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Expert Advice: 6 Tips for Making the Spare Room Guest-Ready, with Tricia Rose

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Expert Advice: 6 Tips for Making the Spare Room Guest-Ready, with Tricia Rose

December 15, 2017
With the holidays coming on and guests arriving at the door, we’re turning our attention to the room that often gets overlooked day-to-day: the guest bed and bath. Chances are, yours has become a temporary storage facility for spare furniture, wrapping supplies, an old stationary bike, or the litter box. But it’s not too late to make yours a fine and comfortable place for your guests to spend the holidays; just follow these tips from Tricia Rose, the bedroom maven of Rough Linen. Here’s what to do.
a clutter free guest room makes the guest feel considered and at home, rather t 9
Above: A clutter-free guest room makes the guest feel considered and at home, rather than an afterthought. Photograph by Kendra Smoot.

1. Clear out the guest bedroom.

Don’t feel overwhelmed if your spare room is cluttered. “Guest bedrooms can feel unloved if they are seldom used, and have a special genius for accumulating stray articles—exercise equipment, boxes and such,” Tricia says. “The first thing you need to do to make it welcoming and comfortable is clear those things away or, at the very least, conceal them. A bedskirt can conceal under-the-bed storage, so that’s a start.” For a room that needs to serve as both storage and guest quarters, a bed with under-bed drawers is a good long-term solution.

provide ample pillows for before bed reading. photograph by laurie frankel. 10
Above: Provide ample pillows for before-bed reading. Photograph by Laurie Frankel.

2. Make up a comfortable bed (equipped for lounging).

“Make the bed up with fresh linens, and check that the mattress, duvet, and pillows are up to scratch and well-aired,” Tricia says—with none of the mildew or mustiness of an unused room. “Provide bolsters to fill the gap between headboard and mattress so that reading in bed is a pleasure, with good over-the-shoulder lights. I prefer wall-mounted as they are out of the way.”

a well dressed bed. photograph by kendra smoot. 11
Above: A well-dressed bed. Photograph by Kendra Smoot.

3. Add layers.

Be prepared for guests’ needs, so they won’t need to ask. “Some guests need a little extra warmth at night, and a throw or one of our Day Blankets over the end of the bed can add a little extra coziness,” Tricia says. “Your guest can throw it round their shoulders while they read the riveting selection of books you’ve set out, just for them.”

essentials at the bedside. photograph by marcella dilonardo. 12
Above: Essentials at the bedside. Photograph by Marcella Dilonardo.

4. Strike a balance on the nightstand.

Set out water, a fresh glass, and some reading material for the guest. But restrain yourself: “Traditionally the bedside table holds a carafe and glass for water and a tin of cookies,” Tricia says (a tradition we quite like the sounds of). “But who wants to fall asleep with crumbs in their teeth? Isn’t it better if your guests come cheerfully into the kitchen when they are starving? Who knows, maybe they will whip up something delicious! Better to let them know their way around the kitchen, as sous-chef or assistant snack-maker,” she advises.

a well stocked bath adds a bit of luxury for overnight guests. photograph by li 13
Above: A well-stocked bath adds a bit of luxury for overnight guests. Photograph by Liz Daly.

5. Don’t overlook the bath.

Whether your guests have an en suite all to themselves or are sharing one down the hall, stock it as a hotelier might. “A basket of rolled washcloths in the bathroom is a delicious luxury, along with fresh soap and the basics. It doesn’t have to be stocked like a pharmacy,” Tricia says; a small selection of good soaps and lotions is sufficient. Add linen towelslinen towels (“they always feel fresh and dry quickly; nothing better,” Tricia says) and a Rough Bath Mat. Particularly for guests who are sharing a bath, a robe is a thoughtful touch. “I like to leave fresh towels in both the bathroom and bedroom, just to be sure they are there when needed,” Tricia says—and to spare guests any mad dashes down the hallway.

a bathroom vignette. photograph courtesy of rough linen. 14
Above: A bathroom vignette. Photograph courtesy of Rough Linen.

6. Put yourself in your guests’ shoes.

Lastly, “Remember the old, old advice to sleep in your own guest room to truly know how it feels,” Tricia says. “You might like it more than you think!”

More advice for the bedroom, courtesy of Tricia Rose:

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