So you’re having overnight guests for the holiday, are you? What a wonderful opportunity to get to spend time with them! You’ll likely want to make their stay as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. And, with just a little preparation beforehand, you will be able to help your guests feel right at home during their stay. Here are ten ideas to consider in making your own place a home away from home for your guests:
In the guest bedroom itself, or in whatever space your guests will be sleeping, the primary concern is providing them with a clean and comfortable bed. A bed – even if it’s a couch by day and a bed by night – made with fresh linens is an absolute must. You could even go the extra mile and add in a little something special like fresh flowers or a mint on the pillow.
Even after a full day (and a stomach full of tryptophan), some people are simply late-night readers. It’s always a good idea, whenever possible, to have a reading lamp set up and within reach of the bed. Or maybe they’ll use it for sneaking some midnight pie into bed. Whatever it’s used for, overnight guests will be grateful for soft lighting within arm’s reach.
Almost as important as the bed and reading lamp is having a mirror in your guests’ private space. It can be an enormous gilded mirror or a tiny thing hung on a rope; it really doesn’t matter so much the size of the mirror as the fact that it’s there so your guests have the luxury of checking themselves over before they greet the rest of the household.
Don’t forget to have extra pillows at the ready. Even if they’re casually and temporarily tucked under a side table in the guest bedroom, having some spare fluffy pillows around will never be a bad thing. This is convenient both for your regular guests who prefer multiple pillows and for your unexpected, spontaneous overnight guests.
Having a warm throw or a few extra blankets near their bed is something most guests appreciate. Especially as winter approaches and colder weather sets in, keeping some spare blankets around will go far in helping your guests feel at home…and stay warm. Make it obvious that the blankets are there for your guests’ comfort and use (and not strictly décor) by draping them on the bed itself, or piling them high in a nearby chair.
As your overnight guests will be needing to use a bathroom during their stay, you’ll want to make sure that clean towels are provided in the bathroom. If you don’t have a bathroom designated specifically for guests, make sure that the clean towels are folded neatly in the guest bedroom so that your guests don’t have to guess where the towels are or which ones are meant for them.
In addition to providing clean towels, it’s a fine host who has basic toiletries available for guest use. You could stock up on travel size items (think soap, shampoo, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, lotion, etc.) or save the complimentary items from your own recent hotel stays.
It may sound juvenile, but nightlights are an absolute necessity when trying to help your overnight holiday guests feel at home. Nightlights in the guest sleeping quarters, main hallways, guest bathroom, and even kitchen will help your guests be able to maneuver comfortably and safely at night if necessary.
Your guests won’t be spending all their time in their now-comfortable bedroom and bathroom, though, so you’ll want to make sure the rest of your house is ready for them. If you don’t already have a wide selection of books or other reading material on your shelves, consider stopping at a magazine stand, bookstore, or even library to having some reading materials on-hand. Scatter these throughout the house, and your guests will be sure to find something they love.
Don’t forget that it’s Thanksgiving, and, let’s face it, the holiday is largely about food. Have a variety of snacks and munchies in the kitchen, such as fresh fruit in a bowl or granola bars in the pantry. If you’re so inclined, you could even stock up a munchies bowl or two throughout the rest of the house or even in the guest bedroom itself.