A Complete Guide to Creating the ULTIMATE Guest Room

6:00 AM

(Warning: This is a long post! Bear with me because there's lots of great info here.)

Have you ever been staying in someone else's home and realized that you forgot something...one of those really important things that you absolutely need (like your toothbrush!)...and you have to make a late-night run to the store to pick up whatever it was that you forgot? Or awaken early (or sat up late) and found yourself absolutely starving, but there's no one else up and you don't want to go raid the kitchen? Or maybe you found yourself having to borrow a piece of paper from your host, just so you can leave them a thank you note.

This seems to be a regular occurrence for me. Almost without fail, I forget to bring my makeup remover whenever I'm staying somewhere for just a few nights. And as for snacks,  having kids has taught me to keep a granola bar in my purse, just in case.  : )

I've recently been working on a guest bedroom, and had the chance to address these issues, and so many other things to give you a well-stocked guest room so you can be perfectly prepared.  With all these amenities though, you might have a hard time getting your guests to leave!  

This is a pretty solid run-down of what I included in this guest room.

  • I put together a little amenities basket - things your guests may have forgotten, or just might appreciate having access too, as well as a snack basket (see details below).  Both of these are placed on a darling little bar cart, which can be rolled out of the way if necessary. 
  • Amazingly soft, 600 thread-count sheets.  You can easily save money on other things in the room, so go ahead and splurge a little on nice, good quality and high thread count sheets (do this in your own bedroom too!).  This is what your guest sleep between/have right up against their body, so you want it to be nice.  Good sheets will last a long time too!
  • Find some nice, fluffy towels and designate them as your guest towels.  That way you can't be caught off guard without a clean set of towels for your guests.  You can choose a color that goes along with your bathroom or guest room decor, though I like to stick with white.  It's easier to clean and bleach if necessary.  A colored towel may fade over time, and if you have to buy new ones, you run the risk of having the new towels not matching the old, or just not finding the original color all together.  
  • Open up the closet, and you'll find space cleared out for guests to hang anything that might be necessary, nice wooden hangers, and a big fluffy robe and pair of slippers.  The robe and slippers can be easily washed between guests and stored in the back of the closet when not in use.  I can't tell you how many times I've wished for a robe to throw over my pj's, especially on early mornings or in a full house!
  • The nightstands contain an alarm clock, a few one or two-person games (in this case I included two decks of cards - a bridge set actually, since they were so pretty, and a cribbage board), and some books.  These titles may include, classic literature, something from the most recent best-seller list, and/or some of my personal favorites.  I'm a reader myself, and I love to start books when I'm visiting people, but I don't always manage to finish before I have to leave, so it's a nice touch to include copies of books that you're not attached to, so your guest can take a half-finished book with them without feeling like they have to return it asap.  (Your local thrift store should have all kinds of great titles for cheap!)  If there's room on a lower shelf/in a drawer, you could also include a few magazines.
  • Pen and paper - A cute notepad, or some fun personalized stationary and a pen or two is a great touch.  Your guests can use it for whatever they need...like an eloquently crafted letter of thanks to you for setting up such an amazing guest room!  :)
  • It's also important to leave space!  Remember that your guests will be bringing things with them, so leave room on the nightstands and dresser top for their stuff as well.  The room won't feel cozy or even complete if you leave these surfaces completely bare, but try not to cover every square inch.  Follow the rule of thirds, and decorate 1/3 of your horizontal/table top space and leave the other 2/3 clear.  While you're clearing things off, make sure there are a few easy-to-access outlets.  We all love our technology, and it's nice to leave a place for guests to recharge. If all your outlets are hidden behind furniture, it never hurts to have an extension cord plugged in and accessible.
  • If you have the space, a stool or chair gives your guests a place to set their suitcases while unpacking, as well as a place to sit down.  

Toiletries Basket
You never know what you’re going to forget when you’re traveling, and these are some of the things you don’t want to be caught without.  It’s also easy to cater to your guests' specific needs.  (For example, I might not keep contact solution and a case in here all the time, but if I know the person who’s visiting wears contacts, I might throw in a little travel-sized set.)

What I included here:
  • Puffs plus Tissues
Travel-sized versions of:
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Body wash
  • Hairspray
  • Lotion
  • Downy wrinkle release spray
  • Lint roller
  • All-natural makeup removal wipes
  • Disposable razors
  • Shaving cream
  • Advil/pain killers
  • First aid kit
  • Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste
  • Dental floss
  • Mouthwash
  • Chapstick

Some other things you might add:

  • Contact solution and case
  • Hair ties and bobby pins
  • Feminine hygiene products

Snack Basket – I like to include something that can be packed in a bag and taken along on a day trip if necessary

  • Freshly washed Apples (the ones in the picture are Honeycrisp)
  • Granola bars
  • Trail mix
  • A selection of still and sparkling water (smart water and San Pellegrino here)

Separate Tray - I kept these things on a tray separate from the snacks, mainly because I didn't have enough room for everything on my "guest cart." If you have the room, these could be combined with the snacks.  

  • Ghirardelli Chocolates (a yummy little treat - chocolate is usually my favorite - is a nice touch, and since Ghirardelli is relatively local, I thought that was fun.)
  • Pretty water glasses
  • Water carafe (depending on where you put this, you could fill it with ice water right before your guests arrive)
  • Coasters

*A note on the snacks - If there is a local/regional specialty in the snack department (chocolate, pastries, candies, etc.) this would be a fun thing to include in your snack basket for out-of-town guests.

Whew!  I know that was long, but you made it!  I'd love hear how you've decorated your guest room!  Share in the comments section below!

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