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Beyond The Bed: 12 Tips For A Great Guest Room

by Maxwell Tielman

When it comes to dressing up your home, the guest bedroom can sometimes get the short end of the stick. While all the other rooms get tended to, the guest room often ends up with a mean case of middle-child syndrome: sad, forgotten, and possibly filled with broken furniture and underutilized exercise machines. It happens, we’ve all been there. A great, usable guest bedroom can be a wonderful thing to have in a home, though — especially if you frequently entertain friends and family. If you’re interested in getting on top of your guest room game — and creating a space that even you will want to spend the night in — here are 12 tips and essentials for making your guests feel right at home. —Max

If you often find yourself with multiple overnight guests, try outfitting your guest bedroom with two matching twin beds rather than a single full-sized one.
If your guest is staying for a longer period of time, having a desk in the room allows them to work and keep their things neat and orderly.
Never have to go fumbling for that post-it note again—keep a print of your wifi network and password framed in your guest bedroom. That way, they'll never have to ask!
A reading lamp and an alarm clock are nightstand essentials, but think about adding a few trays to corral loose items like wallets, change, glasses, and keys.
A carafe of water (or a few bottles of water) is a great added touch on a nightstand. This way, if your guests wake in the middle of the night, they won't have to go scrounging through your kitchen for glasses and water.
Keep your guest room's nightstand or bookshelf stocked with interesting magazines, books, and guides to the surrounding area.
Allow your guests to get to know your area by hanging framed maps of your region on the wall. Ones like this neighborhood poster by Ork have some added graphic flare.
A tiny bouquet of flowers on the nightstand is a wonderful way to greet guests. If that seems like too much work, though, try a small potted plant!
If your guest bedroom comes with its own bathroom, decant shampoo, conditioner, and body wash into a pump like this one from Simple Human so that everything is available, visible, and at the ready. As an added precaution, it's always a good idea to use unscented, hypoallergenic products for your guest bathroom.
A guest bedroom can do double-duty as a place to store your collections and art, or even as a place to experiment with different design styles.
These "baby" envelopes from Paper Source are amazing for guest bedrooms—they can hold anything, like sets of ear plugs (great if you live in a noisy neighborhood) or extra sets of keys.
Keep all the essentials, like extra toothbrushes and razors, on-hand in case your guest has forgotten them. These bamboo guest toothbrushes from Izola are beautiful and have handy identification labels printed onto them.

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  • This is unrelated to the post, but I have to ask: is the arrow button on photos ever going to be fixed so that you don’t have to move your mouse to click through all of the images? If it were a bar that extended along the entire side of the photo, it would make using this site much more pleasant.

    • Hi NMTE

      I addressed this a few weeks ago, but we’re working on a fix to remove the arrows. It wasn’t a simple fix like we thought (it requires reducing the width of our editorial column, which I don’t want to do), so we’re testing out some alts.


  • Regarding Nevermindtheend’s comment about the arrow button, I just tried using the (right) arrow button on my keyboard to move through the different images and it works like a charm! Great post BTW.

  • If you can afford it and have the storage room, it’s also nice to have some extra pillows of different densities–hard, soft, feather, hypoallergenic, etc. I also like to have a luggage stand for their suitcase–makes it easier to get at things and folds right up. If there is no closet, have hooks.

  • i was excited to check this post out, i always think “i should email my guests and ask what could have made their stay better”. the wifi thing is cute, but i’d love more insight! i have a list of must know spots like best+closest coffee/market/park (lots of kids and dogs) and top 5’s throughout the city. these are especially great if i’m tied up and they’re on their own.

  • A mirror is always necessary, too. A hairdryer is pretty important, too. Also, an extra bathrobe is nice.

  • After thirty years we finally have a real guest room! We have antique mahogany twin beds. Several guests have hinted that they didn’t like them: they wanted a queen, just like home and thought it kind of strange to have two separate beds. Well, I just love the two beds! It’s what a guest room should be, in my opinion and makes it more elegant and yes…..different from what you might have “at home.” You can’t please everyone all the time!

  • I agree Susan, I made the mistake of not trying out the shower before my mother-in-law came to stay. She sweetly said, just FYI the drain doesn’t work and the water got up to my ankles in the shower. : /

  • I just want to add – room darkening, or better yet, blackout window treatments. I hate waking up with the sun at someone else’s house before anyone else has started moving.

  • On photo 1 with the twin beds – love them! Any chance you have a source on those? Thanks!

  • Wow!

    What a cozzy , pretty room it is.

    And one best thing is i really love the color scheme.

    One thing I want to suggest you is you can also put a vase in the room .

    And a great guest room is one that holds little bits of the homeowner’s personalized items – but not so overwhelming that it makes your guest feel as if they are intruding.

    Making it a space that both can love and enjoy is not difficult if you know how to implement the right things into it.

    Thanks a lot for sharing this .
    Keep doing good work.
    God Bless U!

    Enjoy your day !

  • These are really great tips, I appreciate you have shared lots of nice pictures while explaining , its really healthful. Sometimes the key to giving home a luxe-looking update isn’t a giant overhaul or a costly renovation but small yet effective additions to improve upon what we already have

  • These are terrific tips. I have always been amazed at the lack of people’s awareness of guest room necessities. Hooks are essential!

    As an aside, is there a way to know about the barking collie you show framed in the 10th photo? I had a copy of this wonderful piece and it was destroyed in a flood. I have wished to find another but have no idea how to find it. I know the dog is announcing the lamb in the storm, but I can not remember the name of the piece. Any information wold be appreciated.

  • Great pictures! The toothbrushes are so cute and unique. I have always found the best guest rooms have a comfy bed and personalized touches! Thanks for sharing!