Learn the essential tips to create an amazing and comfortable guest bedroom that feels like a true home away from home.
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Summer is in full swing and that means vacations, travel and family fun are at the top of everyone’s mind. For many of us, that means a wonderful opportunity to host out-of-town guests in our own homes. I enjoy being a good hostess to our friends and family and love nothing more than creating a home away from home for them to enjoy while traveling.
I also know all too well, how stressful it can feel knowing you have to do all the things to prepare and plan, just to feel like you’re being a good hostess. But here’s the thing, hosting is not about you, it’s about your guests.
So shift your perspective to focus on their experience and know that by inviting guests into your home it’s about making them feel comfortable and welcome, and not necessarily trying to replicate the perfect luxury hotel room getaway complete with smooth sateen sheets that feel like butter.
Which is why I’m sharing 11 tips you should know to create a great guest bedroom regardless of your home’s style or size.
Guest bedroom essentials for any home
1. Focus On The Necessities in your guest bedroom
There’s nothing wrong with sprucing up a guest space to make it look beautiful, but your focus should be on making sure that your guests have the essentials they need while staying in your home. Don’t expect that they packed 100% of everything they need while traveling, because how often have you left something important behind, only to discover it once you arrived at your destination? Raising my hand high over here.
So here are a few key items you’ll want to keep on hand for your guests…
Travel size toiletries. Think toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoos & conditioners, lotions. Whenever I’m not sure I’ve gathered everything they might need, I usually just run through my own morning “get ready” routine and all the products I personally use. This usually helps me remember a key item or two like, oh I don’t know, toilet paper!
And don’t forget key items like a USB charger, bath towels, and a clock.
2. Make Your Home Accessible
I was so embarrassed when my best friend and her family visited us last summer and I hadn’t even thought to give her a spare house key while I would be working. How was I supposed to expect her to be able to get in and out of the house when no one was going to be home? The workaround, of course, was the garage code, but who really wants to write those down and try to memorize them. So make it as easy as possible for your guests to access your home, whether it’s a physical key or a spare garage door opener for their car.
Speaking of accessibility, don’t forget about digital access. Because who can live without Wi-fi these days? A not so special touch we added was to write the wi-fi password on our kitchen chalkboard. But it’s much nicer to leave it in the room, which is why I created this fun printable to frame for the bedside table.
3. Create some privacy
We used the opportunity to turn our downstairs study into a guest bedroom since neither my hubby nor I work from home yet. It was the perfect sized space to fit a queen bed and a few small pieces of furniture, but there was one main drawback. These glass-paned double doors. Not exactly private for a bedroom right? I decided that I didn’t want to spend the money upgrading the doors just yet, so I opted for an inexpensive removable trick. Curtains!
I purchased a long curtain rod to extend just past the width of the doors and added matching curtain panels that could be drawn closed to cover the glass doors and create some much-needed privacy.
4. Provide Plenty of Storage
I thought I was being clever by stashing all of the toiletries in this cute spare cabinet I moved into our guest bedroom. My niece had other ideas. Even the baby lock couldn’t keep that girl from playing in all of the fun mini shampoos and Q-tips. So be sure to add some options to store personal items, like a nightstand or small chest of drawers.
Hanging space is key though, and we didn’t have a closet in this study. I got creative and used an old rustic ladder. And those hangers? They came from the curtains I purchased for the room. Total bonus and they were cute and sturdy. I also brought in a spare chair from the dining room to act as a makeshift luggage rack which worked out perfectly.
5. Regulate the Temperature
One of the most frustrating things about staying in unfamiliar places is the fear of being too hot or cold and not being able to control the temperature. Don’t leave your guests shivering under thin blankets or sweating without the air conditioner.
Always leave a few soft spare blankets in the room for your guests to grab. Folding them nicely at the edge of the bed is an added touch so that they don’t have to feel like they’re bothering you asking where something might be.
Definitely, have a fan on hand. If you’re like us and don’t have a ceiling fan installed in the room, make sure to leave a small portable oscillating fan in the room for comfort. I know so many people that can’t seem to sleep without a fan because they need the added white noise. I’m one of them!
6. Provide Entertainment
I’m not talking about putting on a nightly show for your guests that are in town, but try to provide some distraction so that they can relax in ease in their room after a long day of traveling or sightseeing. Magazines and books are a great option to leave on a nightstand. But no one is ever going to complain if you leave a TV in their room for them.
I totally failed on this one when my best friend was in town, but I’m pretty sure they just collapsed from exhaustion in their room each night anyway.
7. Make Your guest bedroom Welcoming
I happened to have been given a beautiful bouquet of flowers right before our guests arrived and I thought it would be a special touch to leave them in a vase in the guest bedroom. I’m pretty sure my friend thought I was going way over the top, but it made the space feel fresh and alive. I’m definitely going to carry on this tradition for future visitors and you can always pick up an expensive bouquet at your local Costco or grocery store. But if you’re lucky enough to have a beautiful garden, then borrow from that for no cost at all!
8. Anticipate Their Needs
You should have some basic idea of your guests’ circumstances, like are they traveling with pets? Or do they have small children with them? My best friend was bringing her entire family with her, which meant two small children. And kids get hungry, ALL THE TIME. So I made sure to ask what their favorite snacks and drinks were before they arrived.
I assembled this little welcome basket complete with drinks and snacks so they would have something on hand at any moment. Especially when the late-night munchies hit and they don’t want to disturb anyone wandering through the kitchen. It was a hit! I definitely recommend a snack care package for any guests that you have staying with you. You can even get creative and assemble some of your local favorites.
9. Provide a Compass
No, not a literal one. But do give your guests some direction on unique and interesting attractions while they’re in town. It can be as easy as picking up some local travel guides with maps and listings of parks and other venues to check out while you’re not entertaining them. Even better if you indicate what your own personal recommendations would be to check out. I guarantee you they’ll be grateful for the suggestions. Some thoughts of places to include might be:
- Parks/ Theme Parks
- Sporting Events
10. Freshen up Your guest bedroom
Ever notice how homes have their own unique scent? It’s not a bad thing (most of the time). However, some people can be very sensitive to smells and odors. So take some time to freshen up the room with clean bedding, pillows, and sheets. I also love to include some aromatherapy room spray and candles for relaxation.
It’s also nice to invest in some quality bedding over time that your guests will enjoy, but if you’re on a budget or in a style pinch you can always mix and match some inexpensive quilts, comforters, and pillows for a fresh crisp look like I did in our guest bedroom.
I was able to completely transform our space in just one week on a budget using existing pieces I already had laying around the house. I did manage to score a new bed, rug and side tables for a great deal. New bedding and fresh paint really made all of the difference. Check out this space before!
11. Brighten Up Your Guest Bedroom
Our study had zero lighting in it when we converted it to our Guest Bedroom. Since we were in a hurry to welcome our guests we chose not to go the long and expensive route of installing electrical for a ceiling light. We opted for 2 small table lamps from Target on either side of the bed. This was a perfect addition to brighten up the room with lighting and give our guests the ability to navigate the space at night.
We could have gone the route of installing a pair of faux hardwired wall sconces similar to the tutorial we did in our playroom, but I’m happy with how this turned out and it was bright enough to lighten up the room.
I hope this post helps you prepare a beautiful guest bedroom for your out-of-town visitors. I’d love to know what tips helped you out or what you incorporate into your own guest space at home. Drop me a comment below and don’t forget to subscribe to the newsletter launching soon!
click the photo to Shop the guest bedroom look