As many ponder the possibility of hosting perhaps one or two family members for the holiday season, creating an inviting guest room may be top of mind. Guest bedrooms in many homes are discarded spaces. Sometimes they are clutter-filled and only cleared just hours before a guest arrives. Other guest bedrooms are left dark and empty, a shrine to the guest who shows up once or twice a year. Guest bedrooms should be treated as an opportunity to welcome your guests in style. Here are 10 tips to enhance the guest bedroom experience for your guests:
1. Create a welcome basket. Welcome baskets are a staple at events such as weddings and large family gatherings; why not create one for your guests? A welcome basket can include the basics, such as rolled towels and bottled water, or can be enhanced with a special personalized gift.
2. Add books. Books are a wonderful addition to any guest bedroom. From novels to tourist guides to gorgeous magazines, reading material can be a welcome diversion for your guests.
3. Think fresh and fragrant. Who doesn't love fresh flowers? Fresh flowers say you took the time to add a special touch to welcome your guest.
4. Provide basics. Sometimes guests forget to bring the basics, such as soap, toothpaste or even a toothbrush. Having these basics on hand could be a welcome surprise for your guests.
5. Classic colors. Even though it is your home, it is best to stay away from personalized colors. When designing a guest bedroom, it is best to stick with classic colors such as white, blue, yellow and green.
6. Sumptuous linens. For many guests, staying at your home is in lieu of a hotel, so why not make your guest feel like your home is like a boutique hotel? There is nothing better on a bed than sumptuous linens.
7. Local touches. Coming to your home may be a vacation for your guests. They may even want to learn more about your area, and take in some of the local sights and flavors. So add some local touches to your guest bedroom. For example, if your area is known for local jam or maple syrup, include these in the welcome basket.
8. Provide privacy. Tired and weary, some guests will welcome the opportunity to have some alone time. If possible, create your guest room in an area that provides privacy and ideally has its own bathroom.
9. Change it up. Before your guest bedroom gets old and dusty, keep it fresh and current by changing it up every so often, whether with pillows, artwork or bedding.
10. Clear the clutter. In an ideal situation, the guest bedroom should not be your catchall room. Clear the clutter, and help make your guest feel like it is their space, even if just for a little while.
Cathy Hobbs, based in New York City, is a TV host and interior design and home staging expert.