Creating a Soothing Guest Room in a Chaotic Home


Creating a Martha Stewartesque guest room complete with fresh flowers and 800 count Egyptian cotton sheets may not be doable with your busy lifestyle, but that doesn’t mean your guests must sleep in a pillow fort in the den. Even if your house is overrun with Matchbox cars and Barbie shoes, it’s still possible to put together a soothing night’s sleep for grandparents or whoever else might brave the storm of visiting a home with young children.

The Bed

The number one key to a good night’s sleep is a comfortable bed for your visitors. By day, your guest room may be an office, playroom or even a child’s room, but by night, you need a sturdy bed with a high-quality mattress atop the appropriate box spring or foundation. Just because your post-crib child uses the bed, don’t assume it’s fit for adults. If you wouldn’t sleep on it because the springs creak every time you roll over or the mattress is mushy, your guests probably won’t enjoy it either.

The Bedding

You don’t need super expensive sheets for your guests, but they might prefer something slightly higher quality than the Paw Patrol sheets your son loves. It’s just good hospitality to keep a special set of bedding for your guests that has never been peed on. It may be a pain, but remove the crinkly mattress cover too when you remake the bed for an adult sleeper. Children may not notice the crunch, but most adults do.

The Lights

Many adults read at night so make sure there is a lamp on each side of the bed. Even if you have to bring in a TV tray table, both visitors deserve a place to set their glasses and cell phones nearby. And while nightlights are a necessity for little ones, the light may bother adults. If your guest room is sunny, consider investing in room darkening shades. If you don’t like the look, a tension rod with black curtains is an easy fix that can be stowed away in the closet between visits. If you aren’t sure how bright the room is, lie down on the bed at night to check for streetlight glare and in the morning for sunshine.

The Décor

Every guest room needs a chair. This is especially true if the bed in the room is high. Although beautiful, tall beds make it difficult to sit down to put your socks and shoes on. A folding chair works perfectly for this. Every guest room also needs a luggage rack which is a relatively inexpensive purchase and can be tucked away in the closet when not in use. They are especially thoughtful for guests who might have a little trouble bending over to get to their suitcase (i.e. grandma and grandpa).  Don’t over decorate the room with knick-knacks. A bedside table or bureau top may look enchanting covered with photographs or angel figurines, but if it means Aunt Betty doesn’t have a place to put her glass of water and pill dispenser, then it’s time to create some space.

The Bathroom

In some homes, every bedroom has an ensuite bathroom, but most people in most houses just have to share. Providing guests with robes is a nice touch especially if there might be a line at the bathroom door. Also, consider what your guests might need in the middle of the night (antacid, aspirin, etc.) and make a little first aid kit for them so that they can be self-sufficient and the rest of the household can get their sleep. (Of course, emphasize how important it is that no medication be left where small hands can get to it.) Always show guests where the extra towels, blankets, light and fan switches are.  What is a logical placement to you may be a frustrating search at 2AM for your guest.

The old saying is that fish and guests both stink after three days. With a little effort, it’s possible to create a comfortable guest room amidst the household chaos. (Just remember not to make it too comfortable!)