Making guests feel special

by Lesley on April 22, 2013 · 6 comments

in remodeling/home projects

guest room 1

We live in a small three bedroom home built a long time ago when rooms were tiny and closets were tiny and people were tinier. (Honestly, I’m convinced they were!) That being said, it takes some creativity to make our home work for us. As much as I’d love a king bed, it literally wouldn’t fit in our bedroom along with the rest of our furniture. We’ve stuck with a queen and will look forward to upgrading someday.

Later this year we’re making room for another human in our nest. We could put him in our third bedroom but I like the idea of having a space for guests. Plus, my brother and I shared a room when we were little and I think there’s something special about siblings sharing a room. We plan to purchase an Ikea crib for baby boy (they’re a little smaller than normal but use the same size crib mattress), and I’ll have to continue to be careful about how many toys accumulate in our house. I’m a big fan of backyard toys simply so I don’t have to look at them all over my living room.

Our third room is currently an office/guest room. We don’t have guests often enough for me to let that valuable space go unused on a day-to-day basis, but, I like that our families and friends can still feel welcome here even though it’s not a dedicated guest room. We’ve never given this room much time or money…in fact…all the artwork on the wall was free besides the thrift store frames, and most of the furniture was bought second-hand or given to us, including our futon. All our guests say they like our futon but I still feel a little guilty it’s not an actual bed. (Let’s be real: I can tell you my favorite homes to visit because of their amazing mattresses and sheets.)

I’ve been brainstorming ways to make our “guest room” more inviting for visitors. This Real Simple article got me motivated. I’d love to get our baseboards installed, purchase new artwork, and buy proper window coverings but I have a feeling none of these changes would make a huge difference for guests. It seems like little things are what people notice most.

A few things I already try to do for guests: leave a basket of mini toiletries; have tissues, water and reading items readily accessible; tidy the room; provide a mirror and open outlets; make sure there’s enough warm bedding and pillow options.

A few things I’d like to start doing: provide a luggage rack; leave guests a handwritten note; purchase a noise machine and rug; leave a spare key in plain sight and a notecard with our home’s wifi information and alarm code.

What is your favorite way to make guests feel at home when they visit? Have you ever stayed somewhere that did an incredible job welcoming you?

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6 comments
Bree
Bree

I love this because we're just working on this whole process right now with our new house. I made a $3 chalkboard sign that hangs with twine that I change when guests come because I stayed in a house with one that had my name on it and felt really loved. I also leave toiletries, shampoo, conditioner and really yummy smelling body wash in the bathroom, an extra blanket and some hangers in the closet. :) We definitely want to protect our guest space as long as we can when we have kids.

Joel
Joel

I’m pretty disappointed with my room, it was never that organized! But I always treat my guest special. In terms of guest room, I think we have something in common especially about the tissues, reading materials, the bedding and pillow options.

Tim
Tim

I know I told you this already, but here's how I make houseguests feel welcome: "There's food in the fridge, the bathroom's down the hall, and the car keys are on the counter." For houseguests too young to drive, I have a post tomorrow on a recent weekend of events. Cheers, Tim

Elizabeth Kane
Elizabeth Kane

Yes! I've started the extra toiletry stash (when I leave a hotel a few of them come with me). Also soft sheets and fluffy pillows are my highest priority when guests come over. I'm with you - I can name the places I like best because of the bedding, too. :)

Ashlee
Ashlee

When we took a road trip to Seattle a couple years ago, we stayed with Brett's best friend and they stocked their fridge with Go Girls for me!

Katie
Katie

Katelyn has always done a wonderful job, she had a guest basket in the room with different items. When we visited Lisa, she had a welcome sign for us and FULLY stocked and organized fridge. We were amazed! haha I am looking forward to having a guest room for you FOUR to come stay in... I promise it will be worth making the trek across the country for! Promise!