The Perfect Guest Room
As the holidays are approaching fast, it's inevitable not to think of the less-pleasant aspects of the season: hectic travel, last-minute shopping, cooking for a demanding crowd (my personal nightmare) and hosting overnight guests. OK, that last one can actually be a wonderful experience, provided you are adequately prepared. Here are a few must-haves for your guest bedroom - even if that “bedroom” is really just the fold-out sleeper sofa in the basement, or a daybed in your study. A happy and content house guest is a joy to have around, and a little can go along way to make someone feel truly welcome.
A quality mattress
Remember the Seinfeld episode where Elaine throws out her back because she has to sleep on the extremely uncomfortable sleeper sofa at Jerry's parents' house? We're not in college anymore, so ditch the futon and invest in a quality mattress or sleeper sofa. It will last for years, and you will not be held accountable for any medical bills.
Extra pillows, blankets and duvets
Nothing is worse than being cold at night. A few years ago, I read a hilarious account of a young socialite's weekend stay at an English country castle. This seemingly romantic getaway became a bit of a nightmare as the castle proved impossible to heat at night. Her room was so cold, the poor girl finally dragged the Persian carpet on top of the bed, in an effort not to freeze. The moral of the story: always keep extra bedding and blankets stashed in a nearby basket or trunk.
A place to recharge
However small the guest space is, make sure there is a small desk or console, complete with pencils, notebook (jot down the wifi password!) and a charging station for the inevitable collection of devices. Don't make your guest crawl on hands and knees around the room looking for that one elusive outlet.
Living out of a suitcase is not ideal, so providing storage is key. If the guest space has no closet and is too small for a dresser or armoire, a few well-placed hooks or a stylish rolling rack can make all the difference. Extra points for providing a folding suitcase bench.
A well-equipped nightstand is not complete without a water carafe and drinking glass. Other than keeping your guest hydrated – and keeping the occasional hangover at bay – these items immediately add a touch of class and luxury.
The personal touch
Nothing says “welcome!” more than a pretty bunch of flowers, and a few thoughtful items to make your guest feel pampered: a tray with travel-size toiletries, a pair of slippers, a few favorite magazines or books, and some delicious late-night snacks. The only downside? Your guest may never leave...