Living in San Francisco, having overnight guests is about as common for my husband and I as doing laundry; it’s a sure thing. From our parents and siblings, our adorable (and still sleep training) nephew, to friends and what sometimes seems anyone else who knows we live in SF and have a guest room. But, with living literally across the country, we do welcome the opportunity as this gives us a chance to spend missed and much needed time with our loved ones. We are fortunate to have the family and friends that we do, and sharing our home is something we will always do (as long as you are polite!)
Here are the things we have found to create the best overnight (and some extended stay) experiences for both you and your guests:
- Purchase a quality mattress (guest use appropriate- they sell them- just ask) and a waterproof mattress cover. Whether someone reads at night with a glass of wine in bed, or sweats a lot; protecting the mattress is key.
- Invest in quality white cotton sheets that are nice enough to hold up to several repeated washings, but not so nice you will cry if they become destroyed. This Pottery Barn Classic 400-Thread Count Sheet Set in white has washed and bleached like a dream and I wouldn’t hesitate buying again in a heartbeat. (Currently on sale for 10% off.)
- Mix and match down and down alternative pillows for your guests comfort. If you haven’t purchased pillows in a long time, pop into HomeGoods and get a two-pack for $19.99. Your guests will thank you.
- A comforter in a basic solid or print pairs best with white sheets and creates that hotel feel. I only purchase and own down comforters, so this is what I provide for my guests. Be sure to cover them with a machine washable duvet that is again of a quality that will last, yet be aware that accidents do happen. I’m loving this one pictured above from Serena & Lily.
- Provide guests with their own set of towels. Just because you keep your towels in your bathroom, it doesn’t mean you want 15 other people using them. This is a pet peeve of mine.
- Offer an eye mask and travel sized toiletries in case they have forgotten anything. This is a good time to get rid of the stock you have collected from your own travels.
- Show them where coffee, tea and the closest breakfast place is. Traveling across the country means dealing with a time change and more often than not, my husband and I are still sleeping when our guests wake- at least for the first day or two.
- Let them know your sleep/work schedule is so you can be sure your routine isn’t interrupted. This is important- it is not rude to set expectations- it is a must.
- Set the example by making your bed. Enough said.
Above all, enjoy your time with your guests. I know many people who wouldn’t consider having overnight guests and that’s perfectly ok too. If it’s feasible for your guest to stay in a hotel, sometimes that is the best bet. It allows for everyone to have their own space and time, while still meeting up for dinners, outings and sightseeing. If you are going to host guests, be honest with yourself about your needs. If you need the bathroom from 7-9 am- tell your guests! If you sleep till 10 am- tell your guests! If you have yoga every night at 6 pm- tell your guests! You should carry on with your daily routine as you wish, and no one should complain. This is your guest’s vacation, not yours. On the flip side, if you are going to be a house guest, remember you are just that; a guest in someone else’s house with more often than not, a very different schedule and house rules than you. Now is the time to let those manners shine!
image via Serena & Lily