As part of our (quickly: next week) upcoming move into a renovated 1930's bungalow, we’ve given thought to the guest room. Doing so, my mind has wandered back to the dozens of guest rooms I myself have inhabited over the years, the most stylish and accommodating sticking out in my mind long after the sheets have been laundered, the pillows fluffed, and vases refilled.
Here is a look at some components that make your spare space the best for your guest:
GET THE BED AND BEDDING RIGHT. Not only do you want comfortable sheets and plenty of pillows for those guests who like to prop up with a book before lights out, you want to pay attention to the size and style of the bed. Of course the furniture needs to first of all fit the space it fills, but also consider who your likely guests are. Married couples who will take up one bed? Friends who would be comfortable in side-by-side twins? Do infant visitors need a bassinet or porta-crib? When we bought our full-size guest bed, we had in mind my five tall Texan brothers, who need length—so we went with a bed with a low foot board. Don’t forget to add a quilt or throw for those cool-blooded sleepers.
PROVIDE A WRITING DESK. Whether guests will seriously sit down to some laptop work or merely want a place to conveniently place their vacation reads, a writing desk is a classic element of making guests comfortable. The piece can even be a simple flea market table with a second-hand chair.
GIVE THEM THEIR OWN BATHROOM. If possible. Include a stack of towels and washcloths, and a small basket of travel-sized guest items to take as needed, such as:
shampoo and conditioner
basic first aid
emergency sewing kit
PROVIDE THE PERKS. The rooms I remember staying in the most provided some perks beyond the loveliest of basic comforts. A TV lets guest unwind in privacy or occupy themselves or children if they rise naturally before your household. Pay attention to the pillows and throws. Add a small vase of flowers, a carafe with water, writing materials. A small stack of novels. An area guidebook, a pack of cards. A stack of games and books for children travelers. And perhaps best of all, a grandiose breakfast with coffee or tea and your pleasant company, awaiting.