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Make your guest room more attractive

The summer months have proved to be a time when we can all expect to have guests in our homes. Whether it’s for a vacation or just a quick visit, it’s nice to have your guest room properly fitted out and ready to welcome friends and family. Through my design work and frequent travel, I’ve learned a few tips and tricks to create a truly relaxing and calm space for guests (so nice they may never want to leave).

1. A comfortable sleeping spot Be it a daybed, an air mattress, or a regular bed, be sure to dress it up with a variety of bedding for various temperature preferences and a selection of pillows for reading and sleeping. Extra blankets and pillows are always a good idea, too. They can be stashed in a closet or under the bed in a container.

2. Window treatments for solid shut-eye Perhaps your guest room is one you haven’t gotten around to decorating fully yet, but for people to feel truly at ease (and to be able to sleep), window treatments are a must. IKEA has a great selection of panels and hardware that are wallet friendly and easy to install. In a pinch, a trip to The Home Depot will outfit you with temporary blinds instead.


3. Other necessities There are a few things every guest room should have: an alarm clock (set to the proper time), a pad of paper and pen for notes or numbers that need to be jotted down, fresh towels for the bathroom, a bottle of fresh water (or carafe with water), and a stack of interesting books.

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4. Forgotten items We’ve all gotten to our destinations and forgotten our toothbrush, right? Stock up on extra ones and travel-size toothpastes and leave them in the room alongside hair elastics, travel-size contact lens solution, a few Band-Aids, aspirin (if there are no children staying in the room), and a box of tissues. It’s so nice for people to have all these things at their fingertips so they don’t have to bother you for them. Gather them all on a pretty tray for presentation.

5. Little luxuries Going the extra mile for your guests leaves a fabulous impression. Consider placing a small Keurig coffee machine in the space with sugar, creamers, and cute mugs.

Many people would rather have a cup of coffee in private before dressing in the morning. A basket of favorite toiletries is also a nice touch. I collect them on my travels to fancy hotels and leave them out for guests with face wash and a washcloth.

6. A soothing palette Guest rooms can be a dumping ground for items you no longer love in your own bedroom. This is completely fine, but think of the space as a whole and try to keep the feel of the room soothing and simple instead of jumbled and busy. Think about hotel rooms and how nice it is to have streamlined space.

Erin Gates blogs daily at and is releasing her first book in October with Simon & Schuster. Send questions to