With the holiday season upon us, our doors will open and we will welcome family and friends into our homes, often overnight. Doing all we can to make their stay memorable, comfortable, and as close to home as possible guarantees that we retain our reputation as gracious hosts.

Follow these guidelines to put together guest quarters that make your loved ones feel right at home.

  1. Storage space – Travelers often like to unpack their bags, giving them access to their things. Providing a drawer or two, some closet space, and even a bathroom shelf are small gestures that show that you want them to be able to move right in for their stay.
  2. Personal space – If possible, create a retreat for your company – private space where they can make a phone call, read a chapter or two of a great novel they packed for the plane, or just take a nap.
  3. Cozy it up – Small touches like an extra blanket, couple of extra pillows, a candle, or even extra warm socks in the winter can add a little warm comfort on a cold winter night.
  4. Make a suite – Even if your home does not have enough space for a true guest suite, finding a way to add those amenities within the space you have goes a long way toward guest comfort — a comfortable chair with good lighting for reading, a desk space for work, or dedicated space in the bathroom, for example.
  5. Offer a good night – A nightstand for bedside items stocked with a box of tissues, a bottle of water, and a close-by outlet for charging a phone or Kindle puts everything within reach in an unfamiliar environment at night.
  6. Access – Consider adding a power strip for charging of multiple personal electronic devices as well as a card noting the household Wi-Fi password.
  7. The personal touch – Adding a few personal touches makes a huge impression: a beautiful crystal pitcher and drinking glass for water, high quality towels, extra toiletries, a magazine or book tailored to the guest’s interests.