Make your guests feel at home

‘be my guest’ It is important that you make an effort to give your guests a bed that you would be willing to sleep on. Photos: MODCCON INTERIOR

A guest room is a place that most of us don’t give too much importance. For most of us, it is a room which is going to be sparingly used and becomes more of a store room, to many of us. You certainly can’t make a guest room like a 5-star hotel room, but there are some things you can do to make it just as comfortable.

It is important that you make an effort to give your guests a bed that you would be willing to sleep on. 

A too short or hard bed won’t do. Invest on a good sleep surface and your guests will thank you for it in the morning. A good pillow could be an icing on the cake.
Most of us would not even bother to do so and would normally put that unused mattress and pillows which you would otherwise want to discard and are all the more happy to place in in a guest bedroom.

Clean linen, first of all
You should ensure that you provide crisp, clean and coordinated linens for your guests. Make them feel welcome.

Please don’t pull out your family leftovers. You don’t have to invest in the finest luxury linen to make someone feel special, but you could get a beautiful look at a small price.  
Make sure you have clean sheets and blankets for your guests

If you use this room as a spare room when guests are not around, and then be sure you get rid of the clutter, when you are expecting guests. Make sure that you consider how important it is to make your guests comfortable in their room.

Think about the guests...
While designing a guest room, nobody bothers to think about the comforts of the guest, as they don’t consider it important at all.

As a designer, the first thing I would consider are the things a guest would want when in that room, and what would make a host less stressed out when having a guest around.
For all this, you need to consider a few important factors while designing your guest bedroom. If you have a bigger space, then consider having a double bed with an extra single bed. If the room is small, then have a sliding bed below the double bed on one side and drawers for linen on the other side. You could even consider having two sliding beds under the double bed, with a mattress already set in it. How convenient would it be to accommodate a family of four as house guests in one room, without messing up the room?  Plan the guest room wardrobe efficiently. The bottom of the wardrobe should be an open space, for the suitcases and bags belonging to the guests.

The empty suitcases can occupy the lower section of the wardrobe. Plan the upper section of the wardrobe with hangers for the guest’s clothes and a drawer for their miscellaneous belongings. With bags in the wardrobe, it adds extra space to the room. The guests will feel more at home and not be concerned about having their things in your way.

Other arrangements
Try to keep a mini refrigerator in the room set in the closet, for the guests to be more comfortable with juices and water around them, without disturbing you too. Arrange a tea maker in the room with a tray set with tea bags, mugs, snacks, fruits etc, which would also save you from getting stressed out on taking care of all this very often. This way, the guests can take care of their small requirements, without feeling guilty about troubling the host too often. You may not want to be entertaining your guests all the time they are with you. It is important that they feel they have some place to get away for a little private relaxing time.

Chairs, magazines, music...
A comfortable chair, an ottoman, a small TV, music system, few books and magazines will do all the work. Small things like extra slippers in the room can be an added plus for guests. Be sure to have good light in the guest room, more importantly, a light that can be turned on and off, without getting out of the bed.

A night light near the door and one in the guest’s bath will be helpful and appreciated. Be sure there is a mirror in the room, floor length, if possible. A telephone for private conversations and an EPBX system, which can connect them to the other rooms, in case of need, would be appreciated. By thinking of what you would like to find in a fine hotel room, you’ll find your way to creating a perfect guest room.

Bathroom
The guest bathroom too should not be neglected. Provide clean and fluffy towels. Be sure to stock extra toilet papers and tissues. Place new soap in the bath and fill the liquid soap containers. Place a trash can. Consider adding a welcome basket of basic toiletries which include items as new toothbrush, toothpaste, razor, sewing kit, shampoo, conditioner and if kids are involved, kids’ shampoo and bath products.

A candle with matches and a small bouquet of flowers in a pretty vase will also contribute to making the bathroom inviting.

Most importantly, remember that an enjoyable stay for your guests is primarily dependant on a thoughtful and peaceful hostess. Staying in someone else’s house can be an uncomfortable experience for most people. 

By going the extra mile to keep your guest room clean, organised and well stocked with thoughtful touches, you can ensure that your guests will be as comfortable in your home as they do in their own homes.

(The author is an interior designer and decorator, Modccon Interior. She may be contacted at modcconinterior@rediffmail.com)

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