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HOUSE & DOCK
Making Room For Guests

If your lake house draws lots of visitors, you may need more than a standard guest bedroom.

Guest Bedroom Considerations

Putting together a guest bedroom requires some thought about making it a pleasant place to stay. One of the first things to take into account when furnishing a guest room is who will be visiting most frequently. Since our extended family uses our guest bedroom the most, we took care to buy a good firm mattress, as we knew that some of the family had back problems. It was worth spending a little extra to know that they are as comfortable as we can make them in our lake house.

We were fortunate to be able to build a guest room that gives our guests their own entrance to the house. Even though the guest room was not built during the original construction, we planned for it to be located in the unfinished basement for a future project. The house design incorporated a sliding glass door installed in the area we designated for the guest bedroom. This is a nicety that allows early risers to take an early morning walk down to the lake without worrying about disturbing the sleepier occupants of the house.

Before you have guests stay in the guest room, pack an overnight bag and sleep in it yourself. Then you will know for sure whether it is comfortable or not, and if you have provided everything someone might need. Youíll also get firsthand experience of the temperature and any noise issues your guests will be exposed to.

Special Touches

Little extras can help make your guests feel more comfortable. Putting scented soaps or a little potpourri in dresser drawers keeps the room from smelling musty if it does not get a lot of use. Dryer sheets in drawers or at the bottom of a trash also diffuse a pleasant fresh scent.

Providing hooks and hangers gives guests a place to hang things like towels and extra clothes. I also like to provide a chair. A chair can be used to hold a suitcase during unpacking and packing. It can also be helpful for putting on shoes, or a place to put things within reach. Also, since this is at the lake, make sure there is somewhere handy they can hang a wet bathing suit or two.

Keeping comfort in mind, you might wish to make sure some basics are readily available. A container of fresh cold water and a cup in the guest room will be welcome for anyone who has to take medications, or just wakes up and needs a sip of water. I use a jug or thermos with a lid, to ensure the water stays clean and bug-free. Also, a box of tissues comes in handy.

Make sure that there is an alarm clock and that it is set to the correct time, as well as putting a nightlight in the room. A nightlight is particularly nice for people who might wake up disoriented in an unfamiliar place, or need to get up during the night. A nightstand with a reading light gives guests a place to put things, as well as allowing them to read in bed if they like.

Try to enable your guests to get a good nightís rest. I make sure there are more than enough pillows available. Since not everyone likes the same type of pillow, having a variety made of different filling materials helps to make sure that at least one of them will be comfortable for your guests. Also, window treatments should be easily adjustable, and enable guests to shut out enough light to sleep. An extra blanket is another thoughtful extra to provide for your guests. Once you are asleep they canít come and ask you for one, so have it handy in case they wake up chilled.

Room for One or Two More

Here are some great ideas for maximizing sleeping space for guests. A guest room can be outfitted with a regular bed as well as a convertible sofa bed. This is a nice accommodation for a family to share, especially if there are young children. If a sofa bed wonít work, the new air mattresses that inflate quickly and easily make a great extra sleeping space when you are stretched to accommodate more guests than usual. Daybeds are another alternative. They can be made up to function as a seating area during the day, and provide a comfortable bed at night.

We put bunk beds in the two bedrooms for our three boys. This ensures that there is always an extra bunk for a friend to stay with them. Since we love having guests at our lake house, we wanted to make sure that we have plenty of extra room.

 


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