The poor, poor guestroom. For most people, it’s the place where you stash that box of who-knows-what that you never managed to unpack, even though you moved in 10 years ago. Or it doubles as your office, a neglected workout room, or some combination of both. But when friends and family come to stay, you want to put your best foot forward. So, ahead of summer travel season, we’ve put together ten tips for creating the ultimate guest room.
Tip 1: The Welcome
A handwritten welcome note that includes your home’s WiFi password, instructions on how to turn on the TV and any other need-to-knows sets a nice tone. We love to pair that with fun reading material tailored to our guests, whether that’s trashy celeb mags, local food guides or children’s picture books.
Tip 2: Stock the Bedside Table
No guest wants to feel like they have to bug you every time they need something. Set up the bedside table with a helpful items like a jewelry tray, an iPhone charger, and an alarm clock.
Tip 3: Have Fun
We think of guestrooms as the have-fun rooms. It’s not a place where we’re living day to day, so you can really experiment and go bold with the design. Having a playful look also helps make your guests feel at ease. For example, we decided to blow up a vintage safari photo, go bold with our color palette and add funky vintage accessories in our new guestroom design.
Tip 4: Bedding, Bedding, Bedding
Buy nice sheets–we love linen in the summer–then add different bedding options like down duvets and light throws in case your guests get hot or cold during the night. We also like to have two soft and two firm pillows on the bed, so that guests can choose what’s most comfortable for them.
Tip 5: Keep Them Hydrated
Waking up thirsty in a new place in the middle of the night is no bueno. No one wants to wander in the dark to raid a strange kitchen for a water glass. Save them the stubbed toe by leaving a carafe of water and glasses by the bed.
Tip 6: Prepare for the Kiddos
Do your guests have little ones? Save them the stress of worrying about your breakables by removing fragile objects from the room and leaving plush toys in their place.
Tip 7: Bath Goodies
Take your cue from hotels and have a tray waiting with two bath towels, two face towels and wash cloths. For an extra touch, add some nice bath products—a fragrant body wash, some nice soaps, maybe a lavender room spray. Confession: Sometimes when we’re on vacation, we buddy up to the housekeeping staff to score extra travel-size toiletries for use in our guestroom.
Tip 8: Let There Be Light…And Dark
Be sure to have multiple lighting options—reading lights by the bed, a motion-controlled nightlight, a soft overhead light. But also be sure that your guests can get a full night’s sleep by providing blackout curtains.
Tip 9: Storage Space
Yes, we all use our guestrooms for storage space. If your closet is packed floor-to-ceiling, add a simple luggage rack at the end of the bed along with a hook with hangers on the back of the bedroom door. A full length mirror is also a must-have.
Tip 10: The Finishing Touch
Add some fresh flowers. A simple bud vase with daisies or peonies shows you took the time to create a beautiful environment. Want to go over the top? A morning breakfast tray or a night time chocolate on the bed is a hotel-worthy touch.
Photos by Sean Robertson, styling by Ashley Bussell