When guests arrive for an overnight stay, provide a welcoming and comfortable room that anticipates their needs. The holidays are a busy time for everyone, so thoughtfully stocking the guest room means your visitors will be well cared for and self-sufficient during their visit.


Restoration Hardware

Provide a comfortable bed for your guests. Give it a test run by sleeping in the room yourself for a few nights. In addition to checking the mattress, you may notice other things while you’re there that can be addressed before company arrives.



Give guests extra support and protect the mattress by topping it with a machine-washable memory foam mattress pad. Snug non-slip sides ensure that SureFit’s mattress pad collection stays firmly tucked for even a restless sleeper.


Crate & Barrel

Make the bed with attractive and fresh linens in solid or gender neutral patterns. Use the best quality sheets you can afford—a 400 thread count really can improve the sleep experience. Supply two standard pillows per side, a lightweight blanket and quilt or duvet. A square Euro pillow per side is also helpful for propping up and reading in bed. Keep accent pillows to a minimum (no more than three).


Since everyone’s sleep habits and needs are individual, provide a supply of extra pillows and an additional blanket so that guests can adjust bedding for their own level of comfort. Keep them in an easily accessible place such as a storage bench, closet shelf, or underbed storage box. Leave a note explaining where the extra linens can be found.


For a quick overnighter or a small room without a chest of drawers, a fold-out luggage rack will give your guest a place to park a suitcase and easily access folded clothing. Install a hook on the back of the bedroom door or on a wall next to the closet for a spot to hang a robe or a toiletries organizer.


In a larger bedroom, a bench or stool at end of the bed is a helpful perch for donning shoes or placing an extra blanket or throw. Furnish a desk and chair, if there’s room, and a snug reading chair.

If you use the guest room closet to store household items or out-of-season clothing, clear some space and include a few extra hangers for your visitor. Unless they’re staying for weeks, they won’t need much room, but they should be able to hang clothes without jamming them into an overstuffed space. In an underused closet, tuck in a chest of drawers to free up floor space elsewhere in the room (for that reading chair perhaps?). Include baskets to hold small items that are easily misplaced and supply an iron and ironing board or handheld steamer if possible.


Place a nightstand next to the bed—ideally one on either side of a queen or king-size bed. Include a reading lamp, alarm clock, and box of tissues (either on top or in a drawer). A water carafe and glass is a thoughtful addition. And a flashlight in a drawer could be useful, too. Bring in a pretty touch with a small vase of fresh flowers.


Ensure your guests have everything they need by stocking a dresser drawer with any essentials they may have forgotten to pack. An expandable cutlery tray can help to keep supplies tidy and visible. Purchase travel-size toiletries and containers at discount and drug stores.


Offer a tray or bowl atop the dresser, nightstand, or desk for keys, change, or jewelry. Hang a mirror in the room for last minute primping—full-length is ideal but head-and-shoulders-size will be appreciated.


Give guests the opportunity for some quiet time away from the household. Provide a few books you’ve read and can recommend. A few current magazines that suit their interests are a thoughtful touch. If space allows, install a TV and remote.


Welcome your guests with a basket of treats such as packaged crackers, cookies, trail mix or energy bar, fruit, and bottled water. Tuck in a map highlighting sites of interest, a list of local TV channels, and a spare house key, your wifi password, and cell numbers if you wish.


If several guests will be sharing a small bath, place a hook near the bathroom sink and provide hanging buckets or baskets in each room for guests to carry their toiletries. Include a hook on the door or the wall near the shower for clothing or a robe.


Provide a stack of fresh bath towels, hand towels, and washcloths for each guest. Let them know where to find extras. Give the guest bath an extra-thorough cleaning before visitors arrive and check all supplies.


Bed, Bath & Beyond

For guests sharing a bathroom, place an over-the-door towel rack in each guest room so that they can keep their towels separate.


Make a late night visit to the loo trouble-free with a nightlight to illuminate the way and a supply of extra TP within easy reach.


If there’s room in your guest quarters, include a small fridge and a single-serve coffee maker along with sugar, creamer, and a mug or two. If that’s not possible, ensure that coffee and tea fixings are easy to find in the kitchen, perhaps gathered on a countertop tray. Keep small bottles of water and juice in the fridge and a bowl of fresh fruit on the kitchen table for the convenience of all.

© Caruth Studio

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