Prepare for your Holiday Sleep-over / by Paula Henry

As you might imagine, I spend most of my time in other people’s homes and I have seen many guest rooms become “catch all” rooms.  It happens gradually but before you know it, the day comes when you open that door and realize that you are a victim of “catch all creep.” 

In the last half year, I have been working on three guest bedroom design projects and can’t help wondering if the prospect of having holiday company was the driving force to getting these rooms up to snuff.   I always enjoy the beginning of the design process because it helps me understand how a client wants a space to look and, just as important, how it should function and feel.  Guest bedrooms are one of those rooms that often do double duty, and not just for extra storage.  Many folks use their guest bedrooms as TV/reading rooms or home offices.

For many of us, jolly old St. Nick isn’t the only holiday guest we will be hosting.  This means, it is time to clear the clutter so guests can actually sleep in the guest bedroom.  If you are thinking about a complete newly designed guest bedroom for this holiday season, you are a little too late.  Advice…start your planning at least six months in advance and be ready for 2017.  In the meanwhile, here are some tips to help you make your guests feel at home this holiday season.

  • Allow guests access to the bed!  Clear the clutter.  Make a quick sweep of the room with a trash and donation bag on the ready.  Chances are, you have forgotten about a lot of what you are clearing out.  Have some storage bins ready for the rest.
  • Make the bed inviting.  Make the bed with fresh sheets, blankets and a nice duvet or comforter.  A few accent pillows also help freshen things up.
  • Give them a place to put their stuff.  It is nice not to have to live out of a suitcase.  Clear out a couple of drawers and leave some space in the closet with empty hangers.
  • Add some other touches.  Out-of-towners appreciate a local magazine or travel book.  An alarm clock is always nice as are bedside lamps.

Leave fresh towels and toiletries.  For a spa-like feel, roll up some fresh towels and leave them in a decorative basket or container in the room.  A basket of small toiletries in the bathroom is a thoughtful touch and helpful in case someone forgot something. 

Make guests feel special and at home.   Everyone enjoys fresh flowers so prepare a little vase for the bedside table or dresser.  Draw from winter’s bounty and include some fresh greens and berries.  Leave a personal, handwritten notecard letting guests know how happy you are to share your home with them. 

During the holidays, Dennis and I tend to go from an empty nest to one that is quite full…full of family, friends and love.  From our home to yours, here’s to a beautiful holiday season.