We’re turning our attention to the room that often gets overlooked day-to-day: the guest bed and bath. Chances are, yours has become a temporary storage facility for spare furniture, wrapping supplies, an old stationary bike, or the litter box. But it’s not too late to make yours a fine and comfortable place for your guests to spend a night or a week (let’s hope not more); just follow these tips from Tricia Rose, the linen bedding maven of Rough Linen. Here’s what to do.
1. Clear out the guest bedroom.
Don’t feel overwhelmed if your spare room is cluttered. “Guest bedrooms can feel unloved if they are seldom used and have a special genius for accumulating stray articles—exercise equipment, boxes, and such,” Tricia says. “The first thing you need to do to make it welcoming and comfortable is clear those things away or, at the very least, conceal them. A bedskirt can conceal under-the-bed storage, so that’s a start.” For a room that needs to serve as both storage and guest quarters, a bed with under-bed drawers is a good long-term solution.
2. Make up a comfortable bed (equipped for lounging).
“Make the bed up with fresh linens, and check that the mattress, duvet, and pillows are up to scratch and well-aired,” Tricia says—with none of the mildew or mustiness of an unused room. “Provide bolsters to fill the gap between headboard and mattress so that reading in bed is a pleasure, with good over-the-shoulder lights. I prefer wall-mounted as they are out of the way.”
3. Add layers.
Be prepared for guests’ needs, so they won’t need to ask. “Some guests need a little extra warmth at night, and a throw or one of our Day Blankets over the end of the bed can add a little extra coziness,” Tricia says. “Your guest can throw it ’round their shoulders while they read the riveting selection of books you’ve set out, just for them.”
4. Strike a balance on the nightstand.
Set out water, a fresh glass, and some reading material for the guest. But restrain yourself: “Traditionally the bedside table holds a carafe and glass for water and a tin of cookies,” Tricia says (a tradition we quite like the sounds of). “But who wants to fall asleep with crumbs in their teeth? Isn’t it better if your guests come cheerfully into the kitchen when they are starving? Who knows, maybe they will whip up something delicious! Better to let them know their way around the kitchen, as sous-chef or assistant snack maker,” she advises.
5. Don’t overlook the bath.
Whether your guests have an en suite all to themselves or are sharing one down the hall, stock it as a hotelier might. “A basket of rolled washcloths in the bathroom is a delicious luxury, along with fresh soap and the basics. It doesn’t have to be stocked like a pharmacy,” Tricia says; a small selection of good soaps and lotions is sufficient. Add linen towels (“they always feel fresh and dry quickly; nothing better,” Tricia says) and a Rough Bath Mat. Particularly for guests who are sharing a bath, a robe is a thoughtful touch. “I like to leave fresh towels in both the bathroom and bedroom, just to be sure they are there when needed,” Tricia says—and to spare guests any mad dashes down the hallway.
6. Put yourself in your guests’ shoes.
Lastly, “Remember the old, old advice to sleep in your own guest room to truly know how it feels,” Tricia says. “You might like it more than you think!”
More advice for the bedroom:
- Think Like Arianna Huffington: 3 Simple Tech Storage Habits for a Better Night’s Sleep
- 7 Small Bedroom Ideas to Steal from NYC’s Moxy Hotel
- 10 Easy Pieces: Modern Wood Armoires
N.B.: This post has been updated with new prices; it was first published on Remodelista on December 15, 2017.