I love when people come to visit and stay at our house. My parents, sister, and brother and sister- in-law all live out of town, some a plane ride away. I find no greater joy than getting my home prepared for guests. Having people come share your space is such a treat to me.
I look at some people's expansive homes with big opulent rooms. Unfortunately, we are not afforded that luxury living in the city. We have a little guest room (which doubles as both of our home offices) complete with a pull out couch and my husband's closet (again, city living!). But, just because we don't have thousands of square feet of space, doesn't mean we can't still make our guests' stay enjoyable.
Here is what I do:
I like to hang a little handmade pennant banner over our window or off of our bar cart. As someone who really enjoys celebrating, I find this to be fun. I cut out little triangles, write something cute and attach it to string with some clothes pins.
Millions of Pillows
I hate super thin pillows. My husband hates super thick pillows. I like for people to have options when they sleep over. Therefore I always have at least 3 or 4 pillows on the bed, all a little different. I also have 2 big shams. They look pretty but they also help hide the hole in between the "couch" and the mattress. Then, I throw some throw pillows on top that makes the bed look comfy and inviting.
Foam Pad on the Bed
We have a pull out couch and everyone knows there is NO SUCH THING as a comfortable pull out couch, I don't care what the furniture people try to tell you. I try my best with a few foam pads-we have two currently on the bed.
I always have a little vase of flowers, no matter what. It doesn't have to be anything crazy, a small little arrangement will do. It shows your guests you were excited about their arrival.
Mini Water Bottles and Snacks
I always have tons of snacks downstairs for our guests. I try to get things my friends and family enjoy. I also think some mini waters never hurt anyone. I leave the waters by the bed.
Closet Space and Dryer Access
A few hangers can work wonders. I also always offer to throw people's clothes in the dryer to dewrinkle if need be-most guests take us up on that.
They look pretty and give people something to look at if they wake up early and don't want to come downstairs yet.
Ours is printed on a little tag hanging off of a bin of fresh towels. (I also ALWAYS throw towels back in the dryer with a dryer sheet before guests arrive.)
I like to think of many different activities to do and restaurants to visit, and offer all of these options to whoever is staying with us. Do we have a museum crowd? A bar crawl crowd? A Freedom Trail crowd? A shopping crowd? Does it depend on the day or the weather? Having many options of things to do gives people a choice. Letting people be in control of their visit can be really nice. Sometimes I make a map of places, just for fun-hand-drawn (I am not an artist) so people can see where everything is. (Tip: I like to pick restaurants that don't take reservations so we never get turned down-instead we wait at the bar with a cocktail in hand)