make-up mirror is a real luxury!
- Hanging Clothes Storage
If your guest room shares space with a home office, clear at least a foot or two of pole space in the closet. Or purchase an inexpensive over-the-door hook that can accommodate some hanging clothes. Don't forget a supply of 6 or 8 hangers. A simple hook on the wall or behind a closet door can hold a robe, coat, or a purse.
- Drawer Space
If you have an extra chest of drawers, how perfect! But at least clear out one or two drawers for small items. Both you and your guest will feel better with odds and ends out of sight.
- Simple Basics
I need to have a lighted clock next to my bed. An alarm clock or clock/radio is even better. Provide paper and pens or pencils, scissors, tape, tissue, and a hair dryer and have all the bases covered. If you don't have an extra iron and ironing board to offer, be sure to tell your guest where they can find yours. A phone in the room will be a much-appreciated bonus item. How about a pre-paid phone card and instructions on how to use it?
- Provide Privacy
You might know that the big maple tree just outside the window camouflages everything going on, but your guest won't. Choose window coverings that not only add to the character of the room, but provide privacy and light control, as well. If you must keep it simple, a nice blind can offer works great. You can always add a beautiful valance or side panels later.