Be Our Guest: Guest Room Essentials

by Lauren Caggiano

Think about your experience as a house guest. What did you enjoy and what could have been better?

Guests fill our homes with laughter and joy. As a gracious host, you’ll want to make sure your guest room is as welcoming as the rest of the house. Here are a few essentials to consider to make the space cozy, inviting—and practical at the same time.

First, consider the theme. The room should fit in with the rest of the home and complement in terms of color choices, but you also have some room for creativity. Find what speaks to you. Maybe it’s country cottage, nautical, or Mid Century Modern. Pick a theme and build around it with furniture, accent pillows, artwork and other décor.

Clean up your act. A clean and clutter-free space is conducive to rest and relaxation. If possible, remove any personal items from the room. No one wants to feel like they are imposing. Dust and vacuum. Don’t forget to clean under the bed, too!

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Make a bed fit for a king. The bed should be the center of attention. New and freshly steamed or laundered bedding will make it shine. Accent pillows are the icing on the cake. You might want to have an ottoman or basket for guests to place them in. Don’t forget to have a blanket or throw for a pop of color and extra layer of warmth.

Shed some light on the subject. A floor lamp or nightstand table create a nice ambiance. Make use of natural light, too. Overhead lighting can be harsh and migraine-inducing.

Pull out the linens. If your towels have seen better days, it may be time to throw out thread bare ones for newer and brighter choices. White towels are a nice touch, easy to find and easy to clean. Make sure you supply your guests with ample towels and washcloths. You can get creative with how and where you store them, too. Wicker baskets are a popular choice.

Think practicality. Clocks on nightstands are a nice touch, even in the days of smartphones. It’s also a good idea to check all your outlets to make sure you don’t have any electrical issues. Your guests will want to charge phones and other devices. So consider having a power strip in the room, if you are low on outlets near the bed. Keep extra blankets on hand in case guests get cold. In the summer months, an oscillating fan will prevent the room for getting stuffy.

Tame the closet and other storage areas. Closet space is under-rated. If you’ve been using the guest room to store offseason clothing, now is the time to do some tidying up. The same goes for vanities and dressers. Don’t forget to supply nice hangers. A luggage rack is a nice touch, too.

It’s all in the details. You might consider creating a welcome basket with trial sizes of high end shampoo, conditioner, bath gel, lotions, etc. Cookies and candies from local retailers are never a bad idea. Throw in some magazines for the readers in your life. Place a vase of fresh cut flowers to bring in some natural beauty.

Embrace the power of smell. Could your guest room use some freshening up? Essential oils, candles and air fresheners will enhance the space. You’ll want to stick to neutral scents. Not everyone will like intense scent profiles like citrus or woodsy options. Lavender and vanilla are good standbys. (Plus these scents are said to reduce stress and help you sleep better.)

Here’s to giving guests the 4-star treatment! What other items are must-haves for a guest room? Share your comments below!

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