The Red House 24 Days of Christmas - Day Ten: Preparing for Guests Over the Holiday Season

With the holiday season fast approaching I've been thinking about getting my guest room all spic and span! My partner's mother is staying with us over the Christmas period so I want to make sure it's looking lovely and is a comfortable space for her to make herself at home.

Our guest room also doubles as my office, so it is not ready to go as a guest room all of the time. With that in mind I aim to make the room comfortable for guests so they feel they are staying in our guest room rather than crashing my office. I think there a few basic elements that help make a guest feel relaxed and welcome in your home, whatever your set up.

Whether you have a fully set up guest room or a sofa bed in the living area, the following are must haves for having a comfortable and happy guest:

Fresh Ready Made Linens

Nothing welcomes a guest more than a freshly made bed with luxuriously clean sheets. If you keep your guest bed made up it's always worth airing it out a bit and remaking it so it's tidy and put together. If your guest is sleeping on a pull out sofa and you're not able to make up the bed in advance, its nice to have the sheets already to go, with the pillows in the pillow cases, so that when it's bed time the bed can be put together quickly. Wherever your guests are sleeping, a spare blanket is always a nice addition especially in Winter months.

Clean Towels, Toiletries & Mirror

Make your guests feel at home by having everything they might need close to hand. Most people will bring this stuff with them, but it always helps to keep it handy in case they forget and don't want to bother you. I always provide fresh towels, face cloths and some basic toiletries for my guest. I often leave them in the guest room so that they know they are there for them to use, but you can always leave them in the bathroom and let them know they are there. Finally access to a mirror is always handy, if you have one in your bathroom that will do. I normally clear my desk items away and turn my desk into a little vanity area for guests to make it feel more like a guest room than study.

Storage Space

Wherever your guest is staying in your house they need to have somewhere to put all their things. The last thing you want to do is make your guest feel like they're in the way because everyone keeps tripping over their bag.

If your guest is staying on a sofa or in a communal area, arrange somewhere in advance that they can put their belongings during the day for example clear a space in your hall cupboard or a space in your bedroom. Let them know when they arrive that this is the space for them to store their belongings.

If you have a guest bedroom, make sure to show your guests to their room when they arrive so they can settle in. Let them know what storage space in the room is available to them while they are here.

Hanging Space

Guests will often have clothes they wish to hang up, especially if they are visiting for the holidays.You can provide hanging space in many different ways from a wardrobe just for guests, making some space in an existing closet, some hooks on the back of the bedroom door or a clothes rack. Your guest will really appreciate this, especially if they have a suit or gorgeous party dress that needs hanging. If you have a spare robe you could leave this in the hanging space for your guests to use - we provide some robes we picked up at a spa a while ago.

Water Glass and Water

Having water by a bedside is always handy, especially with all the food and drinks that come with the holiday period. A nice way to do this is to provide a class with a bottle of water for each night your guest is staying. That way they don't need to go hunting for a glass during the night.

Wifi Password

The Wifi Password is a must for most of our guests. I found this idea on a blog a few years ago (and annoyingly I can't remember who it was), but adding a little card to your guest room with the relevant details makes it easily accessible without your guest having to bother you or you having to hunt for it. I also have one of these cards printed to keep in my living area, so I can let all our day guests have it if they want it too.

Finishing Touches

Finally a few finishing touches such as an air freshener and some fresh flowers can really make a guest feel welcomed and they will notice the effort you have gone to, to have them stay in your home.

I would love to have a full time guest room one day, but I think it is definately possible to make a beautiful space for a guest whatever your set up is. If you're organised and make the effort to make the space feel welcoming, any guest will feel comfortable wherever they are staying. Have you got guests over the holidays this year? How are you preparing for their stay?
Speak soon x

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