Wednesday February 3 2016

Make your guests feel at home

A guest room in Pastor Wilson Bugembe’s house.

A guest room in Pastor Wilson Bugembe’s house. If you cannot set a whole room a part, you can save a corner in one of the bedrooms to serve as an area for guests. Photo Edgar R Batte 

By Juliet Kigongo

Gone are the days when children would be taken out of their beds to create room for a guest. Nowadays, people build their houses with guests in mind. It is commonplace for a house to have a guest room while some houses boast of a fully functional guest wing.

But there are those who struggle with how to decorate the room to make it not only comfortable but also beautiful. Aisha Namuli, an interior designer with Adam and Eve, says when decorating a guest room, it is important to keep the following in mind; accessibility, furniture, ventilation and storage. She says a well-organised guest room makes life easier for both the host and guest.

Location is key to comfort. A guest room should be easily accessible to both the host and guest and yet have enough privacy. This calls for a self-contained room with a bathroom and toilet. In a storeyed house, it is better to have it on the ground floor. For a bungalow, the room is usually located near the sitting room, away from the family’s living quarters.

The room must be regularly cleaned and dusted to avoid a build- up of dust. Open windows at least once a week to keep out stale and stuffy air.

Show your guest around the house so that they can find their way easily and teach them how to use the different gadgets in the house.

This will help you minimise waste and damage. For instance, among the newest designs are sensor taps where hands are placed under the tap and water flows out. If your guest does not know how to use such a tap, they will break it.

Ventilation and lighting
Ventilation allows for good air circulation. This calls for well-placed windows and ventilators. Ensure that there is enough light including a bedside lamp and a switch by the door. If space allows, a reading table and light would come in handy too.

The most important thing you can provide for a guest is a good, comfortable bed. Put some extra bed sheets and blankets in the closet and point them out to the guest should it get cold in the night. The bed must always be made with fresh sheets and towels neatly laid out.

If you have one guest room, twin beds might be a better option than a double bed. Your guests will appreciate a comfortable chair when they need some private time. It can be a good place to rest or just to sit and read.

Colour makes the room more appealing. A guest room calls for neutral shades since it will be used by different people with varying tastes. Think of pale white, yellowish-brown and cream as well as warmer off white for walls.
Introduce more colour through furnishings; reds, greens, brown can add warmth and character to a room.

An indoor bathroom is called for but if this is not possible ensure that the room is near the bathroom. Provide extra towels and furnish with floor mats, toothbrush holder, extra toothbrush and toothpaste, panty peg or hooks for drying underwear on.
Always have a bin and paper bags which female guests can use to dispose of their sanitary towels.

A chest of drawers is an absolute necessity. In a small room, at least have a fitted wardrobe/ closet for one to safely keep away their belongings. Provide extra hangers as well.
If you are worried about the loss of hangers at every guest’s departure, think of hook hangers that are stuck onto the rail and cannot be removed.