Create a Welcoming Guest Room

With the summer season upon us, we find ourselves hosting guests more often than at any other time of year. We encourage our friends and family to visit us in Chicago year round, but this city truly shines during the warmer months. As a result, it’s during this time that we’re constantly prepping the guest room for the next bunch of visitors, and over the years, we’ve injected a few things into this extra bedroom that we’ve been told has made their stay extra comfortable.

Sure, there are tips we’ve all heard before–making your Wi-Fi information readily available and leaving fresh water bottles on the bedside table–but here are the few things that we’ve made a permanent staple in the guest room. Our goal is that our friends leave happy and well rested, and we love nothing more than creating a space that they enjoy!

Give them a place to work. If they’re on vacation, the last thing they’d want to do is catch up on work, right? Maybe so, but we’ve found that our guests almost always bring a laptop or tablet to stay on top of emails and deadlines–even while they’re away. (Guilty.) We found a sweet vintage school desk at a flea market years ago, and we integrated it into a vertical stack of shelves. The tabletop is small, yet more than enough space to set up their workstation, and we’ve been told by many that they appreciate the dedicated work surface.

On the other hand, give them a place to rest. Your guests will always appreciate a designated spot to rest, away from the hustle and bustle of the household! When visiting friends, there may be times when they need to step away, whether it’s to nap or catch up on a good book. While our guest room does have a bed (of course!), we love finding our friends tucked into the corner chair, too. We added a small light and moody wallpaper to create the coziest nook.

Stock up on travel-sized goods. How many times have we found ourselves checked into a hotel room at the end of a long travel day, only to realize we forgot to pack the toothpaste? Inside that tiny desk, we’ve stashed a few essentials, and we always let our guests know where we’ve tucked them away, should they need anything. The wrinkle releaser has come to the rescue more than a few times!

Provide them with shade. We chose these Roman blinds with the bottom up/top down feature to give our guests full control. Living in the city means that our neighbors are awfully close, so we landed on a light-filtering fabric that affords our guests the privacy they need while still blocking the unwanted view. Eventually, we may add a layer of room-darkening roller shades, for those who wouldn’t mind sleeping in just a little longer!

Let there be light. Our guest room, although small, has three light sources: a dimmable overhead light, a reading nook lamp, and two bedside bulbs. Throughout our home, we’re sensitive to how light can set the scene for the day, evening, and nighttime hours, and we like to give our guests that same courtesy. Whether they’re getting caught up with work or winding down with a nightcap, the mood is theirs to set!

Keep fresh towels and linens within arms’ reach. As our guests are “checking in,” we’re always sure to point out the closet. Inside, we stack clean towels and extra blankets and pillows, and we always let them know to help themselves. We like knowing that they have the same comforts as a hotel, and they like being able to grab any extras they need.

Display a guest book. Last but not least, we encourage our guests to leave a note in our guest book. Our friends and family have often admitted that they’re thinking of what they’ll write for the entire duration of their stay! It’s always so much fun going into the room after they’ve left and reading their notes, many of which include sketches and drawings of our pets, too. It’s truly a heartwarming keepsake!

Enjoy this time with your favorite people, and if you’re looking for even more home decor tips and tricks, be sure to follow Bali Blinds on Pinterest! What’s your best piece of advice for creating the most welcoming environment for your guests?

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