One of the most important qualities of a great host is to anticipate your guests’ needs – including those who themselves didn’t realize them. (Extra blanket? Check. Carafe of water? Bet.) Designing the ultimate guest room is about creating a space that is quiet and makes the guest feel at home. Here’s how:
Take inspiration from luxury hotels when choosing the color scheme and furnishing your room. That doesn’t mean your space should be soulless and anonymous. Rather, it should feel elegant and inviting. Choose calm, neutral colors for walls, window treatments, and upholstered furniture.
In the case of works of art, avoid anything that is disturbing, such as an aggressive abstract painting. Instead, opt for photography, paintings, or prints with a more relaxed atmosphere. Also avoid the ad to lots of photos of you and your family. You want your guest to feel in their own space, not your bedroom.
You want your guests to feel rested and refreshed when they are staying with you. A plump bed is therefore key. Invest in fresh, high-quality sheets and a fluffy down comforter or comforter. Don’t go overboard on the pillows (you don’t want your guest to have to do an archaeological dig to find your bed). Two to four bed pillows should be enough, and you can stash a few more in the closet in case you need extras.
Opt for simple, neutral beds like solid white that set a calm tone and make you feel like you are in a high-end hotel. Avoid intense patterns and bright colors that can make a room appear crowded and the opposite of relaxation. Place a luxurious duvet over the foot of the bed for a cozy touch and extra warmth.
Even if you have a jam-packed itinerary, your guests are going to need some downtime. So if you have enough space, add an armchair or sofa to your guest room. Put a floor lamp next to it and it instantly becomes a reading corner for your guest to relax in at the end of the day or before the next activity. Add a side table and fill it with local magazines or books so that they can get ideas for places they might want to visit or read up on the history of your area.
Part of making guests feel at home is giving them space. If you use the closet in the guest room to store some of your clothes, make room for them to hang up their things or store their suitcase. Also, leave some dresser drawers or shelves open for them so they don’t feel like they’re living out of their pocket. Consider adding a bench or luggage rack for their suitcase (so they don’t put it on your clean white bedding).
As you think about how to help your guests with physical charging, don’t forget about how to charge their phones and laptops. If your electrical outlets are awkwardly behind furniture, plug in an easily accessible power strip to meet all charging needs.
If you have a TV in the room, leave a list of instructions on how to use the remote (sometimes a quick tutorial is quickly forgotten late the night you arrive). Make sure you provide your wireless name and password.
So much of being a good host is in the details. Place a tray on the bedside table with a carafe of water and a glass, along with some local sweets or snacks. Add a single flower bud vase or a tiny succulent in a cute planter. For that extra thoughtful touch, leave them a handwritten note welcoming them and telling them how excited you are to have them here. If you aren’t around when you get up, let them know if you skipped breakfast for them or give them suggestions for local cafes or restaurants.
Don’t try to be the perfect host or hostess, whatever that means. Just create a warm, welcoming environment for your guests and they will feel right at home.