7 tips for the perfect guest room

October 30, 2011

One more house guest this fall, and that’s it for the season. I love having friends in residence and providing a great space for them. But, I like to live in a house a while and see how it feels before really “decorating”. I’m finally working on the guest room.

That isn’t my guest room, above, but doesn’t it look inviting? Here’s what else looks inviting:
These crisp linens are fabulous–just looking at this picture gives me that fresh-sheets-on-the-bed feeling. I aspire to linens like this next time I’m in the market. Maybe even for my own bedroom. Because if I put them in the guest room, I’d be tempted to stay there every night.

I love solids, but my guest room sheets are patterned:I fell in love with this Guess pattern — actually, several compatible patterns that mix — and bought a whole bunch of them about 10 years ago. They’re 100% cotton, which means they get softer and more comfortable as they wear. As you can see, I don’t iron them, although I love the look of cotton linens just after they’ve been hit by a steam iron.

This was the pattern I used in my own bedroom for years– until we got a King-sized bed last year. I had several sets still in great condition, so they’re now used in the guestroom. The sign of a great set of linens is that the design stands the test of time. I still love the pattern, so they’ve done that, at least with me. Doesn’t this dresser look charming? See anything wrong with it? I do: there’s no surface space. Even if I have a pretty arrangement on the guest room dresser, I remove it when guests are expected. I’ve stayed in rooms in which every surface is covered with framed photos, dried flowers and cute tchotchkes. It may look good, but there’s no place to lay a pair of glasses at night, or to set out a few grooming items.

1. A mostly bare dresser top is a welcome sight to visitors. (Of course, I almost had a coronary this month when my husband thought the bare dresser top was the perfect resting place for our guest’s suitcase.)

2. I wish I could make drawer space for my guests, but I usually can’t. I do make sure there’s some room in the closet and plenty of hangers, though.
3. Who doesn’t like a vase of fresh flowers? Always a nice touch for guests. And some books and magazines. 4. Don’t forget the bathroom. Fluffy towels and a luxurious bar of soap are musts. A scented body lotion sits on the bathroom counter, just in case. I stock the shower with interesting body washes, shampoos and conditioner and have on hand a shower cap, hair dryer, Qtips and just about any grooming item my guest might have forgotten.

5. Oh–and a night light to find the way to the bathroom is also a good idea. Can’t have them lost and wandering the house late at night!

6. Our housekeepers come within a few days of a guest’s arrival, even if it means adding a day, which I just did. A very longtime friend is visiting. He keeps an immaculate house without any help and there were vacuum tracks on his carpet last summer when we visited him. I’ve booked my housekeepers for that morning to make sure there are vacuum marks on the carpet when he arrives. I’m sure he won’t do the white-glove test, but you just never know.

7. Expectations are a big thing for hosts. It’s important to remember they’re living out of a suitcase and usually without enough storage space for their things. I never worry if they don’t keep the bedroom particularly neat during their stay. That’s why doors close.

If I’m expecting to use the guest bathroom for other guests, I’ll mention it and keep an eye out to be sure it’s clean and tidy. But if they’re the only ones in the house, it doesn’t much matter.

Making guests welcome in your home is a gift you give them.

What are your special touches for house guests?

One comment on “7 tips for the perfect guest room
  1. Happy Hiller says:

    Great post! Thank you for sharing these helpful tips!
    Glad I popped by your blog!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Follow Carol


Here you’ll find my blog, some of my essays, published writing, and my solo performances. There’s also a link to my Etsy shop for healing and grief tools offered through A Healing Spirit.


I love comments, so if something resonates with you in any way, don’t hesitate to leave a comment on my blog. Thank you for stopping by–oh, and why not subscribe so you don’t miss a single post?


Subscribe to my Blog

Receive notifications of my new blog posts directly to your email.