How To Make A Warm, Welcoming Guest Room

For frequent hosts owning your own home is an exciting upgrade to your hospitality skill set. A home large enough to include a guest room for friends and family to stay the night allows you to provide a homey overnight stay that trumps a hotel experience every time.

To create the perfect home away from home guest room for visitors just follow this guide.

First things first, keep it tidy over time. Don’t fall to temptation and use it as a catch-all storage room. This will just lead to more clean up before guests arrive and detract from the home away from home experience if they feel like they are staying in a glorified storage closet.

Before guests arrive freshen up the room by dusting, cracking a window for fresh air, spritz linens with a spray, and vacuum the floors.

Stock your guest bathroom well with toilet paper, tissues, q-tips and cotton balls. Keep two full matching sets of towels folded up nicely and in the open for guests to easily grab. Take a page from the hotel room playbook and have decorative shelving for this very purpose. Either mount shelving to the wall or find a standalone unit that matches your decor.

Have toiletries on hand in case guests have forgotten any while packing. Include new, individually packaged toothbrushes, a tube of toothpaste and travel size deodorants for example. It is always thoughtful to stock the medicine cabinet with the basics.

Stock up on luxurious soaps, lotions, and shampoos to keep on hand in your guest bathroom. It’s best to also keep these out in the open so it is obvious to guests it is for their use. Tiered cake stands, catch-all bowls and clear jars are a great way to put these stylishly on display.

Offer the perfect sleeping experience by including a light bedding option and a warmer one – no matter the season. An ottoman at the foot of the bed with extra blankets and pillows will help guests feel at home to set up the bed their way.

Lay down on the bed to get a feel for how it would be for your guests. In fact, interacting in the room as if you are your guest is a great way to discover what your room is missing. Offer plenty of lighting. Bedside lamps in addition to the ceiling light allow guests to create ambiance or stay up reading while their partner snoozes.  

Decorate the room to keep it cohesive with and as homey as the rest of the house. Hang pictures of friends and family. Frame a decorative image that has your wifi network and password readily available for guests to log in. Include fresh cut flowers and seasonal decor.

How to Stop Your Dog from Chewing on Furniture

Pets are a part of the family. When we welcome a new dog into the home, we often expect them to meet our standards of behavior without much guidance. Dogs, like children, require consistent training from all members of the family. They need positive reinforcement and clear signals from you to teach them what behavior is acceptable.

In this article, we’re going to cover some important house training tips for you and your canine companion. We’ll look at some of the common mistakes that new pet owners make, and talk about ways to curb undesirable behavior like chewing shoes or furniture or barking at windows.

Traits vs. behaviors

One common mistake new pet owners make is to attempt to place character traits on their dog. Words like pushy, protective, mischievous, etc. are all adjectives that we often use to describe our dogs.

However, as dog owners and home owners, our energy is better spent on recognizing and correcting behaviors. If your dog tears at a carpet or chews the corner of your sofa, it isn’t very helpful sitting around thinking of adjectives to describe your dog (like restless or anxious). Rather, we should think about the behavior itself and how to replace it.

Let’s jump right into some household behaviors and ways to replace them with desirable alternatives.

Chewing

Chewing is an important part of a dog’s life. Chewing itself is not a negative behavior, but when your dog starts demolishing furniture or eating your homework, it’s time to take steps to curb this behavior.

First, make sure your dog is eating a healthy diet and getting enough exercise. Dogs who aren’t eating a fat and protein rich food or who are overeating are prone to having excessive energy. If they’re trapped indoors and have nothing to focus that energy on, they’ll turn to chewing things they aren’t supposed to.

To focus your dog’s energy on positive behaviors, take your dog for a walk, jog, or play with them. If you notice your dog attempting to chew things they shouldn’t be, draw their attention away and provide them with a better alternative.

Barking

Just like chewing, barking is not in itself a negative behavior. It’s when your dog barks excessively and inappropriately that it becomes problematic.

Dogs bark for several reasons: to get you to play, to show that they’re stressed or bored, and so on. If your dog spends a lot of time monitoring doors and windows and barking at passersby, there are a few things you can do to curb the behavior.

First, take away the trigger. In this case, that could be closing the curtains or restricting your dog’s access to the room. If your dog is worried about strangers passing by the house, they are likely already too tense to begin training an alternative behavior to barking. If it’s noises that alarm your dog, try playing soft music to mask the noises for a day or two.

Once you’re ready to start training, have someone walk past outside where your dog can see from the window or make a noticeable noise outside. Reward your dog with treats when they do not react until they become more comfortable with the outside distractions.

Six Minimalist Bedroom Ideas

Having lived in several tiny apartments, I know firsthand the struggle of having a cluttered bedroom. The bedroom is the room of your home you’ll probably spend the most time in. You sleep there, get dressed there, and it’s where you go to unwind before bed. It also houses some large furniture items: your bed, your clothing storage, and maybe even a desk or television. However, there are ways to declutter your bedroom to make it feel more minimal, open, and spacious.

In this article, we’ll go over some of the ways you can arrange, paint, and decorate your bedroom to create space and build a more open and comfortable environment.

1. Colors are important

Interior decorators will tell you all about the need for light colors to make a room feel spacious. We naturally associate darkness with closed spaces–a shady patch of wood, a dark cave–whereas bright spaces tend to be much more spacious–a sprawling field or open body of water. To emulate this openness indoors, decorate your home like you would find in a field. Keep the darker colors lower to the ground like the dirt and grass in a field, and the lighter colors up higher on the walls and ceiling, like the sky above.

2. Mirrors make a difference

Most people know about the mirror trick to adding space in a room. However, the location and size of the mirror also matter. One tiny mirror in the corner of a room won’t make much of a difference. However, grouping mirrors together, especially vertically from floor to ceiling, will make the bed room appear much larger, plus you’ll be able to use the mirrors while getting dressed in the morning.

3. Use storage furniture

A bed frame, desk, or ottoman with storage space will allow you to keep objects out of sight and help declutter the room. For best results, use furniture items that are light in color or paint them a slightly different shade of the color of your walls.

4. Modular furniture

Modular furniture is minimal and can be built to fit your needs. With modular furniture you won’t ever have more drawers in your dresser than you need. If you want a desk in your bedroom, you can buy a fold-up wall mounted desk that helps clear up room when not in use.

5. Store inside, not on top

Bedrooms tend to accumulate a lot of clutter. Before I got rid of my bedside table it was usually covered with any range of items–keys, water bottle, opened mail, pens, etc. However, now that I store everything in a bedroom drawer, I don’t have to worry about those items being visible and making the room feel cluttered.

6. Ditch the big bed

Mattresses and bed frames have come a long way in recent years when it comes to minimalism. Since your bed is probably the largest item in your bedroom, it is the most important item to change if you really want to make the room more spacious. The obvious solution is to buy a smaller sized bed. However, if that isn’t an option there are also many slim mattresses and bed frames with a sleek, minimalist look.

5 Plants to Decorate a Room With

Have you ever wondered how rooms in magazines always seem to be pulled together in a way you just can’t seem to replicate? Spoiler alert: the secret sauce is the addition of greenery and fresh cut flowers. But don’t worry you don’t have to run out and buy bouquets of flowers each week to gain the same effect for your home. You can turn your new home into a green paradise all year long with these five easy to care for plants. 

Aloe – A plant that’s easy to care for no matter how green your thumb, the aloe is a hearty plant that can survive a little neglect here and there. Note, though, that the aloe does do best in dry areas and while it can go without frequent watering you want to ensure it is in a pot that drains well to avoid root rot. A large aloe plant can add balance to a minimalist room while a row of smaller plants adds whimsical charm to a child’s room.

English ivy – Here’s a plant for the homeowner who wants a plant to add some decorative interest. As a sprawling plant, the English ivy will look beautiful draped along shelves or windows. The ivy is another easy to grow plant that doesn’t require frequent watering and will thrive with lots of light.

Rubber tree – Looking for something to fill a bare corner? Pick up a rubber tree to add life to the room. Its height allows it to make a statement on its own without a corner table to put it at eye level. This tree prefers indirect light and only requires watering about once or twice a month.

Peace lily – Add some beautiful blooms to a room all year with the peace lily. Not only does it boast beautiful white petals, it is also known to greatly improve air quality. This lily is easy to care for and can be coaxed it to bloom all year in a room with low light conditions.

Spider plant – Draw the eye upward in small rooms by hanging the spider plant from the ceiling. With proper care, this plant will eventually offshoot with “babies” that add more visual interest to its foliage with delicate white flowers. Another plant known for its ability for improving air quality the spider plant is easy to care for.

When choosing plants to add to a room don’t be afraid to get creative as you would with decor and take into consideration how well the color and shape of the plant matches the style of your home. Whether you reach for something to sprawl out over a sparsely filled bookshelf with the English ivy or fill an awkward corner with the rubber tree keep the flow of the room in mind. Happy decorating!