What to Include in a Guest Room

LAST UPDATED: Jun 10, 2021 | PUBLISHED: Dec 15, 2020 | By:

Learn what to include in a guest room to make your guests feel welcomed and at home during their stay. You’ll find guest bedroom ideas that are cozy, charming and welcoming.

Find 20 easy ideas to show you how to create the guest room you’ve always wanted!

A wicker basket filled with soft green towels in a guest room.

As the holidays approach, we are often blessed with family and friends visiting. While the holidays can add an abundance of joy, they can also add a layer of stress. These are my tips for preparing a guest room and preparing for guests so that you can relax and enjoy along with them!

I shared these tips in the 2019 December issue of Midwest Living, and wanted to share with you here, too!

I love creating simple, minimalist spaces in our homes and sharing with you! Don’t skip these posts on Simple Living, Minimalist Home Design, and How to Create a Cozy Home (Even if You’re a Minimalist).

Entertaining doesn’t just apply to brunches and dinners, it actually begins the moment guests enter your home.

wallpapered bedroom with white bedding rattan stools

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Guest Bedroom Ideas

When hosting guests, I want to make them feel at home, at ease and as if they are vacationing at a relaxing resort, though our accommodations aren’t quite the same.

How can you achieve that? Well, there are several ways to make a guest room feel a bit more like a luxury hotel, without a lot of effort.

We are lucky enough to have two designated guest bedrooms at the lake cottage and I’ve learned a few tips and tricks over the years!

neutral guest room with blue and white bedding and natural furniture and window shades.
What makes a guest room comfortable?

The most important feature in a guest room is a comfortable bed! Choose a high quality mattress, comfortable bedding and pillows.

How do you design a guest room?

Keep clutter to a minimum and concentrate on the bed and high quality bedding. Beyond that, add thoughtful cozy comforts like a little empty closet or drawer space, accessible outlets for charging, luggage racks, and more!

A floral wallpapered guest bedroom with blue and white bedding.

What Should Be In a Guest Room

  1. To create a calm and relaxing space, stick with neutral colors. Paint the guest room cream to make the space feel warm, while light and airy.
  2. Use both overhead and task lighting {like a bedside lamp} for ambiance and convenience.
  3. Keep furniture simple, thoughtful and multifunctional. i.e.: a small chest of drawers can double as a nightstand. A folding luggage rack can also be used as a stool, doubling as seating in a small guest bedroom.
  4. Use soft bedding for a luxurious feel. I love these luxe sheets {and use them for our master bedroom in both homes}, but these sheets are reasonably priced and so soft. See my full post about Guest Bedding here!
  5. Add a bedside carafe on the nightstand so guests have easy access to water.
  6. In the bath, don’t forget a basket of toiletries! I like to include shampoo, conditioner, body wash, bar soap, lotion, a toothbrush, makeup wipes, razor (the latter always seems to be forgotten) and a hair dryer for their convenience.
  7. If guests will be using a shared bath, offer robes in their room to provide added comfort. Two white bath robes hanging in a guest room closet.
  8. I recommend placing folded towels in a basket at the end of the bed or on a nearby table for their convenience.
  9. A flower arrangement or single bloom to bring the room to life. Fresh flowers don’t have to be expensive to feel luxurious – read up on my best tips for Trader Joe’s Flowers!
  10. Snacks. I like to include an array of local favorites, a mix of sweet and salty with a little protein.
  11. A card welcoming your guest/s with any information they may need like the wifi password, garage door codes, etc.
  12. On that same note, be sure to have at least one available outlet where guests can plug in their devices. An often-forgotten charger is an even bigger bonus!
  13. A few magazines or books with local significance and area guides.
  14. On that note, a small notepad and pen can come in really handy- just like a hotel room.
  15. A box of tissues. It’s the little things in life!
  16. Disposable ear plugs can be a lifesaver if you know what I mean!
  17. Add a wastebasket. So simple and easy to throw in the closet if you don’t want the additional clutter in the room itself!
  18. A mirror! Even if it’s not a full length mirror, give guests a place to check themselves out before heading out for the day, or even heading into the kitchen for a cup of coffee.
  19. Speaking of coffee, consider adding a small single serve coffee maker to their bedroom for a really luxurious touch.
  20. Room darkening blinds or panels are the ultimate final touch! This allows guests to sleep in if they are able.
A stack of towels wrapped with velvet ribbon as a guest room idea at Christmas time.
white robes hanging in a closet with more guest room ideas.

Guest Room Furniture

This is one area of your home where minimalism and multi-functional pieces can easily take center stage!

Working with a small guest bedroom space? Eliminate all the “extra” furniture like dressers, etc, that aren’t used by short term guests. Leave the space for multi-function elements like these stools that double as luggage racks at the end of the bed!

However, the most important factor in a guest bedroom is the bed itself. Buy the best quality mattress you can afford… and do your very best to provide comfortable, soft, luxurious bedding.

It makes a world of difference and will have your guests longing to return!

A guest bedroom with a stack of towels on the bedside table.

Guest Room Wall Decor

Personalized artwork that focuses on conversation points is great for a guest room! Add photographs of places you’ve been, or vintage images of historic and unique places in your town.

At our lake cottage, we have images of the dock outside to show guests a bit of what’s to come. Consider any of these DIY Wall Decor Ideas for more personalized inspiration!

A guest bedroom with a stack of towels on the bedside table.

Love this room and want to see more? Check out the Coastal Modern Living Room of our lake cottage!

Guest Room Bedding

Fresh, neutral bedding, even in a temporary guest room, (like a child’s bedroom or office) can make a space feel inviting, cozy and warm.

Equally important to the bedding on the bed, be sure to supply extras! Stash a couple extra blankets and different pillows in the closet to ensure your guests’ needs are met. Everyone has different requirements for comfortable sleep and these are easy ways to ensure comfort!

If you don’t have a dedicated guest room or bath, don’t fret. These easy ideas will help you transition an office, craft room, multi-purpose room or children’s bedroom.

A floral wallpapered guest bedroom with king size bed

What do you like to include in a guest room? Any guest bedroom ideas I missed? I’d love to hear from you!

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