Hi friends! Hannah, from I Heart Planners here! My husband I just bought our first house last month. We are super excited! We were living in a 2 bedroom apartment with our two toddlers, and now we have a yard and extra bedrooms and lots of storage space!
Going from such a small space to such a big space has been overwhelming, but I’m incredibly excited to start productively using our new extra space! I have a lot of personal hospitality goals. It is important to me to have a home where people want to stay. I want to have people reach out when they’re planning a vacation and ask to crash with us for a few nights. I want my nieces (and future nephews) to want to come hang out at Aunt Hannah’s house. I want my mother-in-law to stop by for a cup of tea.
I’ve determined that I want others to feel as comfortable in my home as I do. I know that this doesn’t happen easily and goes far beyond decor and accommodations, but I also know that people appreciate attention to detail. So I am working hard to be intentional and deliberate as I set up each room so that I can create an environment where people want to be.
I found myself quite stumped when it came to our guest room. How do I turn this empty space into a room where someone feels like they’re home? I want people to walk in and feel like they can charge their phone, kick their shoes off, grab a blanket from the closet and just chill. I have a daughter who has trouble going #2 in anyone else’s home. When we are visiting others, I know that she feels “at home” when she visits the bathroom and is able to do all of her business. 😉 It may seem funny, but I want people to be at that comfort level when they are in my home.
Now, lest you get to this point and think, “I don’t have a guest room so this post doesn’t apply to me.” I’m going to ask you to keep reading. Some of my favorite memories of sleeping at someone’s house include a bunch of us all piled on the floor in one room, so don’t think that it is impossible to be an amazing hostess without a guest room. I have some more thoughts about this towards the end so keep reading. 🙂
I took my questions to the Instagram world and let my followers share with me the things that they appreciate in a guest room. I was overwhelmed by the number of responses, which shows me that having a comfortable guest room is something that people really do value.
Here are things my Instagram friends shared with me that they appreciate in a guest room:
– A Book
– A Lamp (Something easily accessible to turn off before going to sleep because they don’t know the layout of the room)
– Toiletries (Mouthwash, Toothbrush, Toothpaste, etc.)
– “Things that I might need, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable asking for”
– Basic Medicine
– Hair Dryer
– A Fan (For background noise or cooling)
– Extra Blankets
– Bottled Water
– Easy Snacks (Granola bars, etc.)
– Extra Sheets
– Linen Sprays
– Night Light
– Towels Set Out
– Box of Tissues
– A Luggage Rack (I don’t know why I didn’t think of this, but I thought this was a very good suggestion. Those things are the bomb when I’m away from home.)
I’ll admit I had thought about most of these, but it really made me feel good to hear the opinions roll in and know that I had a good start to making this room a comfortable one.
Now, are you ready for three very common and very interesting requests?? These three were so incredibly popular, I could not believe how many people mentioned them!
A Convenient Outlet! — One friend shared that she’s moved furniture before in someone else’s home in order to be able to plug in her phone. If I’m being honest, I’ve done the same, but I definitely had not thought about this when I was trying to figure out furniture for the guest room. This was a great reminder to make sure the furniture is not blocking an outlet that someone might need! (Especially one right by the bed.)
A Mirror! — When this was initially suggested, I thought, “Check! Our guests have an attached bathroom!” BUT then someone mentioned that a mirror in the bedroom is nice so that a female can do their makeup while the bathroom is being used. I thought that was a terrific idea. How many times have my husband and I had to do the sink dance when we’re away from home because there’s no other place for me to do my makeup? More than once!
…and coming in hot as request #1….
THE WIFI PASSWORD!
I thought this was a great suggestion made by multiple people. I’ve been at someone’s house before, gone to bed and totally forgotten to ask for the password. Then I have to internally debate going back out and asking them OR sitting in bed feeling guilty as I scroll through Instagram or watch Netflix and suck up all our data. Easy solution? Just post a wifi sign in the guest room! Want to use the one in the image above? CLICK HERE to download your free copy and get your guest room wifi ready today.
Here was one request that came in, and I just had to chuckle. The request was, “Privacy”. This is one that my guests are gonna struggle with because my two toddlers like to sit outside the bathroom door and ask people if they’re almost done and ready to play. So I guess I need to work on that 😉
To all you hostesses without a guest room or bathroom, here are my suggestions for you!
I actually felt really great about a lot of the above suggestions because when I lived in my 2 bedroom apartment, I had a box that I tucked away in a closet. I would bring it out when guests would come, and it had most of the items listed above. I think that’s a really great option because it’s easy to keep a box stocked with all the guest goodies, and then only have it out when needed.
When it comes to extra blankets, I tried to always stack a pile by the couch where my guests were crashing. This way if they woke up chilly in the night, they could just grab an extra!
Now let’s chat about pillows… obviously, it’s great if you can just store some extra pillows, but if you can’t, here’s a thought. Just keep a couple extra pillowcases around and put them over your normal couch throw pillows. Will it be the most glamorous place your guest has ever slept? Probably not, but I am certain your guest will appreciate the thoughtfulness!
Here are a few other suggestions that Laura and I came up with for our guests:
– Extra Toilet Paper (Make sure this is easily accessible.)
– Breakfast! (Show your guest where the cereal or oatmeal is if there’s a chance they might wake up before you! If not, maybe lay out some granola bars in case they need a little something in their stomach when they first get up.)
– Disposable Razors
– Band-aids or Simple First Aid (I can’t be the only one who’s cut myself shaving in the shower and not had a band-aid when I’m visiting someone right??)
– Empty Hangers
– Notepad and Pen
Here are a few specific tips for your guests with children…
– Pack n Play
– Portable High Chair
– A Few Toys
– A Sound Machine
– An Air Mattress
All right, here’s the last tip I will leave you with. I love my home. I have my routines and systems for getting things done. But it is imperative for me to remember that not all guests have the same routines and systems, and that’s okay! For example, I wipe my glass shower door down after every shower. If I have a guest who doesn’t do this, I need to remember that’s completely fine! Generally, someone following their own routines is someone who feels “at home” and welcomed. Maybe in your home you always make your bed. If your guest doesn’t, the chances are good that they feel right at home! Following your guest around and picking up after them or fixing things the moment they leave a room is only going to make them uncomfortable and self-conscious. There will be plenty of time for “recovery” later. For now, just enjoy your guest and focus on making your house a home away from home for others.