15 of the Best Ways to Make Houseguests Feel at Home
Many homeowners in North and South Dakota contact us in urgent need of smart sleeping or storage solutions for the guest room. Hospitality is one thing upper Midwesterners pride themselves on, so we have spent lots of time thinking about creative solutions to make hosting guests fun and easy. To start, we recommend custom closet organization, which is crucial for small spaces. The goal is always to create the most usable space possible for your guests to enjoy during their stay. Consider the following tips to help make your houseguests feel even more at home:
1. Clean the House
Many homeowners are not aware of their guests’ pet or pollen allergies before they arrive. Dust immediately before your guests’ arrival and vacuum thoroughly using a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. These filters help clear 99.7% of small particles in the home for a clean feeling you – and your guests – will be able to feel.
2. Clear the Cabinets
If there are cabinets in your guests’ sleeping space, clear them out and provide a few clothes hangers. Invite your guests to unpack and hang their clothing to help shake out any wrinkles caused by travel. Giving your guests their own space will help them feel comfortable, especially during long visits.
3. Privacy Screens
Ideally, your guests would have a room all to themselves. Unfortunately, this is not possible with every home. If your “guest room” is part of an open area, such as the living room or your personal home office, set up a privacy screen to help designate which space is public versus which is available for your guests to use. If you have many people over, this will also prevent other houseguests from intruding into each other’s space.
4. Upgrade the Sleeping Space
Think about where your guests will sleep during their stay. Do you have sleeping bags for the kids? Maybe a fold-out sofa with a lumpy mattress? Consider upgrading to a Murphy-style wall bed. This is a convenient way to offer your guests a comfortable night’s sleep on a mattress that is never folded. When your guests go home, you can fold the bed back up into the wall. Wall beds fit into any room of the home and are cleverly disguised as cabinets, which keeps your home looking nice.
5. Offer Several Pillows
Some people prefer soft pillows and some prefer a firm feeling as they fall asleep at night. If possible, find out what your guests prefer before they arrive. If you are unsure, provide both a soft and firm pillow for each person so they can choose what they prefer upon arrival. This will help your guests sleep comfortably and awake fresh in the morning.
6. Keep Blankets Accessible
Your guests may be used to a different sleeping temperature than the one set in your home. Make sure your guests know where the blankets are located and instruct them about proper use of the ceiling fan, if you have one. This will give them more control over the environment during their stay.
7. Clear the Clutter
Piles of papers can make guests feel uneasy. Be sure the space you have reserved for your guests is truly theirs to use – free from knick-knacks and junk that may make them hesitant to unpack.
8. Welcoming Lighting
If your guests have an early or late flight, be sure to turn a light on in their room to greet them when they arrive. Offer a small, battery-operated reading light that clips onto the bed or the cover of a book so your guests can wind down at the end of the day. This is especially important for couples traveling together. One person might be ready for bed immediately upon arrival, while the other needs to wind down gradually.
9. Reading Materials
Offer guests a few choices for reading material before bed. Include magazines tailored to your guests’ interests, fiction novels, classics, or even a book of art. If your guests are traveling with children, include a few age-appropriate bedtime stories with pictures.
10. Fresh Flowers
Show your guests that you are excited to have them by adding a vase of fresh flowers to their room. This is a thoughtful touch that will help greet your guests when they first arrive and make them feel welcome throughout their stay. You can even customize this with your guests’ favorite flowers or hypoallergenic choices for guests with pollen allergies.
11. Robe & Slippers
Offer your guests a clean robe and a pair of slippers to make moving around the house easier. This will help your guests as they navigate to and from the bathroom or even out to the kitchen in the morning for breakfast. Most people do not have room in a suitcase to bring their own robe and slippers, so it is essential to offer something when your guests arrive.
12. Travel-Size Toiletries
Get your own travel-size toiletries from the grocery store or stock up on hotel reserves during your next vacation. Place these in a conspicuous spot in the bathroom and make sure your guests know that these are available for their use. Include a disposable razor, fresh toothbrushes, and tiny soaps (one for facial cleansing and one for the shower) so your guests feel clean and ready to tackle each day.
13. Fresh Towels
Make sure towels are freshly laundered and folded for your guests. Stack a bath towel, hand towel and washcloth together for each person so that they know that these towels are for their use, and provide enough hooks to hang towels after use to prevent laundry from falling to the floor. If possible, offer each guest a different color set of towels to help identify which belong to each person.
14. Plan Entertainment
Don’t let your guests get bored! Plan one major event for each day, like a trip to the museum, a shopping excursion or an afternoon by the pool. Have a few backup plans in mind in case you finish sooner than expected. Be sure to leave some extra time in the schedule for meals and exploring the area. Remember: your guests are on vacation! While you can recommend activities, the day’s events should be based on your guests’ preference and energy levels.
15. Be Clear About the Schedule
Let your guests know when breakfast will be ready in the morning and help them plan for the day’s activities. This will help your guests set their alarms and get ready for each new adventure. This is also a great way for everyone to coordinate time in the bathroom. There is nothing worse than expecting a morning shower only to find that someone else has already claimed it.
Are you ready to give your guests a comfortable home away from home? Contact our custom closet designers today and learn more about creating a luxurious guest room you can enjoy year-round.