Not everyone has an entire room to dedicate as a full-time spare bedroom, but it doesn't mean you don't want overnight guests to feel welcome and wanted. Whether you're having guests stay in your office, game room or bonus room, the trick is to create a room where the furnishings provide multiple functions - both for you and the occasional visitor.
Here are a few key pieces that will make your room functional and inviting at the same time.
- A daybed or sofa-sleeper can serve as extra seating while you aren't entertaining guests but can also double as a guest bed when the need arises.
- An office desk should have drawers to keep your papers and other things organized, or at least have a basket or box on top of the desk to easily pick up your belonging when you have guests. Your desk can then serve as a place for guests to put on makeup or jewelry, or to set their smaller items during their stay.
- A couple of tall bookshelves are perfect for a room that serves dual purposes. Bookshelves are great for containing clutter and for displaying decorations. Use a few magazines holders to contain all your magazines, catalogs and loose papers, and add a few baskets on the bottom shelves to store CDs, games, toys, etc. Guests will appreciate the tidiness and the reading material, plus it offers you an opportunity to show your personality with your collection of books, magazines, and perhaps a few framed photos on the bookshelves as well.
- A chest of drawers is a great addition to a multitasking room. You can use the bottom couple of drawers to store winter clothes, extra blankets and spare linens, and your guest will welcome some storage space in the top few drawers. It is a great convenience for guests to be able to store items, and the top is also handy for placing their personal belongings.
- Keep a luggage rack handy. Even if you cannot provide a piece of furniture for storage, a luggage rack will allow guests to get their bags off the floor and find things easily. Plus, luggage racks can be folded and put away when your guests have left.
- Have several types of lighting in the room. There should be some lighting directly by the bed, and guests should be able to turn on a light upon entering the room. Every good multitasking room should have several types of lighting to accommodate a variety of activities. In addition to an overhead light, add a couple of lamps for other tasks such as reading or getting ready for bed.
- As older children move out of your home, consider buying new linens for the room and limiting your child's old belongings to one area of the room to make other guests feel welcome in the space.
A Few Reminders:
Before guests arrive, remove any unnecessary furniture or clutter that makes the room feel crowded, even if you just have to move it until your guests leave. No one likes to stay in a room where they can barely make a path to the bed or unpack a suitcase.
Also, don't forget to vacuum and dust the room to make sure it looks and smells fresh for your guests. To freshen a musty mattress, sprinkle baking soda all over the mattress. Let it sit overnight, then vacuum it up the next day. Throw already-washed sheets back into the dryer to freshen them up. Freshen pillows by air-drying them in the dryer with a fabric softener sheet.
Other items to provide in the room include a clock radio, a notepad and pen, wastebasket, sewing kit, window treatments or shades for privacy, and facial tissues.
It's always the little touches that transform an ordinary room into something special. With a few pieces of multitasking furniture and some finishing touches, you can transform any room in your house into a welcoming space for all of your guests.