Make Yourself at Home : Creating the Perfect Guest Room

5 years ago

We are lucky to have my husband's parents come up several times a year for a visit. They live ten hours away, and since they travel by car (because who can afford to fly these days?!), I like to make our guest room as organized and welcoming as possible.

Our guest room looks like this:

It'll never be in House Beautiful, but we love it and it works for us. It is a collection of hand me down furniture that works for this room. Mike's favorite piece is the five dollar yard sale recliner in the corner.

To the left (can't see it in this pic) is a small bookshelf. On the wall that is not in the picture is a small closet area. Here is how I like to keep my guest room ready for family and friends.

Fresh Sheets and Comforter

Even if you haven't had a guest over in a while, and you know you washed the linens after that person left, wash them again a day or so before your company arrives. There's nothing like that "clean sheet" smell to let your guests know that you have prepared for them.

Courtesy Basket

It's always nice to have a courtesy basket. Unless it's your BFF or your sister, no one is going to openly ask you for a tampon. This is a picture of my courtesy basket of toiletries.
Lamp is from Pier One from forever ago. Side table is a hand me down. Basket is from Walmart.  

Close Up

A lot of these toiletries I received as gifts, were samples, or coupon freebies. Here is my detailed list of what is in my courtesy basket.

For Women:

  • small shower gel
  • small body spray
  • travel size deodorant
  • shampoo
  • conditioner
  • bar of soap
  • pantyliners/tampons/pads
  • disposable razor
  • loofah

For Men:

  • small shower gel
  • travel size deodorant
  • shampoo
  • bar of soap
  • disposable razor

Gender Neutral Items

  • two toothbrushes
  • small toothpaste
  • small mouthwash
  • extra floss
  • contact lens solution
  • wet wipes
  • extra hand soap
  • anti-itch spray (for mosquito bites during summer visits)

I keep these items rotated and fresh. Again, many of these came from sample kits that you can fill out a survey and get samples. I don't think I paid more than 5.00 for the entire basket of supplies.

Snack Basket

Our guest room is on the second floor of our house. I like to keep a small second basket of goodies by the bed in case someone doesn't want to have to come downstairs for a snack or a glass of water.

In our basket, I included:

  • two bottles of water
  • a few granola snack bars
  • a pack of gum
  • some truffle candies
  • headache medicine

Closet Space

I always like to leave a bit of closet space for someone to hang up a dress or coat or some other item that they don't want to have wrinkled.

A Flat Surface

A flat, clean surface is always nice to for a guest to place a laptop or to lay out certain personal items.

Alarm Clock

We received one as a white elephant gift a few years ago and it went straight to our guest room :)


Make sure that there is at least one free outlet so that your guest can charge a cell phone, laptop, etc.


Have an extra set of linens just in case!

Guest Bathroom

We are fortunate that our guest bedroom also has an en suite bathroom. Even if yours doesn't, there's still a way that you can make a bathroom nice for your guest by placing white towels (that way, you don't have to worry about them matching or not), washcloths, a clean bath mat, and a hamper nearby. Our hamper is a wicker basket that I got at Walmart for dirt cheap. Air freshener, a couple of extra rolls of toilet paper, and a trash can are necessary additions.

If You Can Swing It

In my dream guest room, I would have a mini-Keurig with a sample of coffees and teas in K-Cups, and two mugs. That would be awesome :) A hair dryer in the bathroom is a nice addition since I personally have been known to leave a hair dryer at home. A guest robe or two would be really stepping it up! If you live in a major city or if you are hosting friends and family from another country, it would be nice to have some brochures or books about the area and local attractions.

Martha Stewart also recommends every now and then to be a guest in your own home. Go to bed in your guest bedroom to see how the pillow, linens, and mattress feel. Take a shower in your guest bathroom to make sure the plumbing is working properly.


Don't forget to go back a post and get your entries into the Scentsy giveaway. While you're browsing the internet, go to Stephanie's Scentsy site and pick you up a few things for your house to make it smell delicious! Her website is 

What is one feature in your guest bedroom that makes it stand out OR what is one item that you think is thoughtful in a guest room?

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