When I moved to Atlanta, it was the first time I hosted my family for the holidays in my home. I finally had space, but not furniture, so I frantically bought a giant sleeper sofa.
Friends later called it “the band-aid” for both its color and function. That was a $1,500 mistake no one should make.
Some retailers are currently offering 15 to 50 percent off deals on home decor and other items during holiday entertaining sales, so now is a good time to save money while upgrading your guest room.
Don’t have a dedicated guest room? Make a guest space. A daybed, futon or air mattress placed in an office or nook, can serve as a bed. An air mattress will likely be the most affordable option and it offers the most versatility. Try to find a space that gives a bit of privacy or create it with the use of screens or curtains.
The following tips can make any guest room or guest space feel more like four-star accommodations:
Dress the bed. Invest in new linens for the guest bed if you don’t have them. It’s a good idea to always have one set of linens designated for guests. Fold an extra blanket at the foot of the bed, and add an extra pillow. Spritz everything with a lavender-scented linen spray for a nice touch. Retailers such as J.C. Penney and Kohl’s have recently had bedding on sale at up to 50 percent off.
Create space. Make room in the closets for guests to hang their clothing. If there are no closets or the closets are full, use a wall mounted hanging rack or a garment rack. You can find a garment rack for under $20 at Target. Also make room for suitcases. A luggage rack from Wal-Mart is less than $20, but you can also use a trunk or small table to hold luggage and other items.
Stock the nightstand. Make sure there is a lamp near the bed, preferably within arms reach. If you don’t have a nightstand use a side table or ottoman. Fresh flowers and candles are also nice additions to the nightstand, as well as bottled water or water in a carafe and a glass. Look for 20 to 50 percent off discounts on these items from retailers like Ikea, which are offering special fall holiday entertaining deals.
Clean the bathroom. It’s great if your guest will have his or her own bathroom. Add a selection of sample-sized toiletries — toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, lotion — and put out fresh towels. Also be sure there are extra rolls of toilet paper in view. If you have one bathroom that your guest will be sharing, clean up your usual bathroom clutter first, then offer the same finishing touches.