How To Improve Your Guest Bedroom's Hospitality Factor

Follow these hacks to be the host of the year.

As the saying goes, mi casa es su casa. When a loved one comes to your neck of the woods—be it for a quick moment or a longer trip—you jump at the chance to have them stay with you. Hosting is a great opportunity to spend some quality time with your guests, but let's be honest: You can also show off your great design style. It's a win-win.

However, hosting comes with its own set of challenges. Making your personal space feel like someone else's home away from home isn't easy—especially if you don't have a dedicated guest room.

Idea House 2020 Guest Bedroom with Warm Neutral Colors

Robbie Caponetto; Styling: Kendra Surface

That's where Kelly Collins comes in. As a trained interior designer and head of creative at Swyft, which recently released an entire report about hosting, she knows a thing or two about how to make everyone feel at home—even when they're traveling somewhere far, far away. To help, Collins is breaking down her top tips for improving the hospitality factor of your guest space. You're just a few clicks away from being the host with the most.

Step 1: Clear Out Your Space

What do you love most about staying a hotel? For some, it's the turn-down service and luxurious toiletries. And, for others? It's how clean every room is. The bed is layered to perfection, the carpet was recently vacuumed, and there's not a stray toy or dirty dish in sight. We know you live in your home, so your space needn't be hotel-tidy around the clock. But, it's important to do a clean sweep before your loved ones knock on the front door.

"Leaving clutter and personal belongings out in your guest bedroom can make the arrangement feel last-minute, and may even make your guest feel intrusive," Collins says. "If your guest bedroom doubles as an office space, aim to clear away any stationary or fly-away papers into drawers to clear the surfaces for your guests."

Since Collins' own home office doubles as the guest room, she relies on space-efficient storage to create the illusion of a tidy space.

"I find a pinboard very helpful," she explains. "I can pin up most of my bits and bobs which makes it look much neater."

Step 2: Choose Calming Colors

Want to turn your guest space into a mental vacation for your visitors? Pay close attention to your color palette. After all, there's a reason why the most serene suites are swathed in taupes, creams, and tans.

"If you are redecorating ahead of your guest's visit, choose a slightly darker neutral color for the walls for a cozier feel and accessorize with a mixture of different textures," she recommends. "Avoid bright colors and patterns to cater to a variety of different tastes."

That said, redecorating a part of your home just because you have guests coming over feels a little unnecessary. For a budget-friendly alternative, pepper your guest area with neutral throw pillows or sheets.

Step 3: Privacy, Please

In a perfect world, you'd have an entire room designated to making your guests feel at home. But, in reality? There's a good chance your visitor is crashing on your couch or an air mattress. If you want to up the hospitality factor in your small space, create some privacy.

"If you don't have a spare room and your guests are staying on a sofa-bed, for example, you could consider using room dividers or curtains to offer privacy in a shared space," Collins recommends.

Of course, a design tweak is only one part of this tip. To make your guests feel really at home, respect the shared space. Yes, that means giving your visitors some alone time every so often.

Step 4: Get Cozy

As expected, a guest space should feel warm and inviting, not cold and sterile. So, why not keep that top of mind when decorating?

"When designing a guest room, it's all about comfort," Collins shares. "Make sure your guest room is somewhere you could happily sleep; a clean space with a comfortable bed and curtains to keep the light out. If you get the basics right, the rest is just extra!"

She also recommends adding some soft furnishings or flowers to make the room feel more comfortable.

Step 5: Prioritize Your Guest's Needs

According to Collins, amenities are what really make a guest area feel warm and inviting. Fortunately, decking your space out doesn't have to include chocolates on each pillow or pint-sized bottles of shampoo.

"Not everyone has room in their home for a dedicated guest space, but introducing additional seating, a comfortable spare bed or sofa bed and having matching glass/tableware for all your guests to use can help to make your guests to feel comfortable and create an environment suitable for hosting.

In addition to the essentials like towels and sheets, Collins recommends adding elements that will make their stay a little easier.

"Small touches include suitable storage and luggage solutions, whether that be by freeing up some cupboard space or a small, fold-away luggage rack," she says.

The good news is that you don't have to spend a small fortune to make someone else feel comfortable in your space.

"These little things can make a huge difference to their stay, without costing the world," she adds.

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