guest bedroom ideas

A bed with an assortment of decorative pillows and a traveler's hat on surface.

Wonderful! Your friends or family are coming for a visit. 

You want everything to be perfect so they will come again. 

What can you do to make sure they feel at home in your home?

By far, the most precious thing you can give a guest is privacy.

It's so awkward to be a guest - you feel on display - like you have no control over your situation.

Provide a little sanctuary for your guests. Offer them a retreat where they can go and regroup. These guest bedroom ideas can help.

Welcome Guests with a Freshly-Made Bed

A day or two before your guests arrive, prepare the bed with freshly washed linens. Even if you made the guest bed with freshly cleaned sheets last month, take the time to rewash and replace the bedding.

After a few weeks, even clean sheets can start to smell musty.

Consider using only a fitted sheet topped by a comforter, especially if your guest has limited use of his or her hands (such as arthritis causes).

The comforter or duvet (removable, washable comforter cover) replaces the bedspread and top sheet. As an added guest bonus, it's a cinch to make - just fluff and go.

Guest Bedroom Ideas for Creature Comforts

Would your guest prefer a foam pillow, or goose down? Ask their preference in advance and do what you can to provide the preferred pillow type.

Extra Blankets

On my father's occasional overnight visits, I got into the habit of putting a couple of extra blankets in the guest bedroom closet. He never again asked me whether I had the heat "hooked up."

Declutter a Few Bedroom Drawers

Clear out a couple of drawers in the guest bedroom dresser so your guests can unpack and get rid of their suitcases. And while you're at it, clear some space in the closet for guests to hang their things, as well.

Add a Bedside Table and Light

Bedside chair with book, cup of tea, and nightlight.Give guests a bedside surface to rest items on.

Make sure the table is close to the bed so your guest can read before drifting off. 

A good rule of thumb: The base of the lampshade should be at shoulder level while sitting up in bed.

No bedside table handy? A spare chair will do in a pinch. Just set a light on it, and she can hang her necklaces or robe on the back.

Provide Plenty of Tissues

Allergies, colds, airplanes, climate changes; whatever the cause, make sure you have a solution in excess in the guest bedroom: plenty of boxes of tissues.

Consider a Water Carafe

This water carafe can be one of those fancy carafes with a glass that fits on top or merely an individual-size water bottle.

Make Room in the Closet

Make room to hang stuff in the guest bedroom closet. Relocate some stuff for the weekend or week so that your guests can have things the way they like them.

Stock the closet with standard, inexpensive, everyday plastic hangers. Thin wire hangers from the dry cleaners crease pants and dresses and simply aren't adequate.

Clear Clutter So Guests Can Spread Out

Clear floors and shelves in the guest bedroom of your stuff to make room for theirs.

Include a Trash Can

This is basic, sure, but it's too often overlooked. No one likes others to see their personal trash. (And while you're at it, make sure there's a trash can in the bathroom your guest will use.)

Provide a Chair

A comfy place to sit invites relaxing. And that's what the visit is all about, right?

Go for a Complete Blackout

Install window treatments that provide privacy and light control for quality (and quantity!) sleep.

Guest Bedroom Ideas for Freedom: A Set of House Keys

Guest bedroom ideas to have handy: Have a few extra sets of house keys made in advance, and code them by having each set printed in a different color.

Add car keys to the sets of those who might be driving while visiting. Keep a computer or written record of who has what color key set, and mark off when the sets are returned.

Share Security Details

Hand touching alarm pad on wall.

Have a burglar alarm?

Tell your guests about when it is on and when it is off and how they can tell on their own.

Provide written instructions if your guest will be turning the security system on and off.

If there is a gate code or other security measures she'll need to know about in your home or neighborhood, share those details as well.

Provide a Night Light

A small light is essential for guests because they're not accustomed to the layout of the guest bedroom or your house. It's helpful have a few plug-in night lights to light the way to the bathroom or kitchen.

Finally, clear a corner spot to plop luggage down in case your guest is the type who actually likes living out of a suitcase instead of enjoying all your cozy preparations. At least you tried, right?

When guests are coming is a great time to nurture the kids' natural tendency to please. Have them help ready your home for guests, too.

Your son can choose flowers from the garden for you to place in a bedside vase. Your daughter can create "welcome to our home" cards to leave on the dresser or guest bedroom pillows.

A few days before visitors arrive, go grocery shopping with the kids in preparation for the feeding frenzy ahead. And let them choose the chocolates you'll place on the guest's pillows nightly. 

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