This week’s summer spotlight is Home Style… Let’s review The Pack Rat’s Guide To Create a Guest Room on the fly
In this life, most of us manage to pack every room within an inch of it’s wainscoting. So please don’t dwell in the dust bunnies of red carpet despair, use this opportunity as your jolt of java to wake up your inner accommodating host. With just a few of-the-manner-born prompts, any room can be turned into a pleasing, glorious guest room at a moments notice.
What time is better than the present to sit down and sort through all that countertop/closet/dresser drawer/behind the couch build-up that clutters up your decorating domain? If only the room that your guest will be sleeping in.
No matter what, we want our houseguests to feel comfortable, welcome, and to be able to discover their own little place for privacy. Before your stress level hits the roof, focus on the fact that your best friend is coming to see you and not your house and in no time you can become a well-oiled hospitality machine.
First off, stash away your personal “unsightlies” or extraneous doodads that are not used too often in clear plastic boxes that nestle under the bed. Clear boxes are fabulous because if you get lazy unpacking them later, you can easily see what’s inside.
Anything else that creates a sense of disarray can be kept in beautiful display boxes or trunks labeled for easy access. You may even want to keep a couple of these beautiful storage boxes empty so guests can use them as a seat-of the-pants storage space.
Clear out a bureau drawer or two and place a welcoming lightly scented sachet inside, with a few protective sheets of tissue to line.
Place an empty decorative tray on the dresser top so your guest has a visible place to stash keys, jewelry, and other easy to misplace essentials. Leave your extra set of house keys here too, but be sure your spare keys are color-coded to avoid any at the door shuffling.
Use a pretty press kit folder from the stationary store to hold local area, subway, and bus maps, emergency phone numbers, and a list of favorite close-by newsstands, delis, and cafes.
Allow at least half a closet for hanger space… use different color hangers than the ones you use for yourself so sharing doesn’t turn into an impromptu game of hide and seek.
If you don’t have a spare bedroom, or a pullout couch, use an air mattress, but do make it up in pretty linens to create a “real” and inviting place to sleep rather than a crash pad. Tip: Select flat sheets in the closet size to the air mattress to guarantee a snug fit.
Keep a set of fresh towels in the sleeping area if your guest has to share a bathroom-this will avoid any awkward feeling of using the wrong towel. Liquid soap is a hygienic plus for sharing bathrooms.
Electronically equip the sleeping area with an alarm clock. One that also includes a descent reading light and some electric outlets to recharge a cell phone or plug-in a laptop makes for less nightstand clutter.
If you have a travel-size steamer or iron, leave it available for your guest, otherwise point the way to the touch-up area in the house.
Most important, clear a path to prop luggage– just in case your guest is the type who prefers to live out of suitcase rather than with all your niceties… ooooh well.
Originally Published: 1999