‘Tis the season for hosting out-of-towners in our homes during the holidays—but because of COVID-19 quarantine restrictions, guests who choose to travel might need to stay for at least 14 days. Whether you’re hosting guests for two weeks or two months (say, if Mom and Dad decide to come and stay for the full holiday season), making them feel comfortable and accommodated inside your home is key. “I always suggest spending a night in your guest bedroom to determine what works and what might need some sprucing,” interior designer Meg Lonergan says.
Fortunately, with the right items and proper planning, creating a guest room that makes your loved ones feel right at a home is a breeze. “Ask your guests ahead of time what comforts they like in their home and bedroom, and then try to provide them with the same,” says Emily Spanos of Emily June Designs. “Be flexible and gracious. It’s a privilege to host people in your home.” Curious what other elements are essential in a welcoming, long-term guest bedroom? We asked Lonergan, Spanos, designer Lauren Ramirez, and Nell Diamond, the CEO and Founder of Hill House Home, to share their advice.
Dress the bed in quality linens—and keep extra bedding handy.
No matter how long your guests will be visiting, Lonergan says crisp and cozy bed linens are a must. “This is a wonderful opportunity to splurge on sheets that won’t be ruined by everyday wear, and everyone loves having a soft place to land at the end of a long day,” she says. Looking for a great set that’ll please any visitor? You can’t go wrong with Brooklinen’s Core Sheet Set (from $109, brooklinen.com). “When guests are staying longer than one or two nights, I also like to keep additional blankets, duvets, and pillows in the closet in case they sleep cold.”
Diamond agrees, adding that luxury bedding—especially a set that makes your life easier—is a must. She suggests adding a coverlet, like the Dream Matelasse Coverlet ($200, hillhousehome.com), layered with a duvet, such as the classic, goes-with-everything Savile Duvet Cover (from $200, hillhousehome.com), into the mix. “Coverlets are especially great for guests because they provide optimal layering options—everyone has a different temperature preference overnight, so it’s great to have options,” she says. “And this way no one will be tinkering with your thermostat!”
Provide plenty of storage space.
If your guest will be staying more than a couple of nights, Ramirez says carving out plenty of storage space in their bedroom is essential. “Clean out a few drawers in the dresser for their folded items, and create space in the closet for hanging items,” she advises. Additionally, Spanos suggests adding a laundry basket or hamper in the room, so they can have a place to put their dirty towels and clothes. “Whether you do the laundry or they do, it’s nice to have a place to toss your clothes at the end of the day,” she explains.
Create a designated workstation.
Lonergan says no long-term guest room would be complete without a designated workspace, especially if you have young children in your home. “Carve out an office area in the corner of the guest bedroom where your guest can work in peace,” she says. “Be sure to include an assortment of chargers for phones, laptops, and other electronics.” Also, Ramirez recommends keeping a card that explains everything about the room’s technology, such as Wi-Fi passwords and instructions for the remote control, near the guest bedroom workstation. “Just in case they need access while you’re away,” she explains.
Offer customizable accents.
To ensure your houseguests truly feel comfortable and at home inside your guest room, Ramirez suggests providing them with ways to customize the space to their liking. “An adjustable reading light, overhead light with dimmer, and a fan with variable controls or access to their own zone of the air conditioner are all things that allow them to adjust the guest bedroom to fit their personal preferences,” she explains.
Mind the details.
If you are looking to go above and beyond for a long-term guest, mind the details, notes Diamond, who recommends leaving something luxurious and cozy—like a comfortable Nap Dress (from $75, hillhousehome.com) or a hotel-inspired robe ($100, hillhousehome.com) for them to sleep or lounge in—in their closet. “It really elevates the guest experience and is such a nice touch,” she explains. Lonergan agrees, saying, “Add fresh flowers and a carafe (for drinking water) to the bedside table, stock a basket or closet with hats and sunscreen for neighborhood strolls, and stock up on magazines your guests can flip through as they lounge in bed,” she explains; COVID-19 essentials, like masks and sanitizer, are important, too. “It’s thoughtful additions like these that are powerful enough to make anyone feel at home, no matter how long they plan to stay.”
Courtesy of Caroline Biggs with www.marthastewart.com