Guest Room Ideas: Preparing a Guest Bedroom for Summer Visitors
In this post: Do you enjoy hosting summer guests? These tips and ideas will help you arrange the most comfortable guest bedroom for your summer visitors!⇒
Have you ever slept in your own guest room?
For those of us who love to entertain, going the extra mile to welcome our guests is something that comes naturally. We stock the fridge, we make sure the sheets are fresh and we supply neatly folded towels. Maybe we pick up our visitors at the train station and there’s certainly going to be a better breakfast in the morning than the one we grab alone on any given Tuesday.
But to really know if we’re offering our guests comfort, it’s not a bad idea to give the guest room a trial run by sleeping in there ourselves. There’s no better or quicker way to find out what needs upgrading for a pleasant night’s sleep away from home.
Guest Room Ideas
I had already thought I outfitted a lovely guest room when we moved into our house a few years ago and you can find the foundational stage of decorating the room in my post French Blue Guest Room.
But when a recent bout of the flu had me sleeping in the guest room, I discovered a few more things that needed improvement, just in time for the summer visiting season.
Essentials to Include in a Guest Bedroom
Before we get to some of the less obvious things I noticed during my stay in my own guest room, let’s first look at the basics. These are the essential items you want to be sure to provide.
- Comfortable bed with clean linens and extra pillows.
- Adequate storage space for guests’ belongings.
- Proper lighting, including bedside lamps.
- Window treatments for privacy and light control.
- Access to charging outlets for electronic devices.
- A mirror for personal grooming.
- Extra blankets or throws for added coziness.
- Thoughtful touches like fresh flowers or a small welcome basket.
Encourage a Welcoming Ambiance
In addition to supplying a comfortable place to sleep and addressing practical needs, the best guest rooms make us feel relaxed and welcome. Maybe they even inspire us. These inviting touches help create a warm ambiance.
- Choose a soothing color scheme that promotes relaxation.
- Provide a variety of pillows with different levels of firmness.
- Decorate with tasteful artwork or photographs.
- Consider adding a chair or small seating area for reading or relaxation.
- Place a bedside table with a clock, reading materials, and a water carafe.
- Install window treatments that allow natural light while ensuring privacy.
- Keep the space clutter-free and organized.
- Keep the room well-ventilated and maintain a comfortable temperature. (See more on this below.)
Create a Home Away from Home
For your guests to feel really comfortable, they need to feel at home. Using elements that provide a personal touch will create this ‘home away from home’ feeling.
- Provide fresh towels and toiletries, such as shampoo, conditioner, and soap.
- Offer a variety of cozy blankets and an extra set of sheets.
- Include a small writing desk or workspace with a comfortable chair.
- Add a selection of books, magazines, or a few board games for entertainment.
- Consider installing a television or a music player with a selection of playlists.
- Hang curtains or blinds that allow guests to control natural light.
- Leave a note with any relevant house rules, Wi-Fi password, and emergency contacts.
- Keep the room clean, well-maintained, and free from personal clutter.
What I Learned During My Stay in Our Guest Room
Use Furniture That Serves a Purpose
My overnight in our guest room reinforced one of my key design viewpoints. If you want uncluttered rooms and a place for your things, the furniture you choose must serve a purpose. If it serves more than one purpose, all the better.
In this case, my overnight happened to coincide with the selling of my parents’ home and the subsequent acquisition of additional furniture. I was determined to keep only what I truly wanted and needed, and not a piece more. I don’t want overcrowded rooms and my house should not be used as a storage facility.
But I did move around a few pieces so that each of the bedrooms could function more efficiently. I have a theory about furniture which dictates that every piece should add not only style but also convenience. Drawers for storage, or at the very least a shelf, are always high priorities on my list.
So when I decided to add two nightstands to my daughter’s bedroom, I moved her large chest of drawers into our guest room. The room previously had only the tiny chest, below, and nowhere else to store anything. The opposite bedside table was a round cloth-covered piece that provided no other purpose or benefit. That was the obvious choice to omit.
Add Summer Color
After moving around the furniture, next I added a pop of summer color. I had decorated this room in blue and white, since I knew my parents’ would be our most frequent visitors and that was their favorite color combination.
For summer, I added a jolt of yellow to keep things sunny and bright. Fresh flowers, for me, are essential for welcoming guests and a bit of lemon for adding to water or tea is a nice touch, as well. I provide lotions and creams in pretty sunny packaging for the convenience of my guests, too.
Don’t Forget About Air Quality
By far, the most significant improvement that came as a result of sleeping in this room had to do with the air quality. We have 2 different weight blankets, as well as central air and windows that open easily. It never dawned on me that this was not enough to regulate the air to a comfortable temperature. But indeed I found myself either too hot or too cold and that is not a recipe for a great night’s sleep.
I received a remarkable new-to-me product that would solve this problem and more. If you have no idea what you’re looking at in the photo above, it’s an awesome tower fan from Dyson.
I stared quizzically at it at first, then pressed the on button and I was pretty much amazed! No blades circulating, no dust flying and it fit neatly in a tight corner. It turns out this impressive curious-looking tower is an air purifier, as well.
Just the thing I needed for a perfect night’s sleep in the guest room!
If you want to awe your guests or at least provide them with a wonderful night away from home, sometimes you have to think beyond the hostess basket.
Additional Guest Room Ideas
- Be sure the mattress is super comfortable.
- Make sure the window coverings offer options for those who like to wake up to light or dark.
- Take care to fix doors that don’t close properly and locks that are broken.
- Provide a mirror if there’s no ensuite bathroom.
- A desk for applying makeup is a plus.
- Always provide water on the bedside.
- Display the wifi network and password.
- Leave a list of TV stations in the room.
- Leave a charger on the nightstand.
If, like me, you enjoy entertaining guests, setting up a welcoming guest room is worth the effort and something you’ll be proud of.
And, in case you ever need it, it’s also nice to know there’s a second room in your house that you’d be comfortable enough sleeping in yourself!
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I love decorating and adding to our guest rooms, but I truly had not ever thought of sleeping in them myself! Will have to try this and see if I come up with any updates for my guests. Thanks so much for the idea!
You’re welcome!! I’m telling you, it’s enlightening… 🙂
The fan is a great idea! Will be ordering one today as I have guests arriving in two weeks.
You will be so glad you did!
This is so cute. I love the sterling tea pot! Sharing on the Weekend Edit … posts between saturday & sunday! love it, laura
I loved this guide. I haven’t slept in the guest room for quite a while. It’s time to try it out and if any updating needs to be done. Thanks for this!
Yes, it’s definitely a great idea… 🙂
Lovely! Using the furniture for storage is a super Idea!! I have a friend who does not put linens on her guest bed until the day her guests arrive so they will be fresh. I thought this was a good idea but I can’t decide if that is good for me because we have so much company during the summer that I’m afraid I will forget to make the beds! Now that would be embarrassing to have guests make their own bed!! I do like the fan!! Happy Mother’s Day!
Haha! Good point. I think the blanket likely protects them and if you have frequent guests, they’re not getting too dusty.
I love this blue and white color combo! And especially the toile pillow!
So glad it resonates with you!!
I read years ago that you should always spend at least one night/day in your guest room (and guest bath) to determine exactly how comfortable and usable it is. I’m looking into that fan – I’m always too hot – so thanks for the link!
Definitely a great idea to do the trial run! And I think you will love the fan… 🙂
We have friends that come to visit from our old home town every year. When the husband commented “I love waking up in this room” I knew I had hit the right tone. I have slept in the room, as well as taken photos to see things better. I keep our smallish walk-in closet clear of everything except a vacuum cleaner, and it’s a great place for them to store their bags and hang up clothing they bring on hangers.
Ahh, isn’t that a great feeling? Sounds like you worked it out perfectly!
Where did you find the beautiful iron bed?
Believe it or not, the people we bought the house from asked us if we wanted to keep it. It’s actually got a painted finish on it. I linked a bed frame in the post that’s as close as possible to it, but the one I linked is white. Still, I think it maintains the spirit of the look.
Very inviting guest room and the fan is a must for guests. Thank you for always sharing your beautiful rooms filled with lovely things
You’re very welcome, Linda!
I believe your lovely bed might be a Wesley Allen bed. They are great quality. I used to sell them many years ago.
Your guest bedroom looks lovely.
In my guest room, I have light, airy, white drapes on the windows because I like the feeling but after reading this post, I realize as pretty as they are, my guests might not like the light in the morning. Time to rectify that.
Thanks for the info! And yes, as hard as it is for me to believe, since I would never ever close the blinds for myself, I keep the blinds in the room for guests who have very different habits. I’ll never forget the first time I straightened up after a guest and found the room pitch dark. I didn’t even know it could get that dark in there… lol!
My sister is my most frequent guest, and I keep tweaking my guest room for her comfort. Her most recent requests were room darkening drapes and a ceiling fan. I always provide two luggage racks and put away some of the decorative objects to provide more bedside space. And most important, a dressing table with good lighting and a makeup mirror since we both like to primp sitting down. Blue and white with pops of yellow is truly my favorite combination, yours is lovely!
Thanks for your sweet comment! Your sister must feel so welcome and comfortable in your home!!
I also have a small framed print with our internet name and password.
I love that idea!
Am I the only one who absolutely must have tissues and a waste basket in every room? I consider these two things essential.
I agree with the waste basket. I’m not such a tissue girl… 😉 But they’re a nice touch for visitors.