I love this time of year when our minds are shifting to food and decorating for the holidays and getting our guest rooms ready for overnight visitors. One of the best things about being in our business is that we can easily block off the inn for holidays-leaving plenty of rooms for our family and friends when they come to celebrate Christmas with us:) It’s not every home that has 14 bathrooms!
I thought it would be fun to give our readers some tips on how to make your guest room comfortable for over night guests. For years, Byron and I have paid attention to the details when we travel. We have a few pet peeves that we were determined to resolve in all of our guests rooms when we became innkeepers many years ago. Most are simple things and some require a small investment but after all -keeping our family and friends comfortable and happy when they visit is very important!
Invest in good quality mattresses and linen for your guest room
Our daughter April just had a baby and I spent quite a few nights in their guest room when Able came home from the hospital. While all of us were not sleeping too well- 🙁 I realized that their mattress was really hard and I could not get comfortable. A short while after, we were cleaning out our linen storage at the inn and I came across an extra mattress topper and a pretty paisley duvet and insert. Ahhhha- a perfect solution to Nanny and Poppy getting a better night sleep when we visit. I honestly could not believe the difference. If your guest room has an old mattress ( maybe it’s your old one) invest in a Simmons Beauty Rest flat top mattress and add a mattress topper that can be purchased with feather or a fiber alternative for those allergic to feathers. If you have a good mattress but it is rather hard- the fluffy mattress topper which is inexpensive is a great way to soften and freshen up your mattress. We find the Simmons product to be good quality at a reasonable price. (Simmons is not paying us to say that) We can also have our commercial brand mattress toppers delivered to your door in time for the holidays. Just give us a call for details. We call ourselves sheet snobs as we really love our sheets at the inn. Check out a previous blog for details.
Everyone has a different preference for blankets on your bed. We have landed on an all cotton or linen duvet and place an all season insert into that. (I am linking products from Pottery Barn to see the specifics) There is something so soothing about cuddling under a light and warm duvet. You basically have two different options with a duvet. You can use it as your top layer as in this picture or you can add another thin bedspread on top like this. Pottery Barn or West Elm have many beautiful options, and you may also want to check out your local TJ Max and HomeGoods as they have many reasonable and lovely linens to choose from. This is the Paisley version we gave to April. If you prefer blankets there are so many wonderful all cotton or wool options out there. We have my mom’s old twin plaid blankets that I love to add to our twin beds for the boys.
LLBean has some nice ones as well.
If you want to add an extra touch for your guests you can triple sheet your linens. We do this at our inn to insure our guests are always touching fresh laundered and ironed sheets. This silly YouTube shows how to triple sheet your bed perfectly.
It’s also a nice touch to add a comforter, blanket or quilt at the end of the bed. My aunt made us a beautiful quilt that we like to place at the end of our guest room’s bed. Many guests like that extra layer at night and leaving it at the end of the bed gives them some options.
Provide your guest room with good lighting
One of our pet peeves is not to have good lighting when you get into bed for reading. If your room allows- have night stands on both sides which allows room for a lamp, a coaster for that glass of water and room for books, glasses, etc. The picture shown above is our Barnstable room, which did have enough room for large night stands on each side, and it also shows another option of adding wall lighting that can replace the nightstand when needed. We used these wall sconces from Restoration Hardware to be a part of the room decor but they also provide a practical use of having great reading light that is adjustable for our guests. I have purchased quite a bit of reading and decorating lamps form Restoration Hardware-their look and function always meets our needs.
The night stands, lamps and chandelier from Ballard transformed the decor and function in our Dennis room shown above. These night stands have a wonderful pull our shelf and plenty of storage underneath.
Now that you have the most important part for your guests- a comfortable bed, have fun with the little details highlighted below.
Have fun with the amenities
Purchase some fun hand creams, bubble bath and soaps and leave them in a basket in your bath. It’s fun to pick up some locally made artisan soaps as well.
Remember the essentials
Have your bathroom stocked with fresh towels, hand cloths and bathmats. Remember to also provide some new toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoos and conditioners and soaps. Just about all of us need to recharge our devices at night. Have an electrical outlet handy or if it’s behind the bed add an extension cord for your guests to easily plug in. We love our Cubie Time devices that we have at the inn which not only serves as an alarm clock but also has outlets to plug in your phones. Last but not least have an inexpensive hair dryer in your guest room bath along with some disposable razors and shaving cream. During your visit to the Freeman check out our small gift shop as we have so many great items for your guests room including soaps, sprays and shaving soaps.
Freshen your linen
If your guest room has not been used for a few months, rewash your sheets to ensure they are fresh. Spritz the sheets and towels with a fresh scent such as our Lavender Grapefruit Room Spritzers (the next blog will be about how to make your own)
If you have room in your guest room- think about providing a luggage rack and a small chest for guests to put away their cloths. We also love benches, both wood and upholstered, and have added them to many of our rooms at the foot of the bed. It can be used for luggage or is also handy to sit on while putting on your shoes.
During a recent visit to our daughter’s home in Dallas, I was touched when she purchased a beautiful live orchid and placed it on a side table for us to enjoy. It was even more special when I learned that our grandsons had helped pick out the perfect plant. You may also want to place fresh cut flowers in a pretty vase to welcome your guests.
We adore chocolate at the inn and welcome each of our guests with a box of truffles from our treasured Brewster Sweets. Check out your local chocolater and leave a surprise on your guest room bed.
Many of us keep our house cold in the winter but sometimes when our elderly guests come to visit they like a nice warm room. One option is an electric blanket or consider an inexpensive electric heater for your guest room. It’s always a nice option and makes your guests feel like their warmer needs will not upset the rest of the household.
I think most of us are trying to drink more water to stay healthy. Our daughter left us a beautiful carafe of water with two glasses on a pretty tray. It was so appreciated and such a nice way to say we want you to be comfortable in our home.
Leave room in your closet with hangers
This one just makes me smile as we all use our guest room closet for added space. Make sure you leave a little room for your guests to hang up their clothes. It’s also a nice touch to add old fashion wooden hangers complete with two bathrobes and slippers.
This is Segment 1 of our blog of how to bring the Bed and Breakfast to your home.
Once home from our family vacation in Texas and Wyoming I will be adding:
Segment 2- How to make our popular Lavender Grapefruit Spritzers for your home and guest room
Segment 3- Recipes for the holidays including some of our favorite holiday breakfasts and dinners – Fillet of Beef, Lasagna, Nanna’s Brisket and gravy, April’s EggNog Cinnamon Rolls and our famous Creme Brullee French Toast. Many of these recipes are perfect when family visits as you can make it ahead and store in the freezer.
Segment 4- Our favorite holiday cookies
I am so ready for the holidays. We have a special wedding at the inn the first weekend in December and will have the entire inn decked out for the holidays right after Thanksgiving.
Wishing everyone a restful Veterans Day filled with family, love and health.