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Creating An Inviting Guest Room

With summer just around the corner, it's time to get the spare room ready for visits from friends and family.

Colin Cowie, The Early Show's guru of entertaining, offered suggestions Friday on making your overnight houseguests feel welcome and comfortable.

First and foremost, Cowie advises what he himself was taught by his mother: "If you bring someone into your home, you should make sure you treat them like a King or Queen. Think of it as running a little hotel. However, if you're not willing or prepared to go the extra mile, well then, don't invite a guest to stay with you."

Among Cowie's ideas:

Set Up a Clean and Inviting Room

Prepare your guest or spare room by removing clutter and making space. Clear tabletops of odds and ends, keeping only the most useful items, such as an alarm clock. Empty at least one or two drawers for smaller items. Make closet space available for your guests to put things away. And don't forget to supply extra hangers!

Provide crisp, clean and coordinated linens. You don't have to invest in the finest luxury linens, but you can get beautiful discontinued designer sheet sets at discount specialty stores. Also, make sure you provide an extra blanket tucked away in the closet for chilly nights.

Provide a luggage rack or bench where guests can set down their suitcases. This will keep guests from stooping down to pull out items from the suitcases. It will also prevent them from placing their dirty luggage on a clean bed. Another option is to designate a large bath towel for guests to place their luggage on.

Give your guests a comfy place to sit. Place an upholstered armchair or side chair in the room with a lamp close by, so guests have a place to sit other than the bed.

Add Some Welcoming Touches

Leave your guests a personalized welcome note with pertinent information they may need. Remember, a well-informed guest is a happy guest! Include numbers for things like your home security code, your cell phone, local restaurant delivery, transportation, hair salon, etc. Guests will also find a neighborhood map and guidebook helpful.

Make an extra set of house keys for your guests so they can come and go as they please.

Add freshly-cut flowers, a carafe of water, and perhaps some books and magazines.

Place a framed picture of you and your guests in their room, as a personal touch.

Fill a basket or tray with some basic amenities such as shampoo, conditioner, lotions, tissues, toothpaste, a fresh toothbrush, and hair dryer, and place it next to a stack of fresh towels.

To make guests feel really special, turn down their bed in the evening and place a book of poetry on their pillow. Follow by dimming the lights and lighting a candle.

All linens, towels, and decorative items in the segment were provided by Restoration Hardware.

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