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A Room That Says ‘Welcome’
By Tracy Dickinson
STYLE TRENDS October/November 2018
home :: home & garden :: style trends

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A Room That Says ‘Welcome’

Simple ways to create a restful space for guests.

After a summer full of outdoor projects and activities, the prospect of curling up inside can be pretty appealing. But fall is also the perfect time for a little indoor project that will make your home even more appealing when the holiday season arrives along with guests.

Whether or not you have a dedicated guest room, offering family and friends a comfortable place to stay is an easy way to make them feel welcome.

The bedroom

A bedroom reserved for guests, with a separate bath, is ideal but not an option for every family. If you’d like to host guests but don’t have the luxury of offering a formal guest room, consider adapting an existing space.

  • Multipurpose rooms. An office or craft room can serve as a space for guests with just a few changes. Even a lower-level family room can serve as guest quarters with the right adaptations and accessories.
  • Multipurpose furnishings.
    If you’re redoing an office or other separate room, opt for a smaller bed—a futon or a fold-out couch—that won’t overwhelm the room. This allows the space to function well when not in use as a guest room and still offers your guests privacy. This is a good option in a family room, too, since the couch serves a purpose for both family and guests.
  • Minimize furnishings.
    Don’t overfill the space with furniture. Tables, chairs, and bookshelves are all wonderful, but a cramped room is never comfortable.
  • Quality bedding.
    Providing luxurious bedding, extra pillows, and light blankets for layering goes a long way to making your guests feel at home.
  • Restful colors.
    Save the bold touches for elsewhere in your home. Opt for neutrals and restful colors in the guest room. Think relaxation, beachy hues, or muted shades of gray and taupe.
  • Closet space.
    Reserve some closet space just for guests. This is especially important in a multipurpose room. Offering space and hangers for clothes gives your guests a spot to unpack so they don’t have to live out of a suitcase for the entire visit.

The bathroom

If you have a separate bath for your guest room, you can easily add personal touches and a private space for visitors. But even a shared bath can be adapted for guests.

  • Guest towels.
    Placing a supply of fresh towels in the guest room not only extends the welcome to your visitors, it allows them to avoid having to search through closets and cupboards for the necessary supplies.
  • Toiletries.
    Even the most well-prepared guest enjoys a sampling of new personal products. Include small containers of shampoo, toothpaste, lotion, deodorant, and body wash, even unexpected items like nail clippers and cotton swabs.
  • A personal note.
    Leaving an individual message lets your guests know you’re happy to have them share your home. You can also make note of special instructions to make their stay more enjoyable, like “Allow a minute or two for shower water to reach full temperature” or “Please close the door when you leave so Fido doesn’t eat the toothpaste.”

Special touches

A bed and a bath are all anyone needs for a basic guest room. But it’s the little touches that make a visit memorable.

  • Reading light.
    Even the smallest space can include a reading light attached to the headboard or mounted on the wall beside the bed.
  • Light reading.
    A selection of magazines or a small shelf of books gives your guests something to read at bedtime or while relaxing throughout their visit.
  • House key.
    If your guests will be coming and going on their own, consider leaving a fun key chain with a key to the front door or a nice note card with the code for the garage.
  • Charging station.
    Although most visitors will travel with the necessary charging cords and equipment, providing a charging station for multiple electronic devices is especially helpful in a small space or one with limited outlets.
  • Personal touches.
    Offering a neutral, relaxing space doesn’t mean eliminating all personality. Adding a few individual touches makes the space special and gives your guests a personal welcome. Opt for art that reflects your hometown, your interests, or your family history.
  • Welcome basket.
    Even the closest friends sometimes feel uncomfortable making themselves at home in your kitchen. Place a welcome basket in their room with bottled water, snacks, mints, even maps or brochures for local sights.

Opening your home to guests is a welcoming gesture on its own. Taking a little time to create a truly restful space for their visit lets them know how very welcome they are.


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