For some of us, having a separate bedroom designated specifically for guests would be a luxury. Most of our “spare” bedrooms do double duty: guest room + office; guest room extra storage space; guest room craft station, laundry central, etc. But a few simple steps in preparation for a visit can make even a triple duty room seem warm and inviting for guests. 

  • Clear out a top drawer in a dresser and let guests know it’s there’s for them to use.
  • Make room in the closet for their hanging items. Make sure to leave several wood hangers for them to use!
  • Install hooks on the backs of doors for guests to hang coats, towels etc.
  • Leave laundered robes  – specifically purchased for guests only – on the back of doors. These come in handy in January when guests don’t want to wander downstairs only in their pjs!
  • Most bedrooms are short on space, so leave a luggage rack out for suitcases if there isn’t enough drawer space.
  • Remove clutter. Temporarily store it in the basement or under a bed. This means boxes, books, exercise equipment, ironing boards, toys, laundry, etc. Don’t leave anything out that could trip a guest or make them feel like they’re staying in a storage locker!
  • Make sure there’s an end table on both sides of the bed for guests. This is good feng shui: you are encouraging good chi for the entire bed, even if only one person is sleeping there.
  • Check to make sure that bedside table lamps have working bulbs! And do make sure there’s a lamp on both sides of the bed.
  • Flip mattresses on a regular basis even in guest rooms. Again, this is good feng shui: using all sides helps the mattress retain its firmness and promotes good chi. Nothing gets stagnant.
  • Swap out photos in frames for ones with your guests in them. It’s a small gesture, but makes guests feel welcome.
  • In the bathroom, clear space for a guest’s personal items, both on the vanity and in the shower. Empty a drawer for them if possible.
  • I like to use different colored towels for each room, so that in a shared bathroom everyone knows who’s is who’s. Make sure there is ample hanging space for a guest’s towels.
  • Leave a new, unwrapped bar of soap and perhaps even small bottles of shampoo or body lotion in a basket in the bathroom or guest room.  Careful Peach and Bramble are wonderful places to pick up guests soaps.
  • Lastly, place coverlets on beds or in closets with extra duvets or pillows. It’s January after all, and these old houses are drafty!





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Lexi Nielsen

Lexi is an interior decorator living in Oak Park. Her projects range from simple color consultations to gut rehabs. She fully appreciates that not everyone salivates at the thought of shopping for home...