Welcome Mat for Holiday Guests


Before You Put Out the Welcome Mat for Your Holiday Visitors

If your holiday guests will be spending the night, October is a great time to make sure you and your home are ready to welcome your guests! Unless you’re hosting friends with sleeping bags who are fine with sleeping on the floor, you may be assuming you have plenty of time to order a sleep sofa or guest room furniture. That could be a big mistake. Waiting for Black Friday specials might be much too late. Furniture deliveries are notoriously slow and can sometimes take months to arrive.

Having said that, hosting houseguests during special occasions is about more than just furniture. The more you know about their needs and habits, the better able you will be to make them comfortable in your home.

How long will they be staying? Are we talking about grandparents who need a comfortable bed or a family that needs a bed for parents and, maybe, air mattresses for kids? Do they visit often enough to need bunk beds? Are they night owls? What about Internet connection – are you WiFi ready for guests? Do you have a headache yet?? Maybe you should just tell them to stay home (kidding).

Before you get worn out from thinking about it, use your favorite tool for listing your ideas – computer? Tablet? Pencil and scraps of paper or Post It notes? Doesn’t matter. Whatever works for you.

If you are lucky enough to have a spare bedroom that’s full of something other than guest furniture, your task is more complicated!

Do you have to put some things in storage? Or move the treadmill to your own bedroom? What about that sewing machine and all the things you were going to sew when you had time? Ooops.

Before ordering a bed for that room, you’ll want to know if you can make room for it. Along with some kind of small nightstand with a lamp on top. (Don’t even look in the closet in that room yet – you can clean it out later!)


If you don’t have a separate room for holiday guests, you might be thinking that a sleep sofa would be a great option.

So what are the pros and cons to a sleep sofa?


  • You can provide guests with a comfortable place to sleep, even if you don’t have a guest room
  • You can use it all year round, even when you don’t have guests
  • You can integrate it with your existing furniture.


  • May be more expensive than a regular sofa
  • Most sleeper sofas feel firmer than conventional sofas because of the mechanism underneath the cushions, though a thicker mattress or a mattress topper may help.
  • Sleeper sofas are usually very heavy. If you anticipate moving anytime soon, be aware that moving that piece of furniture is likely to be costly!

Without the privacy of a guest room, a sofa in the main living area means you will need to provide good access to bathroom facilities for your holiday guests, as well as closet space or other storage for their clothing.

Last but not least, if your guests like to bed down at 9 o’clock and you want to watch SNL at 11:30, you’d better have a TV in your bedroom or be prepared to keep your guests up significantly later than is comfortable for them.

One great thing about furniture shopping in October is you can spread your holiday expenses out over a longer period of time. You don’t want to have to be buying furniture at the same time that you’re shopping for presents, decorating, and making cookies!

Please share your own experiences and suggestions in the Comments below!


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