Now that the holiday season is officially over let’s talk about guest rooms. I know you think that it might have made more sense to talk about them before the holiday season, but I can actually tell you where I’m lacking after just hosting. Now is a great time for me to make a list and start working on improvements for the next round of guests.
So I’m going to share my list of how a guest room should function and then I’m going to make a checklist and start working on it for my own home.
It’s always fun to have guests come and stay for a few days, but it can also be stressful. If your house is anything like ours there are extra people here on just about every weekend but the holiday’s give us a full house that means not everyone has their own room to sleep in.
If you have a designated guest room then you are lucky to have that extra space but even if your guests are bunking in someone else’s room or your family room you can still create a great experience for them in your home.
I’ve got a few tips to help you make sure your guest room is ready to be a relaxing retreat whether it’s a blow up mattress or in a private cottage.
Don’t ask my guests though. Curtains are on our list for this year but we’ve been here 5 years already without them. We live on several acres so there’s no chance of any neighbor seeing inside, but there’s still the sun that peeks in as soon as it rises.
Let’s start our list with the room itself.
Create a Restful Guest Bedroom
If you’ve got an actual bedroom to share with your guests then you’re already ahead of them game in keeping them comfortable. Now you need to focus on making a nice cozy bed situation for them to enjoy.
I think the key to a great guest room experience is making sure that there’s a comfortable place for your guests to sleep. Of course this is easiest if you have a designated room, but if you run out of space you need to have flexible accommodations ready.
The fold out sofa is a classic example of an additional sleeping space. It’s also a great addition since you’ve already got a sofa, it just performs multiple functions in your home.
Now if you’ve slept on a fold out sofa in the past you probably remember the bar across the middle that made your back hurt. I remember just using the thin mattress on the floor because it was more comfortable. I don’t want those memories but I bet a lot of people have them.
Well never fear – these babies have come a long way since those times. Maybe it’s time to give the fold out sofa another chance. Especially if you’ve got a small space or a large family. We’ve got both so we have to have lots of sleeping options.
Another alternative is a daybed. These work well if you’ve got space to put the trundle underneath and then you can make room for two people to sleep near each other. You might also want to check out a fold out accent chair. A chair and a half can fold out into a twin size bed and fit into many rooms of your house as an additional sleeping space. These are a larger accent chair but they are great for relaxing and reading as well.
Don’t forget the air mattress as a sleeping option as well. You can easily find an air mattress online that has an electric pump and will blow up to the height of a bed. These have definitely improved in the last few years and they’re easy to store no matter what size of space you’re working with. Be sure that they’re the taller version because those are much easier to get into and out of.
Add Comfy Bedding
The bedding really makes the bed. I hope that you have amazing bedding in your own room and you extend it to your guest room as well. Or extend it to your air mattress.
Think about layers when you’re purchasing bedding for your guest bedroom.
Start with super soft sheets (over your mattress cover) and add a duvet and a quilt. You want to offer options in case they like to be bundled up or they sleep hot. Be sure that you have plenty of pillows for sleeping as well. I like to have a foam pillow in a flatter more firm style and also a feather pillow for each person.
We also keep a few down alternative pillows in case anyone has an allergy. Or if they just have a preference for a different pillow.
Cover those Windows
This is one of the spots that I have failed in my house, but it’s on my list to fix it this year.
Adding curtains or blinds can provide privacy as well as block out unwanted light. Remember that your guests are on vacation and they may want to sleep in a bit.
We have an extension rod with an old curtain that we can hang in the opening of our family room. The room doesn’t have a door on it but by providing the curtain it gives some privacy to the person who gets to sleep in there when they visit.
Make it Cozy
Those extra touches like throw pillows and a throw make a room look complete and add a little bit of luxury to a space. You aren’t going to need throw pillows for an air mattress but in a guest room they will enhance the decor in your space.
Be sure that you have a spot to store the throw pillows for sleeping as well. We have a large basket that works perfectly for stacking pillows in one room and in the other room we simply move them to the closet.
A throw is a nice addition for comfort as well. It looks pretty on a bed and it’s nice for napping or as an extra layer for sleeping.
Include more Furniture
I’m not sure what to make of that title – maybe it needs to say additional furniture. Of course you’ve got a bed.
Beyond the bed you’ll want to include a few more pieces of furniture like a nightstand. A nightstand is a great place for a reading lamp and to keep a glass of water or their phone while it’s charging. It doesn’t have to be a formal nightstand, it can be a small stool or a plant stand. Anything that will give your guests a surface to put items on.
A bench is an easy place to open a suitcase or set out folded clothes. I think one of the hardest parts about a guest room is having a space to keep a suitcase open for a short trip.
If you’ve got room for it you’ll want to include a comfy chair. It’s nice for your guests to be able to escape to their room if they need some alone time and having a nice chair to sit in is a great addition.
They can use the throw from their bed and have a cozy place to hide out for a few minutes.
Add a Mirror
Every room has got a spot in it that a mirror will look great so add one as part of your decor. Just try to hang it in a spot that is convenient for putting on jewelry or makeup and checking your hair.
You can also hang a full length mirror inside a closet or on the back of the bedroom door so that guests can check themselves out before leaving their rooms.
Fresh Flowers are always a bonus
No need to expand on that. Those little touches in a space make a guest feel special – fresh flowers, a mint on their pillow, a book of poetry; anything that makes them feel like a treasured guest.
Stock a Few Necessities
If you’ve never forgotten anything when you’ve left on a trip then you’re a much better packer than I am. We travel regularly and I keep a vanity bag packed but I’ve still been in situations where I’ve run out of an item like toothpaste. Or headache medicine.
It’s a great idea to keep a few travel size essentials on hand. We always have a few toothbrushes that are individually wrapped and all the mini items that we can think of.
That’s how to make your guest bedroom a retreat!
Now I’ve transferred a few ideas (curtains) to my list and I’m ready to tackle my guest bedrooms for this new year. I’d love to hear your ideas about your favorite guest room stay. What made it the best?
If you enjoyed this then you might also like:
Our bedroom idea board on Pinterest