Build a Better Guest Room ~ 10 Things Yours Probably Doesn’t Have and Should, Plus 5 Bigger Ideas

Guest Room

Here’s an eye-opener – sleep in your own guest room. About a year ago Larry caught that terrible cough – he needed sleep AND to cough without waking me, so I slept three nights in the guest room. He felt better, and I felt… bummed. It was not great. The room was not a haven. New Project! And now it’s ahhhhsome. Here are my TWO lists of guest room ideas and essentials.


This first list is pricey so I won’t claim the items are essentials. I simply had the chance to do this right, and still be frugal. I find it satisfying to buy on sale or pre-owned. Thank you, Craigslist, eBay and our community Facebook page!

    1. New bed. Start fresh, but wait for a sale. At Sears, the guy asked, “How many nights do you want a guest to stay – 1, 2 or 3?” (Referring to firmness.) I said two. Queen bed, delivered and set up at 40% off.
    2. Black-out shades, drapes or shutters. Whoa, our street light is bright! Chucked the roll-down shades that came with this house… I went big and installed plantation shutters.
    3. Down comforter. Not the pile of extra blankets. Down is warm and it is cool, meaning it is lightweight and not cloying. Wait for sales, and unless you are allergic (or, I acknowledge, sensitive to animal issues), think twice about buying “alternative” down, which can be sweaty. I went bigger and also bought – on sale – a new duvet and fresh pillows.
    4. Ceiling fan with light. Not everyone likes cozy warm; a ceiling fan is a remarkably comfortable option to A/C or heater. They come with remote controls, too, so guests can use it at the bedside.
    5. Memory foam mattress pad. After staying in friend, Sandy’s, guest room I made a note to buy the same 3-inch memory foam bed topper. Her guest room had a sofa bed and that pad made it VERY sleepable. Our sale Sears bed is now uber comfy to me. Turns out, the pad is great to take camping – I wrap the bottom in a fitted sheet, and then another one on top. Camping is dirty, this keeps the pad clean.


Here are 10 little items picked up from staying with friends or family. These are THEIR ideas, not mine.


  1. Substantial hook on the back of the bathroom door. My sister, Gretchen, pointed that out.
  2. More bath counter space. Two bucks at a yard sale scored this little half-table. I keep it empty so guests have more space for stuff.P6121579
  3. Makeup washcloth. I’m guilty of gunking up hotel towels with mascara so I found this on Etsy. P6121581
  4. Small frame with Wi-Fi password. Friend, Karen, had this and I thought it was clever and generous. My $1 find at the frame store.P6121577
  5. Luggage rack. The previous owner of our house left this behind; so useful! People need to know where to plop their luggage. A rack makes it obvious.P6121575
  6. Empty outlet to charge electronics. Friend, Ricki, pointed out — why should guests crawl under furniture to plug in their phone and ipad? P6121585
  7. Full size lotion, shampoo and shower gel. “What about hotel freebies I display in a basket for guests?” Personally, I think real bottles say “use as much as you want” without leaving evidence in the trash can. My quirk, I guess.
  8. Slippers. Freebies from a hotel work well here. It’s nice to put on slippers coming out of the shower. A high-wattage hair dryer is helpful, too.P6121582
  9. Robe. Nice gesture, thank you for the idea, Sandy!
  10. Cups on the sink. My sister, Sue, had these in her guest bath and I thought, I use hotel cups ALL the time, why haven’t I put them into our guest bath? Done.20170613_091523
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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Judy January 13, 2019 at 3:30 pm

Thank you Patti! Borrowed these

2 Karen Guerra June 25, 2017 at 6:47 am

Love it! I plan to shamelessly copy these ideas for our guest room.

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