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Essential Items for an Inviting Guest Room


By Lisa Martin

Summertime is the perfect time to have guests stop by your home for a long visit, so it's important to make sure your guest room is inviting so that your overnight visitors feel truly at home.

“I like for guest rooms to be as comfortable as a master bedroom,” says renowned interior designer Jan Showers, author of the bestselling Glamorous Rooms. “My favorite things to have in guest rooms are the most comfortable mattress and wonderful sheets. Nothing makes for a better night’s sleep!” 

Another must-have for the space: a desk.

“Guests can use their computer on it or write letters,” Showers explains. “I use a wonderful French ’40s secretary at our house in the country for all of my handwritten correspondence when we don’t have guests.”

Guest Room Essentials

Also consider the following:

  • Adequate window coverings: Drapes with blackout lining accommodate friends and family who sleep late or have light sensitivity.
  • Fabulous lamps: Layers of lighting (overhead and on a table) enable guests to read in bed, apply makeup — whatever!
  • Interesting books and current magazines.
  • A full-length mirror, mounted inside the closet.
  • Extra pillows and blankets in the closet plus plenty of space for hanging clothing.
  • Fresh flowers or greenery. For the holidays, consider using an oversized poinsettia in a pretty basket, a blooming amaryllis in a cachepot, a small evergreen tree, even a bundle of boughs tied up with a velvet ribbon.

The only potential pitfall for your affable efforts? Your guests might not want to leave!