From time to time we find ourselves in the position to host overnight guests in our home.  This special time gives us the opportunity to show family and friends how much we care about them.  One way to demonstrate this care is to create a beautiful and well-appointed guest room.  Think of the guest room as a small luxury hotel and offer your guests a relaxing haven during their visit.  It will delight and restore them.

Here is a list of essential items every well-appointed guest room should:

The bedding

It goes without saying the bed is the centerpiece of a well-appointed guest room.  It is vital to a guest’s comfort and your reputation as a good host.

  g-1   g-2

Start with a good quality mattress.  If you have the space, use king size bedding.  If not, a queen is preferable over a full size mattress.  However, don’t be afraid of using two twin beds.  Twin beds are really pretty in a guest room and allow you to host two people who might not be comfortable sleeping together.


Invest in good quality sheets and bed pillows.  This is a must!  Remember, many people are allergic to feathers/down so offer a mix of both foam and down pillows. Also, your guest will appreciate an assortment of firm and soft pillows.

The bed linens are key too!  This is where you can really get creative and set the tone for the whole “guest room experience”.  Chose a bedding ensemble that is pretty and balanced.  Create a theme for the room through color, texture or style.  Note:  when making the bed, arrange the shams and decorative pillows to create a pyramid or triangle shape that comes to a point with a single pillow in front.


We often advise client to put a bed scarf or throw at the foot of the bed.  The benefit of this is both design and function.  A throw or bed scarf not only functions to protect the bed cover from dirty luggage or toiletries tossed on the bed, it also offers the guest a blanket for additional warmth.  It is a perfect way to balance the color and pattern established with the pillow shams at the top of the bed with the foot of the bed.


Occasionally spend the night in your guest room.  This is the best way for you to make sure the mattress, sheets and linens are in tip-top shape.


Unpack and stay awhile

Hopefully your guest room has a closet.  If so, make sure it is clear on a least one side.  Supply a variety of good quality hangers to meet your guest’s needs.  Padded, pant and suit hangers are ideal.  Also, keep a hamper nearby or place a clean plastic bag in the closet for dirty laundry.

A dresser, chest or armoire can supply drawer space and hooks behind the door are perfect for a bathrobe or wet towel.

Keep the dresser top fairly clear for your guest’s use.  You may want to consider using a pretty tray on the dresser to protest it from toiletries and spills.


Have a bench at the foot of the bed or a folding luggage rack, one for each guest, in the room.


The Night Table

This is your guest’s command central so give it some thought.  Invest in good quality bedside lamps that are tall enough (26″- 30″) so your guests can read in bed.



Give your guest something to read.  Keep several current magazines and a few well-chosen books nearby.

An alarm clock, glass for water with a coaster, box of tissues and a small bouquet of fresh flowers are a nice touch.  Of course, nothing beats a delicious piece of chocolate or fresh fruit to make a guest feel special.

Don’t let the sun shine in!

Offer your guests privacy and comfort by making sure the guest room has adequate cover from the neighbors and the morning sun.

Drapery panels or valances are preferred, as they will soften and finish the room. However, if using a valance or stationary panels, make sure to include shades, blinds or sheers that can be closed against the morning sun and stop others from peeking in. Guests should feel at ease and not wake up to sun in their eyes.


Someplace to sit

Every guest room should have at least one place to sit.  A comfy chair next to a small table and lamp for reading is delightful.  But often guest rooms are small and might not accommodate this luxury.  If you don’t have the space, find a spot in the room for a small accent chair or pouf type ottoman.  Any place to perch would be appreciated by your guests.



Mirror, mirror on the wall

Offer your guests a good sized mirror in their room.  A wall-hung mirror is perfect for full-length viewing, but a larger dresser mirror can also do the trick.  This is a thoughtful courtesy and guests will be ever so grateful, especially if they are sharing a bathroom with other guests or family members.  When hanging a mirror, consider placing it near an outlet.  This gives your guest a convenient place to use a blow dryer in the guest bedroom.


Also, keep a small magnified make-up mirror in the room for those guests who need to closer look at their eyeliner!

The accouterments

Don’t forget the little things.  A thoughtful host provides a well-provisioned room for their guests.  Make sure to have basic toiletries on hand such as lotion, shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush and toothpaste for your guests.  Don’t forget a small mirror, blow dryer, note pad and pen.

Also, include a USB multi-port hub for charging technology.  Even better, surprise your guests with a wireless bluetooth speaker that allows your guests to play their own music.

With these few tips, you will feel confident and ready the next time overnight guests are on their way.  A well-appointed guest room will make your guests feel like they have landed at a comfy, cozy luxury hotel and you will get high marks as the gracious host!