November 22, 2023

Holidays at home? Gussy up your guest room!

With the coronavirus crisis receding into the rear-view mirror of history, many homeowners are expecting friends and/or relatives eager to cash in their “we’ll get together when this thing is over” card offered during the pandemic.

The holiday season is a time for togetherness and making cherished memories. Ensure your loved ones have a memorable stay with some quick and inexpensive upgrades to your guest quarters.

Set the tone with a warm and inviting welcome. Make sure the path to the door is well-lit, and free of obstructions, snow, or ice. A festive wreath adds a joyful touch.

Cleaning and decluttering are the next step. Guest rooms and closets often become way stations for wayward household items. Get a few boxes and start packing. Guest facilities shouldn’t be junk drawers. Move all that overage into temporary storage.

Next, assess the overall look and feel. Add personal touches. Fresh linens (possibly new) are a must. Consider adding extra blankets and pillows, as well as a variety of temperature-appropriate options. On the nightstand, put out a favorite book. Maybe a travelogue with ideas for next year!

Dress up the bathrooms. Make sure to be well-stocked with essentials such as towels and toilet paper. Consider a scented diffuser for a spa-like atmosphere.

Provide a small basket including hand towels and travel-sized toiletries. Now is a good time to use up those hotel items collected over the years. Little soaps, shampoo, conditioner, and body lotion can make them feel like they’re staying at the Ritz!

Keep thinking like a guest. While the home’s regular residents may know the place like the back of their hands, other people can get easily confused. Set inexpensive motion-activated lights at foot height in the hallways, allowing guests to find their way around, even if they can’t find a light switch.

Find out if any guests have dietary restrictions or preferences and accommodate them when planning the holiday menu. Offering a variety of food options, including vegetarian, gluten-free, and vegan dishes, ensures everyone can enjoy the holiday feast.

Last but not least, the smell. Have an objective third party give your house a “sniff test.” Use shallow bowls filled with fresh coffee grounds to absorb smells in especially stinky areas. Another bad smell life hack? Simmer a cup of vinegar to absorb lingering odors.

With thoughtful touches and careful preparation, your home will become the perfect holiday haven for your loved ones, making the season even more magical.