As many ponder the possibility of safely hosting family members during this pandemic-year holiday season, creating an inviting guest room may be top of mind.

In many homes, guest bedrooms are discarded spaces. Sometimes they are filled with clutter, and are only cleared just hours before a guest arrives. Some guest rooms are left dark and empty, a shrine to the guest who shows up once or twice a year.

Guest bedrooms serve as a welcome message, and should be treated as an opportunity to greet your guests in style.

Here are 10 ways to enhance the guest-bedroom experience for your guests.

1. Create a welcome basket. It is a staple at events such as weddings and large family gatherings, so why not create one for your guests? A welcome basket can include the basics such as rolled towels and bottled water, or it can be enhanced with a personalized gift.

2. Add books. Whether it’s a novel, tourist guide or magazine, some reading material can be a welcomed diversion for your guests.


3. Think fresh. Who doesn’t love fresh flowers? A colorful bouquet says you took the time to add a fragrant touch to welcome your guest.

4. Provide the basics. Sometimes guests forget to pack the basics, such as soap, toothpaste or even a toothbrush. For them, having these basics on hand will be a welcomed surprise.

5. Use classic colors. Even though it is your home, it is best to stay away from personalized colors. When decorating a guest bedroom, stick to classic colors such as white, blue, yellow and green.

6. Offer linens. Many guests are choosing to stay at your home is in lieu of a hotel, so why not make your guest feel like your home is like a boutique hotel? And there is nothing better on a bed than sumptuous linens.

7. Think local. Coming to your home may be a vacation for your guests. They may even want to learn more about your local area, and take in some of the sights and flavors. Add some local touches to your guest bedroom — if your area is known for local jam or maple syrup, for example, include these in the welcome basket for your guests.

8. Provide privacy. Tired and travel-weary, some guests will welcome the opportunity to have a bit of alone time. If possible, locate your guest room in an area that provides privacy and its own bathroom.

9. Change it up. Keep your guest bedroom fresh and current by changing it up every so often with new pillows, artwork or bedding.

10. Clear the clutter. In an ideal situation, the guest bedroom should not be your “catch all” room. Clear the clutter and help make your guest feel like it is their space, even if it’s just for a little while.