A WARM WELCOME
This is a special touch when welcoming your guests. Keep a blank picture frame in the room and rotate it out as new guests arrive - fill it with a family picture of your guest(s) or maybe one where you are in it with them.
Flowers are a great way to welcome guests. Though I'd have to say fresh flowers trump faux flowers, a permanent faux flower arrangement will still give that cozy, homey feel to the room.
Nothing says welcome, like, well... welcome! Whether it's a chalkboard, a sign or a customizable letter board - this lets guests know you've been anticipating their arrival!
Clean Burning Candle or Essential Oil Diffuser
Each guest is different and while some may adore the scent of fresh picked apples in the summer, others may get migraines from fragrances. So instead of having a candle lit or diffuser on when your guest arrives, just have it available for them. (PS: If you're in the market for a candle, we sell the incredible Antique Candle Co. line. My personal favorites are Fall Harvest which I burn year-round, Sweet Lemon and Country Pear by Cotton Stem.)
When I asked my Instagram followers what they wanted in a guest room, many answered "snacks". I have to admit, I didn't have this one in my mind since I freely open the kitchen to all guests, but many would like something small in their room. Sure you can toss a few bags of trail mix on the dresser, but assembling a cute little welcome basket will make your guest feel extra special.
KEEP IT ORGANIZED
Whether you prefer to live out of a suitcase when you travel (that's me) or you prefer to hang and store all of your clothes as soon as you arrive (my husband), you'll want to make sure you have plenty of space for your guest's belongings. Some ideas: empty hangers in a closet, a wall rack with hooks, plenty of empty space in dresser drawers and perhaps a luggage rack.
Waste Basket with Liner
Airline tickets, receipts, wrappers... it all adds up and having a space to throw away all that trash is a must.
Similar to the waste basket, your guests will want a place to put their dirty laundry. Make sure to let them know you'll be happy to do a load of laundry for them or welcome them to use your laundry room at any time!
Some guests won't bother with laundry until they get back home or they just accumulate extra stuff while on vacation. Many of our guests have asked for a spare grocery bag so I decided to hang a cute canvas tote with a few grocery bags in the guest room for their convenience. They double as small trash bags.
Bathroom Must Haves
Have you forgotten an essential toiletry when on vacation? I have! Think like a hotel and provide a well stocked bathroom complete with toiletry set. The essentials would include: Plenty of clean towels, wash cloths, shampoo, conditioner, body wash and hand soap. Bonus items would include: hair dryer, facial cleanser and even "poop spray". (Check out my DIY room spray which doubles as poop spray.)
The number #1 thing my Instagram followers said they wanted as a guest was a fan in the room! Nothing is worse than it feeling sweaty & stuffy at night and a fan helps cool the room and provide circulation. One aspect of having a fan is the noise it makes - especially if it's a box fan, but I've decided to list white noise separately since so many people suggested it, too.
Nightstand with Lamp
Having a nightstand beside the bed allows guests to keep their personal belongings within arm's reach. A bonus would be a lamp that can be turned on and off from bed, too.
This is more of an essential item than a creature comfort, but make sure your guests have clean drinking water in their room. We have a two story home and I don't let my own family drink from the tap so I certainly wouldn't want my guests to have to drink sink water, either. If you opt for bottled water, throw it in their welcome basket.
Any fellow allergy sufferers out there? Certain times of the year I wake up and my nose is like a faucet, having tissue nearby is a must.
A Restful Sleep
What do most people ask their guests when they wake up in the morning? "Did you sleep well last night?" Try to provide a comfortable sleeping environment for your guests with a quality mattress that's not too firm and not too soft. Also consider the size, try to get at least a full/queen bed if your room can allow it. For an affordable option, I've been happy with our Linenspa mattresses.
Bedding preferences vary greatly person to person. Some people want just a lightweight sheet, some want a heavy comforter - have options available for your guests and make sure the bedding is clean. Include multiple pillows, too.
Wi-Fi Password & Network
It's 2019, nobody wants to make it awkward by asking for your network name and password soon after arriving, so let's just get this out of the way from the start. Have your wi-fi network and password available for guests. I've made my own printable you can download for free! Simply print the size you want (make sure you have selected fit to page) then fill out your info. and frame it.
Charging Station or Outlet Access
If your room allows it, try to have an outlet near the bed or chair where your guest can charge their device within arm's reach. You can also consider a universal charging station like this one. It holds and charges multiple devices (both Apple & Android) at the same time.
Some people are split about a television in the bedroom (I admit we don't have one in our own or the girls') but we've included a television in our guest bedroom so those who want to watch TV can. They're on vacation - live it up, ice cream and movies in bed!
Reading a book on vacation would be torture for my always-on-the-move husband, but for me, nothing is more relaxing than soaking in the bath reading a good book. Try to stock some classic books or magazines for your guests and also have a list of things to do in the area for those who like to explore.
White Noise Machine
We've been a fan of white noise machines from the moment we brought home our firstborn so we're going on 8 years of having a white noise machine in our home. We use a free white noise phone app when traveling, but if you're looking to provide a machine in your home for guests, this is a great one!
Full Length Mirror
As one of my followers put it, "I need a full length mirror to get ready so I don't walk out looking like a hot mess." I concur. Because our guest room isn't huge, I went with an over-the-door full length mirror.
Access to Coffee
Whether it's in the guest room or in your kitchen, let guests know where the coffee, cream & sugar can be found and instructions, if needed, 'cause not everybody knows how to work a Keurig.
Let me know, is there something you would add to this list? What makes you feel at home in someone else's house? For us, we have some incredible friends and while the guest room is amazing, it's the people that make our stay so enjoyable!