31 Days to Hospitality::Day 12 A Well-Appointed Guest Room

This is day 12 of a 31 Day series on hospitality. Start from the beginning here.

Let me start out this post by saying that everything I ever learned about making a guest room comfortable, I learned from my friend Susan.  As a matter fact, almost everything I learned about everything was from her.  She is the essence of Southern hospitality and I hope to be just like her when I grow up.  Because of her stellar example, I’ve gotten much more intentional over the years about my guest spaces.

Here’s my list of the  top ten items that every well-appointed guest room should have.  This is the ultimate goal but collect things here and there as you can, within your budget.  I  mostly ‘shop the house’ when I’m having company.  I mosey around my rooms and look for pretty and cozy things to add to the guest room to make it more inviting and comfortable.  Sometimes they make it back to their rightful homes and sometimes they become permanently attached to the guest room.  Look around and see what you have a first and then do some shopping if need be.

1.  A comfortable bed.

Most of us can’t afford to buy a high quality mattress for the guest room so I’m a huge fan of a thick mattress pad on the bed to make it more inviting.  It’s often hard to sleep in a strange place and an uncomfortable bed only adds to the difficulty.  They’re not that expensive and make a huge difference in comfort.  Those high thread count sheets from Tuesday Morning come in handy here too!

2.  Extra pillows

I try to store 2-3 extra pillows in the guest room closet.

3.  Fresh towels and washcloths.

I like crisp white towels for company and I will often buy a couple new ones when company’s coming.  It’s a fairly cheap way to freshen up a room and who doesn’t need a few more white towels?

 

4.  A luggage rack

I’m completely in love with luggage racks.  They’re so practical and vintage, all at the same time.  You can often find them at antique stores but some retail stores still sell them.   Trust me, get one.  You’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.  Or your guests will.

 

5.  A cozy throw

I don’t know about you but I use throws ALL.THE.TIME.   Every room needs a throw.  I’m looking around and can see three in my living room at the moment.  I’m a throw-hoarder among other things.  TJ Maxx has great ones on the cheap and you can find them in great colors and patterns.  They are cheap, instant style.  My black and white striped one was less than twenty bucks from IKEA.

6.  Fresh flowers

If I don’t have time to pick up flowers and there’s nothing blooming in my yard, I’ll snip a fresh magnolia leaf or something from the yard.  I think more than anything, this tells your guest that you were thinking of them before hand—that you care—-that they are important.  Fresh flowers add instant life and  beauty to a room  and make everyone smile:)))))

 

7.  Water pitcher

There’s nothing wrong with handing your guest a water bottle  but a pretty water pitcher and a piece of beautiful glassware add such a nice touch.  Almost all my glassware is thrifted and I’m always on the lookout for beautiful pieces.   And this is where you don’t need a whole set of matching glasses.  Next time you’re thrifting, look for a few pieces for the guest room.

8.  Stationary

I  leave pens, pencils, paper, stationary and even stamps in my guest room.  This comes in especially handy if your guest has trouble sleeping.  Besides, writing hand-written notes is such a lost art!  If you don’t have a desk in your guest room, consider thrifting one and repainting it.  Most people travel with electronics and it’s nice to have a desk to work from.  I’ve also been hoarding extra chargers to keep in my guest rooms, which has come in handy more than once already.

 

9.  Books and Magazines

Decorating or art books, poetry, and books with essays are great to leave in your guest rooms.  And I even change mine out depending on who’s gonna be staying with me.  I try to think of who I’m entertaining and then put a few books and current magazines that match their interests.  I just shop the house because heaven knows I have a book or two.

10.  Snacks

I usually make sure there’s some good chocolate, mints, cough drops etc.  I just keep a drawer full of goodies and stock up when the goodies are  on sale.

And for my guest room fragrance (and the one I use in the workroom!), I use Archipelago’s Stonehenge diffuser. It’s divine!

Hope you enjoyed the list.  Did I miss anything that you would add?  I’ll tell you how I stock my guest bathroom tomorrow and if you were worried about the robe—it’s on tomorrows list!

And if your children just so happen to place a small lego man on the plate wall for fun, you should leave him. He can keep your guests company. Like a little guardian angel.

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25 Comments

  • That lego man is so funny! I saw that little bit of color in the picture and wondered what it was… Funny kids.
    I’m loving your posts; thanks for continuing to churn them out.

  • Pat says:

    Great series and I love this one! I don’t have a guest room right now (apt) but as I viewed your list and photos, I agree with each one. They are things I’d love to have available if I were visiting and I’d want to share them for guests. The room is gorgeous!

    Pat

  • I was recently a guest in my friend’s home. I was so surprised when I entered her sweet and cozy guest room … on the table by the bed she had placed a small picture of my daughters … she had printed it from a picture I had on line.

    A lovely welcome.

  • Val says:

    Oh, Glenda, that’s so sweet about her having the photo of your girls. How thoughtful. ♥

    Edie, your guest room looks so cozy. When I lived with my grandmother for awhile, the guest room she’d prepared for me welcomed me with a fresh flower in a vase and a little greeting card in which she’d simple written “Welcome!” That was a sweet arrival. Everyone needs to feel welcomed and loved. :)

  • What a sweet guest room. It feels so homey, which is exactly what I want when staying away from home. Ours is a work in progress, and I know what you mean about ‘shopping the house.’ I think good bedside lamps are important too. I always read before bed, and it is nice to have a light reachable from the bed, so you don’t trip in the dark in a new place. Love your silver/mercury lamps btw.

  • Wow. Maybe I can just come rent your guest room and leave all of this “glamour” behind! I could use the stationary to write home and tell them all that “Mommy is just fine”. ;)
    It’s beautiful1 Great tips and I too love the Lego Man. Too funny!
    ~ Claire

  • Christie says:

    Someday (probably when I am a grandma!), I want to have a guest room! I love all of your special touches. :D

  • Ruth says:

    Your guest room looks and sounds divine. I wish we had one here but right now our house only fits us. Your ideas here are so thoughtful and sweet. It’s apparent that any guest would feel so welcomed there. Should I start packing now? Lol
    Thank you again for sharing your heart and wisdom with us. It is truly inspiring.

  • Robin says:

    Thank you, Edie. You are such an inspiration!

  • Iris says:

    LOVE this post. Oh how I wish I had a guest room so I can offer all of these lovely little details to my guests. Very thoughtful. Thanks for sharing. Xo

  • angela says:

    I have a few extra hangers in the closet so they can hang their folded clothes. I also leave a plug in night light laying out for those who don’t like it completely dark AND i have a fan and a noise machine in the closet…..because I always want one when I travel!

    Love your list and love the comment about printing out a picture of someone near and dear to the guest!!

  • Susie Davis says:

    What a great set of helpful ideas to make a guest room homey. Love. :)

  • andrea says:

    what a gorgeous room! I would looooove to rest my tootsies in that space!

  • Lisa says:

    That’s so funny, I saw that little bit of color on the plate and wondered if it was a design. Lego man….I think that is a must in a guest room! My 14 year old son’s room does double duty as the guest room, and I am always scurrying around trying to make it smell heavenly and feel like a peaceful retreat – ha! I will have to keep your list in mind next time. Totally agree on the flower or some greenery from the yard – that small gesture makes even a humble space seem a bit more special for a guest.

  • Devon says:

    So lovely! I absolutely love preparing our guest room for company. The only thing I would add to your list is a sound machine (or a box fan). I’ve had several guests use it and they have been so surprised and thankful!

  • As one who has slept in that very bed (and is in fact drooling this very second remembering just how comfortable it was), I can say without hesitation that you have NAILED the art of hospitality in the guest room, my dear friend. It was far better than any 5 star hotel–even the Ritz, which I adore–and it makes me more than a little guilty that I made the decision to convert our own guest room into our family/homeschool room. The downside of having only a 3 bedroom house! :-) xoxo

  • Edie, I am loving your 31 days! I LOVE my guest room and loved your suggestions! Funny story…my grandchildren, who live close and are here often, think all the treats in my guest room upstairs are just for them. One grandson in particular has him a bottle of water every time he goes upstairs! He’s so thirsty!!

  • Sara Demoiny says:

    I think your list is great! Most of those I have in my guest room too. One thing we do too is lay out several travel brochures for tourist attractions in the area.

  • Alexis says:

    Am a firm believer in a well stocked guest bedroom & bath. I read somewhere that every woman should try on her bridesmaids dress & spend one night in her guest room. Talk about perspective! I alway keep one dark colored hand towel in the guest room/bath. When you wash your face at night there always seems to be a trace of mascara (even with eye makeup remover!) and I hate sullying someone’s nice white towels. A dark one saves the day!

  • Meagan says:

    Edie, may I ask where you purchased your monogrammed pillows? They are the perfect touch!

  • Kristin says:

    I found this post via Pinterest, many great ideas. One thing I’ve started doing for guests is including a little card with our wifi name and password! Nearly everyone has devices that utilize wifi and I hate asking people when I visit. Everyone comments on how nice it was!

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