Prepping for the Holidays: How to Transform Your Home into a Welcoming Inn

If you’re hosting family for the holidays, then you know all about the challenge of finding a place for everyone to sleep, young and old. Whether you know exactly how many will be coming (and staying the night), or feel you could also be responsible for a surprise guest or two, we have a handful of tips that will help make sure you’re prepared for any situation.

Being a great host doesn’t mean you need to seek out an overwhelming sense of formality. In fact, one of the best ways to handle all requirements is simply to imagine your house as an inn, seeking out the nooks and crannies to offer every guest their own space, while also knowing that there’s a need for community use, too.

A quick way to add an extra guest room to your “inn” is to place a twin-size daybed in a room currently used as a den or office. The great feature of a daybed is its ability to serve as a sofa-like space during waking hours but also provide an extra bed when needed for overnight guests. You can even add an extra bed by purchasing a trundle for underneath. A trundle is a bed frame with wheels and casters that can hold a mattress while staying in storage below the daybed.

Not only can you create a two-person sleeping arrangement with the daybed, but you can also add pillows and mattress covers to make your daybed an attractive and hidden feature in any room.

Attics often provide another great space for adding sleeping quarters to your home. Even a somewhat unfinished attic space can become a cozy spot for a guest if decorated well. Remember, you don’t need to commit to a total renovation to make it usable. Sometimes, simple flowers or books are enough to make an otherwise empty space inviting for your guests. Likewise, an area rug can provide warmth (both psychological and physical) to an attic space.

For the bed in your attic, you don’t need to get a full frame and box springs. If the space will be used only rarely, a simple mattress on top of the carpet is enough for a comfortable resting spot. We would recommend your use of a real mattress—not a less comfortable, inflatable option. To add a fuller sense of the bed, use additional pillows and blankets to create a faux headboard. Be sure to include a decorative bedspread to add visual pop to the space.

Find low end tables to provide beside space for your guests, as they’ll be closer to the floor than they otherwise would. Even a suitcase can provide a stand-in bedside table and keep the cozy charm of the space intact. In case you haven’t noticed, this can be a lot of fun! Stop focusing on creating a fully decorated room and take advantage of the unique spaces in which your guests will sleep. This will help them feel special and appreciate your effort to provide a home away from home.

Few design opportunities offer so much creative freedom, so this is your chance to take risks and try out new ideas. As for the success of those designs, it makes for a great dinner-time conversation for the whole family to enjoy.