8 Guest Bedroom Essentials and Luxuries Your Company Will Thank You For

Guest Bedroom Essentials and Luxuries

It’s been a month since I unveiled our new guest bedroom – a product of the One Room Challenge (aka six-week hustle). Finishing the design of the room (HERE) on time was lucky enough (remember all those last minute product arrivals?!), but all the special, welcoming guest touches were far from priority. With a month now behind me since the completion of the overall room, I was finally able to concentrate on making this a comfortable retreat for our guests. Even though I hadn’t discussed them, there were guest essentials I was thoughtful about incorporating from the beginning. You may have even noticed some in the reveal 😉 Regardless of the age of your guest bedroom, and even if you don’t have the budget for a full room makeover, it can still be made into a comfortable domain for visitors. If it’s an ongoing project, prioritize what is most important to implement from these 8 guest bedroom essentials and luxuries your company will thank you for.

Since this post was published, this space was transitioned from a guest bedroom into a playroom space that you can see HERE.

You can see another one of our guest bedroom reveals HERE.

Guest Room Essentials- What every guest bedroom should have- leesa mattress best foam mattress


Ok, no judgment here but I know chances are greater than 50% that your guest bedroom mattress is a super dated hand-me-down, belongs on a futon, or dates back to your college days. If you have shopped for a guest bed mattress in recent years, I sincerely applaud you. It’s easy to send cast-offs to the guest bedroom, especially when it’s likely they won’t even be seen. If you are more like the majority of people with guest bedrooms, why haven’t you outfitted your guest bed with a comfortable mattress? Is it a budget thing? A convenience thing? Or maybe you get attached to things in your home. Think about it this way. When you sleep at someone’s house, are you paying the most attention to the fabric of their curtains or the quality of your sleep? Same with hotels. I can tell you little about the decor in my rooms over the years but absolutely remember the most comfortable mattresses. Have you/would you ever consider purchasing online? In our house, we have four mattresses, three which are foam, two which have been ordered online, and one (brand new, in here) is the top-rated Leesa mattress. (Leesa is offering $100 off their high-quality mattresses to Kelley Nan readers with promo code KELLEYNAN. You can check out the details, view options, and order HERE.)

Guest Room Essentials- What every guest bedroom should have- leesa mattress review

I actually took a picture of our old, hand-me-down mattress, but decided at the last minute it was too embarrassing to share (just imagine the kind of stains you would see on a Dateline investigation report haha). It had staples sticking out everywhere so I cut my hands whenever I made the bed. We also had all kinds of mattress toppers piled on top to “fake” the luxury.

In the past, we have spent an embarrassingly long time at mattress stores, laying, testing, and negotiating. And even when you do decide to take the plunge, there is usually a re-stocking fee. Over the last few years, more people are taking the plunge to purchase online to avoid the full day shopping excursion, and while I wasn’t quite sure about the whole thing, last year, we ordered our first mattress online. The process was a convenience game changer, but the mattress was just “fine”. But, I was sold on the online purchase process. Note: If you DO purchase a mattress online, pay attention to the foam depth AND the types of foam being used. Specializing in affordable luxury (under $1,000) with amazing reviews to back them up, I was looking forward to trying my second online mattress experience with Leesa. And, it did not disappoint.

Guest Room Essentials- What every guest bedroom should have- leesa queen sized mattress

The Leesa website describes their 3-layer foam mattress as providing cooling, comfort and support. For our family, finding that perfect balance has been a struggle. After spending a night on the new mattress, my husband and I agree. We used to think that your mattress had to be hard/super firm to give support, which isn’t true. If you have never ordered a mattress online, you may be surprised when the box shows up at your door. The mattress is rolled and compressed in plastic; you lay it on the bed as you cut the plastic and unwrap. It unboxes in minutes and as it gets air, it immediately expands and is sleep-ready within the hour. If you’re still worried about purchasing without testing (I often am with shoes), 1. Leesa offers free shipping; 2. you can try it for 100 nights – if you decide it isn’t for you, you can return it for a 100% refund.

Guest Room Essentials- What every guest bedroom should have- leesa mattress

One little nugget of the “feel-good stuff”- for every 10 mattresses Leesa sells, they donate one to a homeless shelter in need. And, for every single mattress sold, they plant a tree. Love that! Let me know in the comment section at the bottom if you’ve ever ordered a mattress online. DO NOT ever purchase one online without a full, money back guarantee. (Leesa provides this in their 100-night risk-free trial and also has a 10 year warranty.) Do n’t forget, you can get $100 off your Leesa mattress by clicking HERE or by using promo code KELLEYNAN.

Guest Room Essentials- What every guest bedroom should have- comfortable guest bedroom mattress

Guest Room Essentials- What every guest bedroom should have- white guest bedroom with leesa mattress

Apparently, Maggie has also given it her seal of approval 😉


Guest Room Essentials- What every guest bedroom should have- woven tray with san pellegrino

This is like your guest swag bag. Think about what you would like in a hotel – water? Candies/treats? A card? I bet you have all you need, already in your home, to create a beautiful welcome tray.

Guest Room Essentials- What every guest bedroom should have- blue and white bedding with pink and white peonies


Having a small plate/dish/bowl on the nightstand(s) for guests to clear their pockets and safely place their jewelry is a small detail that won’t go unnoticed. Having a dedicated space for their smallest items will create a “home base” for their treasures instead of each day turning into a scavenger hunt across all flat surfaces and luggage.

Guest Room Essentials- What every guest bedroom should have- night stand jewelry dishes


Flowers are nice but flowers that are pretty and smell good are best. Whenever I stay with my mom, she places a little bud vase of gardenias next to my bed. It lets me know that the blooms are fresh and she took the time to prepare the room, just for me. If you have guests coming, a full arrangement isn’t necessary. Even snipping a blossom from the yard will be a nice gesture.

Guest Room Essentials- What every guest bedroom should have- night stand with flowers


We’ve all be there- staying with a friend who doesn’t own a mirror larger than a medicine cabinet. Packing, planning outfits, and getting ready is already more of a chore when you aren’t at home so having a full length mirror in your guest bedroom will help the process a ton. Even if there is a mirror in the owner’s suite, having a full length mirror available to your guest is a luxury they will appreciate.

Guest Room Essentials- What every guest bedroom should have- full length mirror


When I travel, the number one reason I become disorganized is when I try to keep my clean clothes separated from those I’ve already worn. If you are living out of your suitcase, this is especially tricky (I’m no stranger to the hidden corner heap of clothes). If you have a hamper available to your guests, you can inset a plastic liner/put plastic bags in the bottom. When their stay is over, they can cinch the bag, pull it out, and take it with them.

Guest Room Essentials- What every guest bedroom should have- woven hamper with white towels


This isn’t a concept I invented but I have lived by it for many years. I collect hotel toiletries and keep them in baskets and jars in guest bathrooms and closets. Have their towels out on display- don’t make them guess if they should use the ones that are hanging (are those bath towels or decorative?). Let your guests know they can pack lighter and you will have what they need on hand.

Guest Room Essentials- What every guest bedroom should have- using hotel shampoo and toiletries


This is especially handy if you don’t have a cleared out dresser/chest to offer your guests. If space is tight, get rid of unnecessary furniture pieces that crowd the room and bring in a small, foldable luggage rack.

Guest Room Essentials- What every guest bedroom should have- gray and white luggage rack

Guest Room Essentials- What every guest bedroom should have- blue and white guest bedroom with chandelier

Guest Room Essentials- What every guest bedroom should have- blue and white guest bedroom with peonies

Is your guest bedroom a priority or an afterthought? Let me know your favorite tips and tricks to make your guests feel welcome in the comment section below!

Guest Room Essentials- What every guest bedroom should have- blue and white classic bedroom

Furniture: Archipelago Platform Bed; (similar) | Safavieh Pagoda Garden Stools (similar) | NightstandsNightstand Hardware |

Bedding & Linens: White Quilt & Euro Shams | Blue and White Striped Duvet Cover |  SheetsCenter White Lumbar Pillow (12×20) | Blue Linen Pillows | Striped Pillows- HomeGoods |  Cream Throw- HomeGoods

Lighting: Six-Light Chandelier | Lamps 

Windows, Walls & Floors: Safavieh Vintage Oriental Light Blue/Cream RugFisherman ArtBedside MirrorsCurtains (Linen Weave Vanilla Bean with Bronze Drapery Rod & Ring Clips) | Cordless Woven Shades (Bali Natural) | Full Length Mirror- HomeGoods |

Accessories: Luggage RackBlue & White Trinket Dishes (Trio) | Woven Tray- HomeGoods (SIMILAR) | Coasters | Hamper- HomeGoods | Elephant- HomeGoods | Small Nightstand Vase- West Elm (no longer available) | Driftwood Bowl- HomeGoods | Pot- HomeGoods 

Paint: Alabaster by Sherwin Williams


Share this:
Kelley Nan headshot


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. 6.24.17
    Carol Heartfelt Whimsies said:

    Hi Kelley–
    I absolutely love your guest bedroom and would feel like a treasured friend sleeping there!
    I recently went to a friend’s overnight and on the nightstand she had a small frame which held her homes’s WIFI password. Such a great idea!!
    Thought I’d pass it along!!

    • 6.27.17

      Carol, I do that with new guests but have never set up a permanent frame. I need to do that! Thank you so much for sharing.

  2. 6.24.17
    Shauna said:

    My guest bedroom mattress was from my college days ??? 20 years ago! ! You definitely know how to treat your guests like royalty Kel! Thanks for the great tips!

  3. 6.24.17
    Tamara said:

    Kel, first of all, your essentials are SO GOOD!!! You’ve thought of every detail and made this so perfect for guests! Second – that mattress looks amazing and I’m so impressed that Leesa is a conscious company that gives back…definitely a reason to invest their product! Thanks for sharing! Now when can we visit???

    • 6.27.17

      I agree! We have a local roofing company that provides a free roof to someone in need for every 10 and I thought the concept was so cool. I loved hearing this!

  4. 6.24.17
    Haneen said:

    Kelley, you always give the BEST tips! And take the best photos! That mattress looks like a dream! And the flowers look gorgeous! Your guests are lucky!

  5. 6.24.17

    Love the new mattress Kelley! Glad you got rid of the staple-sticking-out one! xoxo

    • 6.27.17

      Jen, OMG me too! It is actually still on its side in the other guest bedroom. We gotta get that thing outta there!

  6. 6.24.17
    David Lopez said:

    The room turned out amazing sweetie! And that mattress is definitely a keeper. It makes me want to get in trouble so you can kick me out of bed and send me to the guest room!!

    • 7.16.23

      What a beautiful room! With our children scattered across the country & also owning vacation rentals, I am very in tune with the needs of guests but always hoping to learn one new suggestion. I agree with many of the comments that expanded upon the important basics you covered …lighting, cleanliness, snacks, a chair, etc. My tip is that I’ve evolved to using a bench rather than luggage rack. It’s multifunctional…I’ve noticed guests using it to lay out jewelry, line up kids clothing, sit down for putting on shoes, etc in addition to a place for luggage when packing & unpacking.

      • 7.17.23

        Thank you, Shirley, for stopping by and for your kind note! I love your tip and also now have a bench in our guest room. Another bonus is, it can stay put and doesn’t have to be put away like a luggage rack. I hope you have lots of family visits this summer!

  7. 6.24.17
    Erin said:

    Kel you know how to make your guests feel so spoiled! Love this post! When can I come over!? ?

  8. 6.24.17

    What a great mattress, looks super comfy, now you need the post of how to get your guest to leave…..LOL because I guarentee they will never want to leave 🙂

  9. 6.24.17
    Joan Young said:

    Kelly I just love the garden seats in your guest bedroom but am not sure what colour they are(?). Sometimes in your pics they look grey and sometimes blue. Can you describe the colour to me…I’m hoping for blue!

  10. 6.24.17
    Joan Young said:

    Kelly I just love the garden seats in your guest bedroom but am not sure what colour they are(?). Sometimes in your pics they look grey and sometimes blue. Can you describe the colour to me…I’m hoping for blue!

    • 6.27.17

      Hi, Joan! They are blue 😉 A soft, more muted indigo!

  11. 6.25.17

    Love the post ! Truly, your guest will be so spoiled – they will always remember how you made them feel.

    • 6.27.17

      Sandra, thank you! What a sweet thing to say; I agree xoxo

  12. 6.25.17
    Gretchen Thomas said:

    Having a super comfy bed with a great mattress is the best tip! I like to ask guests if they rested well in the morning. It is the best compliment when the say, “I love your bed and slept so well.” We know it’s because of the mattress! Love the other tips, too. I think I will be adding a phone charger to the guest tray in the future. What do you think?

    • 6.27.17

      I love that! You are so right; and, what an awesome addition!

  13. 6.25.17

    You are SO right – our guest bed mattress was always our cast off until several years back my parents nicely offered to buy us a new one (of course so THEY could actually sleep well – lol!). I would LOVE to be a guest in your home – you think of everything!!

    • 6.27.17

      Kris, I would love that, too! Then you could take it for a test drive! (at least there is a 100 day trial period 😉 ).

  14. 6.26.17
    Kate T, said:

    I leave small wastepaper basket on each side of the guest room bed. Each side of the bed also has a power cord with multiple outlets for phones, iPads, etc., so that each guest may lug in and charge up without crowding the other out. Because our guest rooms share a bathroom, we placed a standing towel rack in each bedroom for guests so they may keep their towels in their rooms and not risk mixing them up. I am about to invest in some simple bathrobes so that guests may walk from bedrooms to the bathroom without feeling immodest. Each room also has a small soap dish and a guest soap provided. Finally, the closets in the rooms are tiny, so we provide hangers and an over the door rack for guests. It does the trick for far les cost than building new closets or buying/squeezing armoires into the guest rooms.

    • 6.27.17

      Kate, it sounds like you thought of everything! So smart!

  15. 7.1.17
    Reni said:

    Kelley, I love your step by step descriptions and beautiful photos! I have a small concern about one of the the tips – flowers. Me and my daughter are allergic to furry animals and some plants, so in my experience it is always good to ask guests if they are not allergic to something before placing flowers in the guest room.

    • 7.4.17

      Reni, that is a consideration I never would have thought of! Thank you for sharing- I will definitely have to be sensitive to that. Have a beautiful Fourth! xo

  16. 7.12.17
    Chan Lyda said:

    Hi, Kelly!
    Thanks for this awesome tips and advice. I gonna use those for my resort’s bedroom. I must say it is really perfect decoration.
    Thumb up, by the way!

  17. 8.21.17
    Ashley said:

    Hey Kelley!

    Where are the towels from?

    Thanks, Ashley! 🙂

    • 8.23.17

      Hi, Ashley! They are Crate and Barrel- here is a direct affiliate link to the style. My favorite thing is how we have had them for years and they are in incredible shape. Not a single snag!! http://rstyle.me/n/cbtmuab5rpf

  18. 8.21.17
    Barbara Wilson said:

    Love what you did with the guest bedroom! Did you happen to get your Euro sham inserts and Duvet insert from Potterybarn also? And if you did, who do you like them? Some Duvets I get shed the fathers so bad I had to get rid of them.
    Barbara Wilson

    • 8.23.17

      Hi, Barbara! Our master bedroom duvet is from PB and I LOVE it. I THINK this one was actually from HomeGoods. The Euro sham inserts in here actually came from Amazon 😉

  19. 11.14.17
    Debra said:

    I LOVE your ideas! I like to also add a basket with lunchbox-sized snacks so my guests don’t have to rummage through my pantry at 2:00am or (worse) go hungry. This is especially important for guests coming in from different time zones whose stomachs may be on a different clock. Also, I put magazines, books, crossword puzzles, stationery and pens in the basket so they can read/write if they want. Thanks for your great article!

    • 11.14.17

      Debra, those are GREAT ideas! Thank you so much for sharing! xoxo

  20. 1.4.18

    Kelley, your guest bedroom is just perfection! I do most of these things when possible, but your gorgeous decor has the wheels in my mind turning! I think a little spring guest rooms update is in order! 🙂

    • 1.8.18

      Jessica, thank you so so much!! My mom always raises the bar and I get a ton of ideas from her haha

  21. 1.14.18
    Sarah said:

    I love your guest room! I’m just now working on getting mine ready for my best friend to come visit. My stepdaughter lived with us for a year in that room. She moved out this past summer but I’ve been putting it off. Now my bestie has scheduled a visit so I have a deadline!

  22. 3.20.23
    Britney Jones said:

    Wow your guest room looks like a dream to stay in! One thing that I make sure to do when I have guests stay at my house is get carpet cleaning done in the guest room just to freshen things up! Many of my guests have told me how good and clean the room smells! I love the guest tray idea! I’ll have to have one out for my next guests!

    • 3.21.23

      Thank you for taking the time to stop by, Britney. The guest tray has really been a hit with our guests and it is so fun to put together!

  23. 5.7.23
    Roxanne said:

    Loved these great ideas. May I add night lights? One in bathroom and one in room!

    • 5.8.23

      Thank you, Roxanne, and I think adding night lights is a great idea and is one that we’ve incorporated in to the guest room and guest bathroom.

  24. 7.1.23
    Chandra Hamilton said:

    I also keep 2 white robes from ikea in the closet so my guests.

    • 7.2.23

      Thank you, Chandra, for stopping by. I love that and I bet your guests do, too!

  25. 12.10.23
    Irene Madrid said:

    My empty nest large home is the roost for my college kids during Summer. I leave plenty of coat hangars, a cleared closet, a laundry bin on wheels ( French laundry basket), sundries in the J& J bathroom, bedding with ONLY a top linen sheet, a soft furry blanket as a cover, and a soft stuffed quilt with a extra soft throw. A small sofa is at the end of the bed, a chair, a luggage rack, new wallpaper, crystal lighting on a dimmer. They have a difficult time leaving, lol.

    • 12.11.23

      Irene, Thank you for taking the time to visit! I can tell that you are a wonderful hostess and provide all of the thoughtful things to make sure your guests are comfortable. I can certainly imagine that your college kids never want to leave and love to be with you during the Summer!

  26. 1.13.24
    Lauri said:

    I do follow your tips in my guest rooms. Today’s problem is that current luggage opens double-wide, & people want to open it on my quilt! Yuk! Is there any double-sized luggage rack? People don’t want to get down on the floor.

    • 1.14.24

      Hi Lauri, I get it and don’t know if a double wide luggage rack exists. Another option is to add a bench to the foot of the bed or in another spot. We recently added one to our guest room that suits this purpose. Here’s a link to a bench post I did, to provide you with some ideas. Thank you for stopping by!


  27. 3.3.24
    Diane Stuart said:

    Just putting my two cents in here…
    I always appreciate either a charging station or charge chord (for my phone) or both bedside or within range! Sometimes the wall outlet is so far away that an extension accord is always appreciated!
    Also wanted to say I think the hamper and liner is a great idea!

    Diane Stuart

    • 3.4.24

      Thank you for taking the tie to visit, Diane! I agree, a charging station or cord is definitely a must these days…and I also have one in permanent place in my guest bedroom these days, too.

  28. 3.17.24
    Lisa said:

    I also like to supply a phone charger, a writing pad and utensil in the bedside table drawer and some light reading material.

    • 3.18.24

      Thank you for taking the time to stop by, Lisa! Since this post was published, I have continued to add items that are necessary and will please my guests. A charger is definitely a must!

  29. 5.10.24
    Sue Johnson said:

    I print pictures of my guests, often with us together, and leave in these simple 2-sided frames. Always brings a smile.

    • 5.13.24

      I love that idea, Sue! Thank you for sharing.