My husband and I don't have any kids yet, so our entire upstairs is what we call the guest quarters. Any time family or friends come to stay, they have the entire upstairs to themselves. They have a bedroom, bathroom, and living area. We have found that them having a living room keeps them more relaxed and from feeling like they're imposing. They can watch TV, access internet, make coffee, be right at home. I know that this is a luxury that most families don't have. So instead of posting pictures of that (unless anybody is interested, then I will), I'll talk about small things that can make a big difference in any guest space.
Smell is a big deal! Especially if you don't use the space every day, you should freshen it up before they arrive. I like to Febreeze the rugs and curtains and put a candle on a warmer. I usually pick a scent that isn't too strong and that most people would like. Pumpkin spice or apple pie or anything that smells like yummy dessert! With it being on a warmer, you don't have to worry about a flame, and the guests can turn it off if they want to. The most popular scent for guests has been Tyler candle's pineapple crush. Everyone loves it!
Another hit with guests is that they have their own TV and ipod player. Some people watch the morning news when they get ready or watch a late night show before bed. They can do this without feeling like they need to ask permission to do it in your living room. It just makes people that much more comfortable. If they have kids, they can put on some cartoons.
The ipod player is great because most people travel with an ipod or iphone but not with a player. This charges their electronics and let's them play their own music. This also doubles as an alarm.
I think it's important when you plan for guests to plan with yourself in mind. What conveniences do you use every day? What do you miss when you're traveling?
The idea isn't to shove them in their own corner where you never see them. The idea is to make them feel like they aren't in the way and that they have their own space.
Hospitality Week 1 post here