Last week we covered the essentials of guest bedroom furniture to provide tips for planning the basic pieces necessary to provide your guests with the functionality they need for a comfortable and convenient stay. This week we will expand on some of those ideas, and go even further with others, to suggest ways you can go above and beyond the essentials and provide outstanding hospitality for your guests. Topics to consider are the Comfort Scale rating of the guest bedroom mattress, proper bedding, extras in the room such as decor and a TV, and lastly room layout/location for those still in the stages of floor planning. With these topics covered, in addition to Guest Bedroom Furniture (Part I), you should be prepared to develop a game plan and begin shopping for the right pieces of guest bedroom furniture for your home.
Last time we covered the ideal mattress sizes for your guest bedroom, but not mattress comfort. This might not be something you immediately realize as important, but keep in mind that the type of mattress you find comfortable might not be the type that others find comfortable! Perhaps you fall on one end of the spectrum, say a Comfort Scale rating of 1-3 or 8+; if you give a mattress for your guest bedroom the old 2-minute lie down test in a showroom and pick the one you like, it might not be right for others or even the majority of your guests. For example, if you like an extra soft mattress, say something plush scoring a 9 on the Comfort Scale, and then your parents or grandparents come to visit, the lack of back support and difficulty getting in and out of such a giving mattress would be brutal. On the flip side, if you like the supportive feel of a firm mattress for your own back problems, say a 2 on the Comfort Scale, and have grown accustomed to the less forgiving feel of such a mattress, you might by one like that from your lie down test in a showroom. Then you have some friends from out of town come stay for the weekend, and compared to their plush mattress back home, they feel like they are sleeping on a rock in your guest bedroom! Although it is virtually impossible to please everyone, there are steps that you can take to minimize the discomfort of your varied guests, and come close to the preferred Comfort Scale for the majority.
The best way to go for finding the right type of mattress for a guest bedroom is to look for that elusive “Goldilocks” mattress that has a mid-range comfort that will work well, or at least not be on the opposite end of the Comfort Scale, for the majority of guests. With that strategy, shooting for something with a Comfort Scale rating of 5 is probably ideal. You may encounter instances in which the brand you are loyal to, or the price range you are looking at, does not offer a mattress in the ideal size and Comfort Scale rating you had in mind. In this case, shifting up to 6 is probably the best way to lean, then down to 4. Although it is a 1 point shift on our Comfort Scale either way, some side sleepers may experience pressure related discomfort in the hips and shoulders if they sleep through the night on one of their sides on a mattress erring towards firm. Whereas a guest who needs higher-than-normal back support will probably be okay for a night or two on a slightly softer mattress with a 6 Comfort Scale (and they are also more likely to be used to comfort discrepancies from hotel visits if they have a very specific preferred comfort zone). Of course, if you can predict your guest population will be primarily leaning one way or the other, it would be wise to adjust the mattress comfort accordingly. But a universal or, at the very least, a compromising mid-range comfort mattress is a smart way to go when choosing your guest bedroom furniture. And this is just another reason why shopping online using an objective, quantifiable scale can be better than the 2-minute showroom test.
In addition to the mattress itself, the bed and bedding to go along with it can make or break the comfort of a guest’s night’s stay. Although the type of bed isn’t overly important, consider the platform bed which does not require a box spring. This type of bed usually offers extra storage space underneath, and usually has a lower height which makes it easier to get in and out of bed. Next, for guests who don’t bring their own pillow, it may be wise to have a selection of pillows available. At least a mix of low- and high-loft pillows would be wise. To cover all of your bases, pillows and pillowcases with allergen-reducing properties will ensure your guests won’t have to suffer through a sensitive allergy issue you may not have been aware of. Lastly, either a universal bedding set or the appropriate number of seasonal bedding sets will ensure your guests will be comfortable no matter what time of year they visit. You don’t want summer guests using a thick winter comforter or winter guests freezing underneath a thin sheet! It would also be a good idea to have at least two sets of the proper bedding in the event of a spill or other accident that might require the set in use to need washed. Planning ahead can save you headache and embarrassment as host!
Getting less essential as we go down the list, decor can be something worth thinking about when planning your guest bedroom furniture. Do you want to develop the room with a theme in mind? An overall style influence? Purely comfort and functionality? It is best not to use a guest bedroom as the catchall for all of your secondhand pieces and knickknacks, though you know what kind of effect you are going for, if any. Avoid valuable or delicate decorations, not only for your sake, but for the sake of an unfortunate guest who might knock something over being unaccustomed to the layout and feel terrible for an accident that could sully the entire visit. But simple and interesting decor such as paintings and other wall decor can make a guest feel relaxed and have something to take in when just passing a few minutes in the privacy of their room. Another similar consideration is the inclusion of a TV in your guest bedroom. Obviously the intent is not to keep your guests pent up in their room where they need a TV, but during the off-hours or right before bed, many guests may find a bit of comfort in being able to kick back and watch something familiar in the privacy of their own room. This can be a good way to combat homesickness, and just a way to give your guests somewhere to escape to if they need some time to themselves.
Although this last bit is not intended for those looking to furnish a guest bedroom, it may be worth touching on for those who are still planning the layout of their new home. If you plan on having overnight guests, and are deciding where a guest bedroom should go and how it should be laid out, here are a few suggestions: Proximity to bathrooms is important. If the guest bedroom doesn’t have an attached bathroom itself, try to locate the guest room near a bathroom with as few turns as possible. Waking up in the middle of the night and being afraid to wander around your host’s home looking for the bathroom can be an embarrassing and uncomfortable situation. Similar to that, placing the bed and light switch for the guest bedroom as close as possible is a good idea. You don’t want your guests fumbling around in the dark in a foreign room searching for the light switch! A nightlight would be another thoughtful addition for guests. Likewise, having plenty of power outlets for your guests to charge cell phones and other devices is important in a guest bedroom, and make sure there is at least one within reach of the bed/nightstand. Finally, and this one may seem obvious, don’t put your guest bedroom in a windowless room. Windows provide natural and comforting light which is great to wake up to, offer temperature regulation and something to look at, and also provide peace of mind as a fire escape.
With Guest Bedroom Furniture (Parts I and II), we have no covered a substantial amount of information that will hopefully help you when planning a guest bedroom in your home. At the very least, I hope something in this series has given you an “aha moment” as something you might have overlooked or not considered previously. Either way, you should be more prepared now to begin the potentially daunting task of creating a room for your guests to consider their home away from home, and we here at FurnitureCrate are happy to help you with your guest bedroom furniture needs every step of the way!