Guests are coming
Q: I'm expecting a steady parade of house guests during the holidays, including my sister's family with two young children. I have one guest room and my downstairs couch is a sleeper. Anything else I should do?
A: There is certainly an art to being a host, as well as being a guest. Take notes from the nicest hotels you've ever stayed in and try to replicate that experience as much as you can in your own home.
More than anything, a clean bed and a place for their luggage are the most important things. Mattress and pillow protectors will prolong the life of the bedding as well as encase any allergens for better sleep for everyone.
The sheets need to be changed in between guests if they stay overnight, and probably even if they just take a nap. Of course, extra blankets and lots of clean towels will make your guests feel comfortable. Make them all the same color and laundry day will be easier for you.
A supportive mattress topper will make the sleeper sofa more comfortable. Kids don't need much, and are usually thrilled with a stack of blankets or a sleeping bag on the floor. Put the family in the guest room if there will be other guests at the same time. Everyone will appreciate the privacy.
Nightstands, even simple ones with reading lamps, a clock, tour books of your city, and spare toiletries like shampoo and toothbrushes will help guests feel at home.
A "triple-sheet" method of making the bed, used in many hotels, keeps the comforter cleaner and is easier because there's no duvet cover to wrestle. The first sheet is the fitted one over the mattress pad. The second sheet is a flat sheet over that, pulled high toward the head of the bed. Lay the comforter on the bed and cover with a third flat sheet. This one can be decorative if you'd like. Fold the head of the third sheet under the edge of the comforter, and fold the edge of the second sheet over the top for a finished look.
Enjoy the holidays with your friends and family!
Jennifer Adams is a designer, author, and TV personality. To contact her: