Arguably, the best part of Christmas is spending time with loved ones. Be it family, friends or neighbours. It’s therefore likely we will welcome guests into our homes in the next few weeks (we’ve all seen the Family Stone…). But with that welcome comes a touch of stress. Is there space for guests? Is the house clean? Tidy at least? But don’t worry, with a little forward-thinking and planning, it’ll be a more than enjoyable festive stay – for you and your guests. Luckily, YCB teamed up with Showerstoyou, and we put together a 7-step guide to prepare the guest room at Christmas to help you on your way!
1. Prepare the Bed
Perhaps the main attraction of an overnight stay, a comfy bed is key! Make up a double bed using four ample sleeping pillows – two medium or firm, and two soft – plus a few cosy cushions (think faux-fur for ultimate comfort) to prop up the head when reading or sipping a coffee. No one wants to be cold at night, so make sure to adorn the bed with one heavy blanket and one lighter blanket. Or, if there is space in the wardrobe, place a selection of throws in there for guests to help themselves to.
Have a spare set of fairy lights? Why not hang or drape a string across the headboard for instant ambience, warmth and an extra festive feel.
2. Fill the Bedside with Essentials
Nourish your guests by placing a carafe filled with water by the bedside. No carafe? Simply fill a tall, narrow glass, and cover it with a shorter, wider tumbler to keep out dust. If your guests are keen readers, assemble a small personal library for them to peruse. This can include magazines, inspired books and a good light. The perfect antidote to a long, wintery journey.
Lastly, write down Wi-Fi codes on a small card, and put with spare keys (if guests are staying awhile.) To stylise, tie together with a pretty ribbon, in Christmas red or glittering gold if you’re feeling authentic.
3. Create Storage
If possible, clear the wardrobe so that guests can hang their clothes. There’s nothing worse than a crinkled suit or spoiled frock. Likewise, clear a draw or two in the guest bathroom for visitors to place their toiletries. If you are short of space in your guest room, consider a space-friendly valet stand that will accommodate the essentials.
4. Stock up on Supplies
Remember those miniature toiletries you took from the hotel? This is the perfect time to use them! Leave essentials such as shampoo, conditioner and body wash in a basket or box labelled ‘help yourself!’ Make sure to fill up on toilet paper too, guests shouldn’t have to make an awkward request for more.
If you have children, why not involve them. Together, prepare a little guest kit of essentials, this may include a new toothbrush, toothpaste, a fragrant bar of soap and cotton balls, anything you can think of that might be useful to your guest. Pack them in a fabric pouch, tie with ribbon and place on the vanity ready for use.
5. Don’t forget the Bathroom!
Whether you have a guest bathroom or simply your family bathroom, it needs to be prepped for visitors. Begin by removing clutter and any personal items. Pay attention to the basin area and any messy toiletries such as duplicated products and almost-finished bottles. Is there a hook to hang wet towels? If not, why not invest in a simple over-the-door hook bar, which can be removed once guests have gone.
Don’t forget to check the bath/shower mat. If it’s seen better days, one way to spruce up your bathroom is to buy a mat that’s colourful, plush and soft. A simple, non-slip microfibre shag is a trendy but practical choice. Plus, microfibre dries quickly, which means less risk of mouldy odours!
Speaking of smell, why not place a tray full of fragrant candles in the bathroom to create a chic display. Leave a matchbox nearby so that guests can light a candle or two during their stay. You could even throw together some homemade potpourri using pinecones, cinnamon, sprigs of rosemary and dried orange slices; simply mix together in a bowl and add a dash of vanilla extract to compliment scents.
6. Replace Threadbare Towels
Swap stained or threadbare towels for fresh, fluffy ones. If possible buy new, even if it’s just a washcloth and hand towel. To arrange, fold larger towels and place at the end of the bed or on the toilet seat of the guest bathroom. Roll smaller towels and arrange them in a basket, if you have one to hand. If you are expecting multiple guests, try colour-coding towel sets so there’s no confusion.
7. Apply the Finishing Touches
Two finishing touches that always set the guest room up perfectly are fresh-cut flowers, and a handwritten note. Before your guest arrives, set up beautiful blooms (if you know your guest’s favourite flowers, this could be a good choice!) and place them by the window for an extra fresh feel. Prop the handwritten note close by and you are certain to make your guest feel special in an instant!