Company Is Coming

Company Is Coming

Photo courtesy of Louise Townsend

I love the holidays. I love gathering with my family and friends, cooking up huge feasts, throwing parties, and – my favorite – hosting overnight guests in my home. I look forward to the time spent with my overnight guests. From big breakfasts in our pajamas to a glass of wine by the fire in the evening.

When I host overnight guests their comfort is my priority; I want them to feel like they’re staying at a luxury hotel where no detail has been overlooked. And this starts with making sure the guest bedroom and bath are in good shape.

If you’re considering extending an overnight invitation but aren’t sure if you’re prepared then I’d encourage you to spend a night or two as a guest in your own guest spaces. Approach it as you would a hotel room and ask yourself: How comfortable is the mattress? Is the lighting good? Is there adequate hanging and drawer space? Are the bath towels fluffy? In other words, are the spaces they’ll be occupying in good shape.

So, with holiday season just around the corner the time is perfect to take inventory of your guest spaces. Below are my guidelines for well appointed guest spaces.

The Guest Room

There is nothing better than a luxuriously comfortable bed. A good mattress, fluffy pillows, crisp sheets, and a perfect duvet or comforter are all so appealing. Particularly at the end of a day of travel.

The bed

  • A comfortable bed – A good mattress is always appreciated. And do spend a night or two on this mattress. If it’s not comfortable for you it won’t be for your guest either.
  • A mattress pad – Please don’t forget the mattress pad. I can’t stress the importance of this item. It will provide a level of protection for your mattress and an added level of comfort for your guest.
  • Good linens – If they are dingy, stained, or showing signs of wear now is the time to replace them
  • Good pillows – Both down and down alternative (for those allergic to down). And using a pillow protector between the pillow and pillow case will extend the life of your pillows
  • Duvet or comforter – Of appropriate weight for the time of year and temperature.
  • Extra blankets or throws – Allows your guests to adjust the bed to their personal sleep preferences

The space

  • Night stands – As large as your space will allow. At minimum night stands should be large enough to hold a glass of water, a book, and a pair of glasses. If your space is limited something as small as a chair or a garden stool will ensure your guest won’t need to place their bedside items on the floor.
  • Lighting – Good bedside lighting is a must, especially for those who read in bed. And good general lighting in the space is welcomed as well.
  • A chair – there is nothing like a comfortable chair in a bedroom to serve as a place to sit and read a book or put on your shoes. If your space is limited a small chair or stool will still be appreciated.
  • Closet and drawer space – Now is a great time to declutter closets and drawers. Consider donating items you no long want.
  • Window treatments – At minimum there should be blinds on the windows for the privacy of your guests. If your guest is a light sleeper or has travel across multiple time zones blackout shades with lined drapery will be most appreciated.

Below are a few ideas for updating your guest room.

1. | 2. | 3. | 4. | 5. | 6.


The Guest Bath

Much like the guest bedroom a guest bath that is fresh, clean, and in good working order will make your guest feel pampered.

The foundations

  • Shower curtain liner – If your shower curtain liner has become discolored, mildewed, or is covered with soap and hard water film now is the time to replace it.
  • Towels – If they’re stained, faded, threadbare, or have developed an unpleasant smell considering investing in new towels. There’s nothing like a fresh, fluffy towel after a good hot bath or shower. And don’t forget the bath mat.
  • Bathroom rug – It’s a nice to have a bit of softness under foot while at the sink and keeps feet from getting cold on chilly mornings.

The space

  • Towel bars – A nice long towel bar, conveniently located near the tub or shower is ideal. If space is limited two shorter towel bars, hung one over the other is a good solution. And at least one small towel bar or ring near the sink is helpful. Robe hooks are also essential to help your guests keep their robes and pajamas off of the floor
  • Shower caddy – If your shower or bath doesn’t have a built-in shampoo shelf a simple shower caddy that hangs from the shower head provides a convenient place for your guest to keep their shampoo, conditioner, etc.
  • Counter top – On the countertop I like to have a hand soap dispenser, a lotion dispenser, and cotton ball and Q-tip holders.
  • Storage space – If drawer or medicine cabinet space is limited consider adding a shelf near the sink or over the toilet for your guest’s convenience.

Below are a few ideas for updating your guest bath

1. | 2. | 3. | 4. | 5.

If your looking for a bit of inspiration for your guest spaces the photos below should get you going in the right direction.

Courtesy of Stamps and Stamps


Courtesy of Stamps and Stamps


Photo courtesy of Karyn Millet | Design: Tobi Tobin


Courtesy of Terri Ricci | Photo William Waldron