As Christmas approaches, many of us are scrambling to make the spaces where our holiday guests are going to sleep both presentable and hospitable.

Guest rooms were the topic when Jessica Ann McCarthy, creative director of the online interiors firm Decorist, was the guest on a recent Home Front live chat. Whether you have a dedicated guest room that needs a little fluffing up or you’re making do with an inflatable mattress tucked into a niche in your studio apartment, she had some great advice.

Give guests a bit of cleared storage space. It’s thoughtful to clear a foot of space in the closet and round up five nice hangers (maybe wood if you feel really hospitable) for guests’ hanging clothes. Also try to provide at least one empty drawer; you can empty out the contents of the top drawer into an under-bed storage container or, if that’s not an option, just stash it all in a shopping bag for a few days. Declutter the tops of chests and tables so guests have places to put their stuff.

Add some personal touches. Get a glass or water carafe for the side of the bed. Put some fresh flowers, a plant or a sprig of holiday greenery in the room. Make a stack of favorite books or recent magazines for guests to enjoy. Take out your best bed linens and towels and even a terry cloth robe if you have one to pamper your visitors. “None of these items are expensive but will instantly make your space feel like a luxury hotel,” McCarthy wrote in the chat.

Don’t forget technology. Your house guests will appreciate any way you can make it easy for them to stay connected or to help them sleep. Phone chargers on either side of the bed, a sound machine to drown out noise and an air purifier are all welcome additions. A tablet for guests to check emails and browse the Internet is a terrific amenity.

Make room in the bathroom for your guests’ bath towels. Don’t feel that if you have only one bathroom in your place you have to keep your own damp towels in your bedroom during holidays. Figure out a way to make space for additional towels. McCarthy suggests a minimalist CB2 towel rack in chrome, brass or matte black that sits on the floor without taking up too much valuable square footage. It holds multiple towels at once and doesn’t need any wall space.

If your home office doubles as a guest room, make a few enhancements. First, remove your laptop and tidy up your desk. A decorative screen adds privacy and can divide a sleeping area from a work area. There are lots of nice vintage options out there or McCarthy suggests the Charlotte screen in natural batik from One Kings Lane, although it’s too late to order for this Christmas. On a small side table, bring in a nice lamp, phone charger and a few accessories; make up the bed with beautiful linens to create a luxurious feel.

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