7 Ways To Turn Your Spare Room Into A Relaxing Retreat for Guests

Take Charge on 05.27.12
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Photo: Jeff Marquis/Creative Commons

Whether now -- for the holiday weekend -- or later this summer, there's a good chance that at some point you'll probably entertain overnight guests. As the host, you want to make sure they have all the comforts of home, making their stay a memorable one. Here are some easy and inexpensive ways to do just that.

1. Think like a hotel. What items do you frequently forget when you are traveling? Use that list to stock the room with toiletries such as a disposable razor, shaving cream, lotions, shampoos, conditioners, toothpaste, and toothbrushes. You can put the items in an old vase or basket, use a hanging shoe organizer, or make individual welcome kits.

2. Offer extra blankets. Make sure there is always an extra supply of pillows, sheets, and towels available for your guests. You might want to reserve some just for this purpose so you don't end up having to do laundry when your guests arrive. (The infrequent use will keep them looking new.)

3. Add lighting. A small flashlight on the bedside table or a pretty nightlight (not your toddler's leftover) will ensure your guests can get around their room and the house without having to turn on too many lights. I also love candles as they add great scent and a warm, welcoming glow.

4. Think outside the bed. Some people use the bed that their child had in the room, but if you would like to change it up a bit, invest in a pull out couch. This will give your space a "family room" feel when you have guests and just more space to relax when you don't.

5. Stock the bathroom. Make sure the bathroom is fully stocked with paper or guest towels, air freshener and cleanup cloths. That will let your guests know you thought of them and their comfort beyond the bedroom.

6. Leave the channel guide. If your guest room happens to come equipped with a TV for guests, make sure you leave a cable guide for them. It is a small but unique touch so that people from out of town don't have to feel like intruders trying to find their favorite shows.

7. Add finishing touches. A few personal touches really show you care. How about adding a fluffy bathrobe or books and magazines about local culture and events? Fresh flowers also spruce up a space and let your guests know how welcomed they are. If you have bare floors, an area rug will pull the room together nicely, but also keep your guests from having cold feet. You might also want to get one for the bathroom.

These are just a few ideas for making your empty nest nice for your guests. Add a few pictures of your family or use some of those cute ashtrays and self-portraits your kids brought home from art class. They make interesting conversation pieces and also let your child know how much you still cherish having reminders of them. Enjoy your new space and your guests!

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