Delegate the (Guest Room) Décor: Tips and Tricks for the Hostess with the Mostess

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My guest bedroom refresh is finally done (décor resources below) and to celebrate, I’m sharing my best tips and tricks for hosting overnight guests in your home. It’s a different ballgame than simply having people over for dinner, but with a little prep and some thoughtful touches, your house will be everyone’s favorite destination (uh oh – maybe you don’t want that, ha!). Read on for everything from fluffing the guest bath to my favorite Amazon pillows that feel a lot more expensive than they are. Also, I touch on this below but it’s worth repeating: it doesn’t matter if you don’t have a dedicated guest bedroom! All of these are universal tips that apply no matter where guests sleep. Happy hostessing!

Mary’s Guest Room Décor Resources

Guest Prep Tips and Tricks

Display WiFi info prominently. Frame the username and password on the bedside table. Print it out in a pretty but legible font, or if you’re feeling REALLY bougie, have a calligrapher do it for you on cardstock. Love these frame options from Amazon (here and here) and this one from Williams Sonoma.

Add pretty details. Fresh flowers, a carafe + glasses for water (love this set and this one), and pretty magazines/coffee table books are all special touches that say “Welcome!”

Offer an extra blanket + pillows. Make sure there’s an easily-accessible throw or blanket in case someone needs an extra layer. I also like to have some extra pillows on hand as some people like to sleep with two (keep them in the closet and make sure guests know they’re there). Here are my favorite guest bedroom pillows – great price and very comfortable.

Consider a sound machine. If you have little kids up at the crack of dawn or boisterous pets, think about offering a sound machine. You want to make sure your guests have as blissful a night’s sleep as possible! Amazon has several highly-rated options under $20 (here and here).

Don’t forget hangers & a mirror. We all use our guest closets for storage, but before guests arrive, make sure there are plenty of free hangers and space for their clothes. When I’m staying at someone’s home I also appreciate a full-length mirror; something like this would be fab (even hanging on the back of a door).

Ceiling fans are your friend. Usually I don’t like ceiling fans but I make an exception for the guest room. It’s nice for guests to be able to control their temperature and a fan helps.

Stock the bathroom. Make sure there’s extra toilet paper and offer basic toiletries such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, and conditioner plus neutral/unisex shaving cream and body wash. The travel-sized toiletries from Target or CVS are perfect. For a “spa” touch, supply a fresh loofa for each guest. You can find these at the grocery store for 99¢ – keep a stash on hand and just throw them away after use. Make sure people know where the toiletries are and encourage them to help themselves. As for pretty bathroom accessories, Target has a line of beautiful woven pieces right now that I love; it includes a waste basket, tissue cover, soap pump, toothbrush holder, tray, and canister

Put out a hair drier. Who wants to travel with bulky hair tools? Keep an extra blow drier in the guest bathroom so you don’t have to share yours.

Have a good supply of towels. I like to offer 2 hand and 2 bath towels per guest. That’s perfect for a long weekend and means they have a fresh towel readily available. If guests are staying for something like a week, wash the towels (or switch them out for fresh sets) midway through the visit.

Makeup towels are a great bonus. Sick of mascara stains on your white towels? Offer one or two makeup towels for women to wash their faces. A makeup towel is basically a washcloth in a dark color like black or navy (Weezie makes a darling version). You can also supply makeup removing towelettes to cut down on stains. I like the individually wrapped ones for the guest bath (I also use these myself for travel).

Keep a list of guests’ preferences. For repeat guests like family and close friends, I’ve started keeping a list of preferences including what they like in their coffee, what snacks they love, go-to soft drinks, etc. It’s gracious to have these things on hand and with a list to reference, you don’t have to keep asking your mother-in-law what coffee creamer she uses. Full credit for this idea goes to Southern Charm’s Michael the Butler who keeps a robust guest log.

Provide a spare key. To an extent this depends on who your guests are and their itinerary, but typically I like to give guests a housekey if they go off to do their own thing. If you have an alarm, they should know how to arm/disarm it, as well.

No guest room, no problem! You don’t need a dedicated guest room or guest bathroom to be the hostess with the mostess. All of these tips and tricks apply whether your guests stay in one of your kid’s rooms or on a pullout couch in the office. If you don’t have a separate guest bath, I suggest filling a pretty bin or basket with the toiletries, hair drier, and hand/makeup towels discussed above and keep that in the bathroom they’ll use. This way, it’s within arm’s reach and those special “guest items” are kept separate just for them.

*All photos courtesy of Lele Fain Photography*

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