Guests are coming - it's time to get the house ready. I don't mean just dinner guests, I mean overnight guests. The usual cleaning is the obvious first step to take, but here are some other touches to get the room your guests will be sleeping in ready.
They will arrive with luggage. A cleaned-out closet and some empty dresser drawers in the guest bedroom are important. Another handy item is a luggage rack. This is easy to keep on hand, because it doesn't take up much room and will fold away easily when not in use.
The rack allows guests to put the luggage at a height that is comfortable for them to reach, especially if they are staying only a night or two, and don't want to completely unpack. Their suitcase can become an impromptu dresser drawer. Even if they are staying long enough to unpack, the rack still serves a good purpose, since it makes it easier to reach the luggage and unpack.
An empty closet - or nearly empty one - is necessary to help guests feel at home. Be sure to have several hangers in there for their use. You might consider putting in the closet extra blankets and extra pillows.
Make sure you set up the windows in that room to give guests privacy. Good shades are the perfect solution, and you might add decorative side panels for an added look of warmth and completion. Blackout shades will help guests sleep in. After all, they are on vacation, so the extra sleep might be a treat.
Small touches can make a big difference. Fresh flowers let guests know that you went the extra mile for them. A beautiful plant is another nice touch. And, as in a fancy hotel, a bowl of fruits, crackers and perhaps cheese will certainly make your guests feel welcome and special.
A few magazines on the nightstand, or on a table with a chair nearby, will make them feel more at home, or, if you know their reading tastes, add the latest book by their favorite author. Be sure the lighting in the room is good for reading with a lamp by the chair or on the nightstand.
Rosemary Sadez Friedmann, an interior designer in Naples, is author of "Mystery of Color."