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A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

13 Things Every Guest Room Needs in Order to Be Welcoming

These simple moves will make your guests feel truly at home in your home

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Add fresh greenery

A bouquet of fresh flowers—or even a single beautiful bloom, like a large lilly, peony, rose, or hydrangea—shows that you put time and effort into welcoming your guests. “I think flowers are always lovely,” says designer Wesley Moon of Wesley Moon Inc. If you can’t get to a flower shop in time, snip some greenery from your garden or temporarily relocate a good-looking plant to the guest room. Use these pro tips to make cut flowers last longer.

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Supply extra blankets and pillows

Everyone has different sleeping needs, so you can ensure your overnight guests are comfortable by stocking a large basket with extra pillows and blankets. Your visitors can add them as needed for added warmth, greater support, and an overall better night’s sleep. “It’s important to make your guests feel like they’re home, which means giving them options,” says Moon. Don’t miss these other tips on how to make overnight guests more comfortable.

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Offer in-room entertainment

To be a good host, Moon recommends placing a TV, books and/or recent magazines in the guest room to help visitors unwind at the end of a long day, and provide anyone who’s jet-lagged with ways to pass the time until breakfast if they wake up early. suggests keeping local guidebooks on hand as well, so guests can explore the hidden treasures in your city.

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Add ambient lighting

“I have a dimmer in my guest room to provide soothing lighting for my guests,” Moon says. If that’s not an option, however, bedside lamps can set a calming mood more than overhead light. Plus, beautiful lamps can add a decorative element to any room. While you’re at it, install a nightlight to your guest bathroom in case visitors need to find their way during the night.

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Place a tray on the nightstand

It’s not room service, exactly, but it does convey hospitality. “A tray signifies that the items placed there are specifically intended for the guest and not a regular part of the room,” celebrity designer Taniya Nayak told Place a tray on the bedside table so that guests know where to place their keys, wallets, and jewelry at the end of the day.

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Add an alarm clock

A decorative alarm clock can make an interesting style statement on the guest bedroom’s bedside table. Plus, it can help guests keep on schedule, especially if they have a flight to catch.

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Provide toiletries and towels

Make your guest bathroom feel like a luxurious resort by adding plenty of extra toilet paper and mini or full-size versions of toiletries such as shampoo and conditioner, toothpaste, brand-new toothbrushes, mouthwash, and soap. Moon also recommends stocking your medicine cabinets with makeup wipes and over-the-counter medication such as ibuprofen. “Basically, you should stock the bathroom with anything you feel like you would need on a trip,” he suggests. Additionally, make sure you lay out fresh towels for your guests—bath towels and hand towels, so they don’t have to go searching for them. If you have multiple guests, consider laying out differently colored towels for each, so no one gets confused. Check out the other things house guests notice and appreciate.

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Install a full-length mirror

If you have the wall space, a long mirror is always a good idea in a guest room, and visitors will be grateful when they’re getting dressed. “A lot of times when guests are coming, it’s for a special event,” says Moon, “so adding a full-length mirror helps make sure visitors feel good about their appearance when they go out.”

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Set up a luggage stand

“When designing a guest room, think about where visitors are going to put their luggage,” Moon says. He recommends getting a folding luggage rack to make your guests feel graciously accommodated.

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Provide chargers and extension cords

If you have multiple guests, one outlet may not cut it. Add an extension cord with multiple outlets to accommodate your guests’ phones and laptops. If you have extra chargers, consider leaving them plugged into to the extension cord for guests to use.

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Add a water carafe

Guests may get thirsty and don’t always feel comfortable creeping downstairs in the night for a drink. Moon suggests placing a water carafe and glasses—or several unopened water bottles—on the nightstand or dresser for your guests.

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iStock/Dean Mitchell

Add framed photographs

The comforts of a hotel are great, but the beauty of a home is that it’s more personal. Make sure your guest room feels like home by adding framed photographs of you with your frequent visitors. Choose well-designed frames that help enhance the décor in the guest room.

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Paint the walls a soothing color

“I tend toward more neutral paint colors when designing guest rooms,” says Moon. “Mine is a really soft grey because it’s such a calming color. If someone’s been on a stressful trip, soothing hues make the room more comfortable for them.” Here are etiquette tips to use when you’re a guest in someone’s home.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest