A visit from your in-laws is always nerve-wracking – even if you like them! Somehow, you always feel compelled to have everything perfect: The stacked magazines on the coffee table, the bathroom sparkling and fresh, every meal a culinary wonder, etc. And then there’s the guest room, which might have been an office or one of the kid’s bedrooms just last month. It’s freshly painted and has lovely new furniture. Now all you have to do is dress that room to impress your in-laws.
You never get a second chance to make a first impression, so you really need to put your best foot forward. How? When you lead your in-laws to the guest room, you could have a bench or large cedar chest positioned at the end of the bed and place their luggage on it. It took a while to make the bed look flawless, and suitcases would mar the scene. A place to sit while dressing and undressing is the hidden advantage.
Place a wicker or bamboo hamper for used linens next to a small table stacked with additional clean throws, blankets, pillows, pillow cases and bedding for convenience. Add towels and washcloths if the room has a private bathroom.
Since they likely traveled quite a ways, a good night’s sleep is most important to your in-laws. It’s often difficult to sleep soundly in unfamiliar surroundings, so make sure the bed is perfect from the headboard to the bedding. Don't forget: It's the little things that often make the biggest difference!
An upholstered headboard makes reading and watching TV more comfortable with its light padding and adds a touch of class to the bed’s appearance. The choices are extensive. It's up to you to choose the bedroom accessories to make it the star of the show.
Freshly laundered, crisp sheets look, smell and feel best. Solid colors, prints or geometric patterns are a matter of personal taste. You can also mix solids with geometric or other prints if you carefully match the colors to create an appealing cohesiveness.
Sheet shopping can be challenging. Be sure to measure the depth of the mattress before buying sheets. You can add a mattress pad or topper if the mattress needs height. You must also consider thread count, weave and fabric. With that said, a high thread count is not a comfort guarantee. The material used and the weaving method is equally important.
Since some fabrics enhance warmth and coziness and others add cooling comfort on hot summer nights, consider the season your in-laws are visiting. And, don't be afraid to ask your significant other for help with this, as they'll likely be able to tell you if your in-laws are the types to always feel hot or always feel cold.
It’s difficult to choose ideal pillows that match different sleeping positions. Ideally, you’d have thin, medium and thick pillows to meet everyone’s needs. If that’s not practical, stick with medium thickness pillows.
Choose pillow sizes that don’t get swallowed by the size of the bed. Keep in mind: It’s better to have oversized bed pillows than ones that don’t fill the space at the top of the mattress.
Toppings are tricky. On sweltering, summer nights, many people sleep with no toppings whatsoever. In the dead of winter, sleepers often weigh themselves down with layers of coverlets, duvets, comforters and quilts. Be sure to place a light coverlet over the top sheet during hot months, add a duvet when it starts to cool down and bring out the comforters and quilts when the temperatures plummet.
These top layers provide added warmth and style, and can swap out for the season. There are four main options: Coverlets, quilts, duvets with covers and comforters.
Frills & Flounces
To complete the bed dressing, toss a few decorative throw pillows on the top of the bed. Don’t overdo it! Most people hate having to move a bunch of pillows just to lie down and sleep. Choose slightly extravagant pillow shams that fit well, preferably with hidden zipper closings, and serve as a tasteful piece of jewelry that doesn’t compete with the rest of the outfit.