Put Together a 5-Star Guestroom on a Beer Budget

by Cheryl Wright

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You may be operating on a beer budget, but you can still create a guestroom with a style and elegance that says "welcome." Here's how:

The Room

If you normally use this room, clean thoroughly and touch up with some paint for a fresh look. De-clutter and reorganize your stuff. Your guest may not mind sleeping in the room you use for sewing, but don't expect him or her to be comfortable sharing a room cluttered with your sewing supplies and paraphernalia.

The Window Treatment

You will want to ensure that the window treatment affords light, ventilation, and most of all, privacy. To create a look that would make your guest feel comfortable, whether male or female, keep the style of the window covering simple. Install an inexpensive blind or roller shade. Then give the room the required personality with an easy-sew or no-sew valance or swag.

The Bed

It does not matter whether it is a single or double bed. Tighten any loose screws so that the frame is sturdy and check the mattress for firmness and comfort. Nobody wants to sleep on a lumpy mattress on a bed that shakes when you make the slightest movement.

The Bed Linen

Dress the bed in layers for sumptuous comfort. Examine the condition of the mattress cover and make a new one out of a couple old sheets. Don't worry if it does not fit as tightly as the original cover, just as long as it fits snuggly. With the mattress cover intact, go ahead and put on a fitted sheet and a flat sheet, ensuring that it hangs evenly on both sides of the bed.

Don't have a comforter? Have no fear. A few yards of sheeting can be miraculously turned into a reversible bedspread without batting, quilting, or ruffles. What's important is that the workmanship is neat and the colors are pleasing.

There should be at least three pillows on the bed. Pillowcases do not have to match the sheet or bedspread. Try to have at least one pair of matching cases and the third case could be of a complimentary pattern and color.

The Chair

Everyone needs a place to sit at the end of the day and your guest should not have to perch at the foot of the bed. Set a chair in a corner with a small table and lamp to read or to put on shoes. It will also come in handy to rest shopping bags after an evening at the mall.

The Bedside Table

A bedside table is a necessity to rest a lamp, a clock, a cup of coffee, a note pad and pen. If it has a shelf beneath, stash a couple of your guest's favorite books or magazines.

The Bath Linens

Make at least two bath towels, hand towels and washcloths available for your guest. They should be color-coordinated. Add a few extra bars of soap, a small bottle of shampoo and body cream for a pleasing, yet practical presentation. Your guest will be very appreciative of the time you spent on such things.

The Storage

Guestroom storage should be simple. Several hangers, some space in the closet, and one or two drawers in a chest might be enough to give your guest a sense of belonging and the feeling of being at home away from home.

The Lighting

Don't have your guest wandering around the room in the dark. Check that the guestroom has ample general and task lighting for reading, writing, and dressing. Place several candles in the room for a female guest. Not only will they provide more light, but an extra touch of elegance.

The Accessories

What accessories should you use in your guestroom? Well that all depends on the overall look you want to create for your special guest.

  • For a rustic country look, use baskets, a bench instead of a chair, pinecone potpourri and candles.
  • To obtain a seaside feel, use seashells and colorful plastic buckets to hold brightly colored bath linens.
  • For a home office (for a guest who is mixing business with pleasure), include a small desk to rest a laptop. If a desk is not an option because you don't have one to spare, consider a shelving unit on which you can display a couple of books. Accessorize the top shelf with a writing pad, a pen and miscellaneous items to carry through the look of a home office.

The Little Extras

Details count and make a lasting impression. If your budget allows, or even better, if you own a second one, consider including some of the following:

  • an alarm clock
  • a phone and directory
  • an ironing board and iron
  • a hair dryer
  • a small television set

So, when you decide to accommodate guests, muster up some good old enthusiasm and include as many of the above amenities your beer budget can manage. At the end of their stay at your 5-star guestroom, your guests will be singing your praises hoping to be invited back again.

Cheryl Wright is an Interior Design Consultant and Freelance Writer who has been writing about interior decorating and design issues for the past six years. She is expanding her horizons by including articles on the writing life, motivation and self-care, especially for women. You may email her at cherylwright55@hotmail.com

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