I’ve recently had the pleasure of hosting a number of out of town guests for overnight visits. I would like to think that I was a gracious host and made them feel welcome and appreciated; however, I know that the guest room accommodations were most certainly below par. A blow-up mattress on the floor of my home office is not exactly luxury living! So once again, I got to thinking about home improvement projects. What would it take to create an inviting and comfortable guest room in my house?
At my house, adding a guest room would mean starting a basement remodeling project but many people make space for a guest room in the attic or in an extra bedroom that is sitting unused. If you don’t have the luxury of extra square footage to dedicate solely to the cause, you can make rooms work double-duty by combining functions such as home office and guest room or dressing room and guest room. You want the room to be comfortable and inviting and fairly neutral. A guest room is a place for your friends or family members to hang their hats for a few days.
The Basics: your room will, of course, need a few basics: a bed, night table with an alarm clock, space in a closet or wardrobe with hangers for their clothes and enough space to maneuver a suitcase. If you can, think about putting in an armchair or a small sofa so they can have somewhere to sit when they need a little time to themselves.
Lighting: good lighting is important to people when they are staying in strange surroundings. Do you have a reading light or bedside lamp? Is there enough light in the hallway in case they need to use the restroom during the night? How about a nightlight in the bathroom?
Creature Comforts: hang an extra robe in the closet, place a pair of slippers by the bed and leave extra toiletries and fresh towels for your guests. You could leave a few magazines or favorite books on the bedside table. Leaving a glass and jug of water for them along with some fresh cut flowers is a great way to say “we’re so happy you’ve come to visit.”
Extra Sleeping Space: if you often host friends with children or maybe your own kids come to visit with the grandkids, consider putting in a queen bed and a single or a queen and a large futon if you have enough space.
Ban Your Pets: as a general rule, if you have pets, you may want to keep the guestroom door closed to keep them out in case any of your guests have allergies.
Think about the essentials that you like to have when you’re away from home and use that as a starting point as you create a welcoming guest room in your home. You might also want to spend a few nights in the room, just to be sure that you haven’t forgotten anything. But remember, after all this work, your guest room may be so fantastic that your visitors will never want to leave!
If you would like to build a guest room in your home, talk to your local home improvement contractor or basement remodeling expert.