With people living smaller by choice and necessity, an entire room dedicated to overnight guests is a luxury you don’t see as often as you once did. These days, extra rooms tend to be home offices, if they exist at all. But people will want to go visiting, won’t they? It can be very tricky it can be to host people in the way you’d like. Here are a few tips for welcoming guests with a minimum of disruption and a maximum of comfort, for everyone’s benefit.
First thing’s first: find a “bed”. If you want to prioritize hosting overnight guests, you need somewhere to put them. Pull-out sofas and daybeds are the obvious choice, but they’re not to everyone’s taste or budget. Luckily, there are other options. A good air mattress is comfortable and doesn’t take up too much room. It can easily be stored in a closet or under a bed when you aren’t using it. Or, depending on the guest and the length of stay (such as in-laws or old friends), you could also have the guests in your room and take the sofa yourself. If you’ve got kids, consider putting guests in their room while having the kids bunk with you or sleep on the sofa (little people take up less room, after all).
Remember, guests come with all of their stuff. Think ahead to where your friends are going to put those pesky suitcases they arrive with, even if it’s just clearing a generous area on the floor. If you can allocate a small table, a shelf on the bookcase and a section in the coat closet for hanging things, all the better.
Consider your non-bedroom like a bedroom. Maybe you fall asleep on the sofa occasionally, but your guests will be trying to get some serious rest in this room, so think about it like you would your own bedroom. Do the curtains keep out enough light for your pals to get some shut-eye? Is there a draft coming under the front door that makes it cold at night? Is there street noise? There are simple, temporary fixes for most of these issues, even if they are just extra blankets and earplugs.
Throw in some extras. In addition to the basics above, adding some luxe touches to the “bedroom” area will go a long way to making it seem more inviting. You can always add fresh flowers into the room when they come visit, which will always make a guest feel welcome. Never underestimate the power of flowers! Add an extra phone charger, so that you guests can charge their phones and Ipads is always appreciated, as is your wifi password written on an easily-accessible card.
Privacy is very important; not just for your guests, but for everyone involved. Your guests will likely be staying awhile, so try to afford everyone in the household a bit of solitude. A folding screen can lend a little privacy to an open plan living area turned bedroom, which is ideal in the mornings or evenings if everyone has different routines. Working out a shower schedule is another necessity that feels like micro-managing at first, but helps everyone feel more comfortable.
If you really don’t have the room for overnight guests, think creatively. Do you have a friend or relative nearby who could take them off your hands? It might sound crazy, but you can send your guests to another persons house, such as a close friend. Of course, if you are going to go this route, it needs to be someone close to your guests‘ age range. You do not want to send your 30 year old friends to your grandmothers house. Another tip is that YOU go sleep somewhere else, and let your guests have your bed.