The prospect of inviting family or friends into your home should be a welcoming one. It’s a beautiful experience to open your home, share how you live, and host someone you care about. Of course, you want to make that experience equally rewarding for whomever is visiting. Think about your favourite hotel stays, and what made those moments unforgettable.

We’ve come up with a few ideas on how to prepare your guest room for company.

CLEAR OUT: Without guests, you may use the spare room as a place to store extra belongings, paperwork, or toys. Free the room from clutter before your friends arrive, and ensure there is ample closet and drawer space for their own belongings. Vacuum, dust, and open the windows to freshen the air. You may even consider burning an earthy scented candle a few hours before arrival.

THE BED: Splash out on a set of linens reserved especially for guests – something cheerful, peaceful, or elegant. Spread out a blanket at the foot of the bed, in case your guests are chilly in the night or fancy an afternoon nap. If your “spare bed” is an air mattress, test it out to make sure it’s firm enough and not leaking air. Leave enough pillows – some people prefer one, while others opt for two.

BATHROOM + TOILETRIES: Leave a set of towels and face cloth on the bed, ready for when they arrive. Leave a small basket of basic toiletries in the room in case your guests have forgotten anything. We know you have a stash of hotel shampoo and moisturizer bottles. Also, keep some counter space clear in the bathroom, so your friends can set down their toiletry bag.

A NOTE: Leave a welcome note on the pillow and be sure to include information like the WiFi password, nearby transit stops, directions to your favourite café, or instructions on how to use the coffee maker. Write a few words to make your guests feel at home.

EXTRA TOUCHES: It’s the unexpected extras that make a stay memorable and special. Consider the following:

You’ll want to have friends spend the night more often, when you see how much they enjoy the welcome.