If you have out of town guests staying with you this holiday season, it’s time to starting thinking about an inviting area for them to relax and call home for a few days. Whether your guest room is a chic extra bedroom or a daybed in the corner of a playroom, these simple ideas can help make guests feel welcome without breaking the bank.

Warm, Inviting Guest Room Image from Barry Peters
Warm, Inviting Guest Room
Image from Barry Peters

Mattress: Is your guest bed mattress cast away from your old bedroom set? Nothing says “we don’t really want you here” more than an uncomfortable mattress. If you can’t buy a new mattress, consider a foam mattress topper. It’s a smaller investment and can really step up the comfort level.

Clear the clutter:  Less décor is calming. Have enough room to stash a suitcase away and hang a few clothes. Provide empty hangers in the closet or on the back of a door with an added hook.

Side table and dressers: An inexpensive alarm clock that is simple to set, table lamps, and a box of tissues adds the comforts of home. For added charm, add a small empty tray for storing jewelry, reading glasses, etc.

Nightstand Tray from Wayfair.com
Nightstand Tray from Wayfair.com

Window treatments: How bright is the morning sun? Do your window treatments let them sleep in? This is a big benefit if you enjoy your own coffee and quiet time, sans guests, in the morning.

Room temperature: Uncle Bill might want the temperature 72 at night, while your family drops the whole house down to 65 to save energy and sleep more comfortably. Add an energy efficient wall heater so Uncle Bill can set the temperature in his room to his own comfort level. They’re simple to use, and installs easily. This is a permanent installation, so you don’t have to worry about tripping over cords in the middle of the night.

Cadet Energy Plus

Dust: If your guest room is like mine, I don’t go in there very often. In fact, there is a dead plant mocking me for my inattention. This doesn’t mean that dust stays away, however. Shake out the curtains, dust the blinds, and wipe all surfaces.

Thoughtful extras that add a special touch:

Check that outlets are open and available near the bed for charging cell phones. If not, provide a power strip with extra outlets and cord that will reach.

Power Strip from Home Depot
Power Strip from Home Depot

Magazines or that paperback book you really enjoyed set next to the bed or in a basket is a nice touch. It also may keep your guest out of the kitchen when you’re trying to focus on preparations.

A small basket of garage sale toys:  if children are coming, this will keep them busy, and they’ll be delighted to find them on each visit.

Basket of sample size toiletries: Here’s where you can put all those tiny shampoos, lotions, and soaps you picked up on your last hotel visit. Toss in a toothbrush as well.

Fresh greens: If you have pretty fresh greens blooming in your yard, set them in a vase and add to a dresser or bathroom countertop.  Check for allergies and avoid strong scents.

Motion sensor night-lights are very inexpensive and make the space safer for guests searching for the bathroom in the middle of the night.

With these affordable tips, your guests may never want to leave.