Growing up we had guests at least once a month. We moved a lot, so we always had friends and family spread out across the country and the world coming to visit. That being the case, I became very familiar with the hostessing routine of setting up the guest room, changing the sheets, setting out nicely folded towels, soap, a water cup, and anything else the guest may need. My mother is a fabulous hostess so I was trained by the best. However, it is a little bit easier to set up a guest room… when you have one. In our one bedroom apartment this has presented a bit of a challenge. I desperately want people to be able to come and visit without the cost of a hotel room becoming an issue, but the reality is that we have very little space. I have spent a lot of time trying to come up with solutions in my mind over the past year and so far, this is what I have come up with. What are your thoughts? Have you ever been in the position of wanting to host guests in a small space?
Tips for Setting up a Guest Room in a Small Space:
1. Set up the space in a place that doesn’t make your guest feel like they are in the way. This is especially important if they are staying for more than one night. You want your guest to feel like they are welcome to stay as long as they like, not like you need them to leave so that you can live in your home again. We set our space up in the dining room because we have plenty of other dining space options outside of the table and it is easy to move the table and put the bed in a place that isn’t directly in a walking path to anywhere. Just this weekend my best friend came to visit and we had the wonderful chance to eat outside on the patio instead of in the dining room… we didn’t miss the dining room one bit.
2. Make the bed as comfortable as possible. Obviously everyone on planet earth would rather sleep on a real bed than an air mattress, however there are ways to make an air mattress more comfortable. USE A MATTRESS PAD! This is my number one tip on air mattresses. No one likes the lumps and bumps on the top of the mattress nor do they like the rock hard feel of a tightly inflated plastic. The mattress pad smooths the bumps out somewhat and provides a bit of a cushion. Make up the air mattress just like a regular bed, with a fitted sheet, top sheet and plenty of blankets and pillows.
3. Try to add as many “little touches” as you can. This shows that you were excited for your guest to come and put special thought into their arrival, rather than just blowing up the bed while they wait later that night. Our available little touches are minimal, but I do have an old accent pillow that matches the blanket we use from my husband’s previous bedroom set, we have a small ottoman that I use as a bed side table, and I always set out towels, wash clothes, and any additional personal care products ahead of time, on the bed. Also, give your guests a designated space to put their luggage. For us this is as simple as putting one of the dining chairs facing out, up against the wall. This, again, allows your guest to feel like they are welcome and not in the way.
4. Finally, give your guest as much privacy as possible. This was a new touch for me this past weekend, but I hung a sheet up in the entrance to the dining room space and tied it back during the day so that at night it could be shut and act as a door way, adding a bit more privacy to the space. The feedback from my friend was that it was a nice touch.
Obviously my “guest room” is still less than ideal and I am far far away from being the perfect hostess (the air mattress deflated twice this weekend). I look forward to, some day, having an actual guest room with a big bed that can accommodate more than one person and be a permanent fixture, but for now this is what we have. Please share your thoughts and Ideas, I am always trying to find new ways to make people more inclined to come and visit us.