Interior design comes into play at Christmas time when overnight guests are a common situation. They are a pleasure to have around and we want to make them feel welcome and comfortable.
Now that the holiday season is upon us, along with all the tasks we normally have on our list, making the guest room presentable is added to the process. At times, it seems as if the holiday season has arrived too soon and we find our guest room in a state of dishevelment. Guest rooms are often the repositories of storage items and a variety of clutter. Now is the time to bring this neglected room up to snuff and make it comfortable for your guests as well as a better functioning space in the home. You never know what charming soul may come to spend a little time with you and your family.
The holiday season can be stressful as well as a time of cheer and joy. At this time of year we do extra baking, buying, cooking, cleaning, planning and present wrapping, not to mention entertaining. When guests come we want the guest room to function well for our visiting friends and relatives. Anticipating potential shortfalls can go a long way to making our guests feel right at home. After all, travel can be fun, but it is also stressful. Guests are often tired after the upset in their routine and a good night’s sleep and a calm sanctuary from a busy household can be very helpful.
Have you ever slept in your own guest room? Would you find it uncomfortable? For instance, when there are members added to the household, where do you hang a wet towel? There may be no room in the bathroom. A towel bar on the back of the guest room door will prevent your guests from having to hang their towels over the furniture. If you don’t want to permanently install a towel bar, a small ladder can be leaned against the wall to hold towels. This is functional, as well as it looks fine, takes up little space, and can be removed when guests have gone home. How comfortable is the bed? If the bed is a relic that has seen better days, perhaps it’s time to add a foam topper or simply buy a better bed. This makes great sense if you have guests a few times a year. If the guest bed is a pull out sofa, there is often an uncomfortable bar across the centre of the mattress. This should be cushioned by a foam topper or a feather bed topper. Be sure, also, that your pillows are up to par. Keep in mind that even the finest down pillows are not suitable for guests with allergies, so you will need to provide an alternative.Your guests deserve the respect of a comfortable bed.
Bedding can be colourful or not, but it should not be worn looking. Crisp white sheets and duvet cover are nice and clean looking, but cheerful prints are charming, and subtle patterns are elegant. Give your guests control over how warm or cool they are by providing a duvet, a quilt, and a throw. Many people have disturbed sleep, especially as they get older. Light coming into the room from outdoor lights should be blocked by draperies or blinds. Blackout linings are extremely effective at keeping the room dark enough for poor sleepers. Well rested guests are more fun to be around. Will your guests be able to read comfortably in their room in the evening? Task lighting should be provided so your guests can apply make-up, read, or write. There should also be a mirror available.
Is there storage set aside for your guests’ belongings? Your guests need room to be able to organize themselves each day. A tall chest of drawers takes up little floor space but can hold a lot. Your own possessions can be temporarily removed for the duration of the visit. They will come to no harm in a clean cardboard box on a basement shelf. Nightstands are also important in a guest room so that your guests have a place to set a book, a watch, jewellry or a clock, their glasses, electronics, water and medications. Even a floating shelf on either side of the bed will help with a little storage and provide a sense of welcome. Even in a small room, it is preferable to provide a chair that is small yet comfortable. If a bit of room is available, it is very nice to have a comfy chair, a small side table, a floor lamp, and a bookcase with reading material. Be sure to refresh the reading material over time, especially if your guests are the same ones every year. Perhaps there is room for an upholstered bench at the foot of the bed.
Fresh flowers or a potted plant show that you have made an effort to make them comfortable. Provide your guests with a sampling of toiletries and a clock. A nice piece of artwork over the bed is a nice touch. It is simply not true that you should be careful not to treat your guests too well or they will overstay their welcome. Some guests will have travelled long distances at considerable expense and inconvenience to visit with us and it is appropriate that they will stay for awhile. Your relationship with them will likely be a good one if you have seen to their needs and made them comfortable and welcome. Enjoy your guests and your holidays and don’t overwork yourself. It’s your holiday, too.