Just why is it that so many guest rooms tend to look not much different than the average hotel room? And no, we’re not talking 5 or 4 stars here. When someone is staying in your home, his or her stay is typically far more personal in nature than it would be at a hotel. So, there is no reason for a sterile, bland-looking guest room. Make it more friendly and interesting with these tips!
1. Make the room a showroom, not a storage closet
When people have an extra bedroom, they tend to use it more as a dumping ground than for functional purposes. This is fine when you don’t have any guests for the night, but what happens all too often is that junk stays cluttered up in the room even when people are staying there. To make things better for everyone involved, use the guest room as a place to show off your knick-knacks and collectibles. Arrange them all neatly while still leaving space for your guest to store their own things (leave some dresser drawers empty). If you do have a lot of excess stuff, try storing it neatly in the closet and in boxes under the bed.
2. Put up a wall clock or other art
Most people nowadays have cell phones, on which they can set alarm clocks. So, instead of going with a dull, irrelevant alarm clock on the nightstand, put a clock on the wall. Get one that looks more like a work of art (think clock stores, antique shops, art shows, even IKEA) than the typical clock you see in a classroom or office. Just make sure it doesn’t tick loudly for the sake of your guest. Who knows? You may even have an old clock lying around in all the stuff you usually store in there.
3. Make up the bed
Even if it’s just a pullout couch, futon or cot, going beyond the bare minimum with your guest’s bedding could just be the most important part of creating a welcoming, interesting guest room. Don’t shy away from using a colorful comforter and sheets, as well as extra pillows. A throw blanket also makes for good decoration and for practicality should your guest get chilly at night.
4. Tuck in a stuffed animal
Even adults like stuffed animals, so it doesn’t matter what age your guest is. A simple, clean (do NOT use your kid’s old teddy bear) stuffed animal sitting in with the bed pillows or posing on a shelf can instantly bring a personal, unique touch to any guest room.
5. Include entertainment
Your guest may be on a different schedule than you, but you don’t want them sitting around with nothing to do while you’re working or sleeping. Sure, there’s probably things they can keep themselves occupied with around the rest of your home, but they’ll feel more comfortable if they have things to do right in “their” room. So, put board games and a deck of cards in there, as well as some paper and a couple pens and pencils. A TV is also good, but unless it’s well within your budget, it’s unreasonable to buy one just for the guest room. If you have an old TV you can put in there, great; if not, your guests will live.
6. Be tech friendly
While old TVs are perfectly acceptable, a lot of guest rooms go too far and end up being like a step back in time. This can be fun of course, but not when your guest needs to get in touch with people or charge their phone. Make sure at least one outlet is open and visible, and if this is not possible, get a power strip for the room that connects to an outlet. If you have Wi-Fi in your home, write down the wireless code on a piece of paper and post it someplace visible in the guest room. After all, you may forget to tell your visitors what the password is, and if they happen to be trying to use a smartphone, laptop or tablet after you’re already in bed, they’ll be out of luck. You could even get creative and put the password in a frame.
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