Welcoming Overnight Guests

Whether they will be staying in your guest room or on a daybed in the office, your guests will feel welcomed by a little pre-planning.

Have you ever stayed overnight in someone’s home or in a hotel and found yourself wishing your own bedroom was just as inviting? To have a guest express that sentiment is one of the greatest compliments to your skills as a host or hostess. The most essential factor when hosting overnight guests is comfort. Ask yourself if the space you have created would captivate your guest’s desire to return. Spend a night in that room. Will your guests leave your home feeling exhausted with the feeling they have somehow imposed themselves upon you, or leave well-rested feeling you thoughtfully planned their stay? Of course, the later is preferable, so we have developed several guidelines to help you achieve this goal.

Some people have plenty of space to accommodate overnight guests, while others gladly sacrificed the extra guest room to create a nursery or home office. No matter if your guests are sleeping in a spacious guest bed or on a daybed in the office, there are many ways to ensure comfort during their stay:

The bed:

First, and perhaps most important, is the comfort of the bed. A high-quality mattress is best; however,if that isn’t in your budget there are ways to increase the comfort of any bed. Placing a mattress topper on the bed such as an egg crate, memory foam or a feather bed can help increase the comfort significantly. Cozy sheets are a must. While you can accomplish this by purchasing sheets with a high thread count, or sheets made from a variety of cotton with long fibers (staples) such as Pima or Egyptian, jersey knit sheets tend to be less expensive and can afford the comfort of your favorite old, well-worn T-shirt. Whether your guest is hot-natured or cold-natured, providing a couple of blankets to choose from will allow them to adjust the bedding to fit their ideal temperature. The icing on the cake of this comfortable bed will be offering your guest a choice of pillows. Two pillows per guest is a small indulgence that can lead to a good night’s rest.

The bathroom:

Have you ever stayed in someone’s home where bathroom time is very much in short supply? Then you know how uncomfortable that situation can be. If you don’t have a bathroom connected to the room where your guests will be sleeping and you have more than one bathroom in your home, consider reserving one of the bathrooms exclusively for your guests during their stay. Privacy is not as easy to attain when away from home, so bear in mind how much more comfortable your guests will feel when they do not have to ask to use the bathroom. When sharing the bathroom is the only option, designate a different color of towels for your guests and place a basket of toiletries in their room, so they do not have to ask for personal items such as toilet paper, bath, body and hair products.

The amenities:
Depending on your guest’s length of stay, coupled with the level of accommodation you wish to offer,we have created a list of suggested items to provide.

  • Basics – clock, good quality bedside lighting, carafe and glass for water, wastebasket, tissues, clear space in a closet or dresser, mirror, bathroom night light, bath towels, hair dryer, extra toilet paper,extra toothbrush and toothpaste, nail file, clear nail polish, cotton balls and swabs, bath, body and hair products.
  • Niceties – reading chair or sofa, soft throw blanket, music player with selection of listening materials, fresh flowers, pen and paper, local area maps and brochures, laundry hamper, framed photos of you and your guest.
  • Luxuries – slippers, bath robe, scented candle and matches, basket of local sweet treats and snacks, sleep mask, spa products, selection of books and magazines based on guest’s interests.

Many of the items listed above may be found at our local store on Richmond Highway. Be sure to bring all of your 20 percent off coupons as they accept expired ones and there is no limit to how many you may use per purchase. The Mount Vernon Farmer's Market is a great spot to pick up local fresh flowers, sweet treats and snacks for your guests. It is held in the parking lot of the on Wednesdays from 8 am until 12 pm. While you’re there, stop into the library and checkout a few books for your guests or head over to the on Fort Hunt Road.

By simply taking the time to supply your guests with any of the items mentioned above, they will sense the inviting atmosphere you have intended to create. Knowing that you have prepared for their stay will allow them to feel welcome and enjoy a comfortable visit with you.


The designers:

Gracious Living by Design is a business in the making of friends and fellow graduates of The George Washington University’s Master of Fine Arts in Interior Design program, Anna Kucera and Cherilyn McCall. Both have worked in separate areas in the interior design field since graduate school. The skill sets they bring from previous experience in meeting and event management, project management, political fundraising, and luxury hotel sales give them a unique perspective from their peers in the design profession.

In addition to traditional interior design services, Anna and Cherilyn’s project management experience allows them to seamlessly shepherd a project’s vision from initial concept through completion. Please continue to follow our monthly column in the Ft. Hunt Patch. We welcome your comments, suggestions and questions. If you would like to write to us, please send emails to graciouslivingbydesign@gmail.com.


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