10 Essentials for a Gracious Guest Room

Getting ready to host overnight guests? Let’s assume you have a bed (or air mattress) and coverings on all the windows. That’s a great start! This list will help fill in all the little things your guests will want to have on hand for a comfortable night’s sleep. What you won’t find here: season-specific decor, extra charging cords, books and other optional extras that your guests might enjoy but can live without. Instead the focus is on versatile, key pieces to get your guest space up and running so you’re ready for visitors, no matter when they arrive.

1. Water carafe. Needing a glass of water but not knowing where to get one can be frustrating and uncomfortable for guests. And after traveling by car or plane, they probably need to hydrate. Be prepared with a glass carafe filled with water, and add an extra glass if you’ll be hosting a couple.

2. Coordinated set of bedding. Since your guest bed is probably used far less often than the master bed, there’s no need to go all-out with top-of-the-line bedding (unless you want to). But a good-quality set of percale or sateen sheets and a quilt or duvet in a coordinating hue will make your guests feel well cared for. A neutral palette, such as the shades of gray and cream shown here, will look appropriate year-round.

3. Bedside lighting. Good lighting is key to making your guest room feel welcoming. At minimum, place a lamp on each bedside table — lamps with three settings are ideal, so guests can adjust the light levels to suit their preference.

4. Full-length mirror. Your guests will appreciate having a simple full-length mirror propped against the wall or attached to the back of the door. If the mirror is in a dark corner of the room, draping a strand of white twinkle lights on it is a quick and inexpensive way to add a warm glow.

5. Extra blankets and pillows. Help your guests out by providing a few extra blankets and pillows so they can get comfortable. This is especially important on chilly winter nights, but if you have central air conditioning, your guests may reach for an extra blanket even in summer!

9. Wall hooks. Unless your guests are staying for a week or more, they probably don’t need an empty dresser to unpack their clothes into. A few sturdy wall hooks will do for hanging damp towels and (with the addition of a hanger or two) wrinkle-prone outfits.
10. Coffee and tea makings. Considerate guests won’t want to bother you if they get up before you do. Including a little tray with everything they need to make a morning cuppa makes it clear they are welcome to help themselves.
Written by Laura Gaskill