Week Five | May 2 | Be Our Guest!

Our Guest Room isn’t just a lovely place to fold laundry — it is a haven for people who come to visit us. But how do you help your guests feel comfortable and enjoy their stay? I’ll give you some easy hospitality ideas to turn your guest room into a cozy sanctuary that anyone will enjoy.

Week Five Gallery

Here we are! The penultimate week of the One Room Challenge! Penultimate is one of my favorite words, and Bambino uses it all the time. I’m so proud!

Anyway, with one week to go, I’ve been focused on details this week — all of those details that make a guest room cozy, hospitable, and fabulous. This means lots of projects big and small — and I have details and tutorials for you!


Twin beds make for a functional and flexible guest room.

Twin beds make for a functional and flexible guest room.

I was raised in Texas where Southern hospitality is a competitive art form. Graciousness is next to godliness, so I learned from some of the best. But I have experienced elegant and gracious hospitality all over the world — from the guest room at my mom’s house to home stays in Japan and charming bed and breakfasts in Ireland. Opening your home to others is a gift, and I’ve soaked up as many ideas and tips as I can so I can reciprocate that gift.

As I designed the Guest Room Refresh, I had hospitality and functionality at the forefront. It doesn’t matter if the room is cute if it isn’t comfortable for our guests. So, as I have said before, one of the first choices we made was to use two twin beds in our Guest Room. This allows for all kinds of people to stay with us in many configurations. We also designed the room’s floor plan to maximize floor space so our guests won’t feel crowded. We raised the beds on taller-than-normal legs, so there is storage space underneath for suitcases and bags. Additionally, we built a bench which will hold suitcases as well.

But hospitality goes beyond furniture. And the details that go into creating gracious guest room decor work together to make a relaxing guest room experience. And remember: we did all of this on a pretty small budget. None of these ideas are expensive. They just require intentionality.

Here’s my favorite new hospitality idea…

The Toiletries Train Case

I bought this vintage train case at the Denver Market Beautiful a few months ago, and I filled it with sample sizes of all the toiletries my guests may have forgotten: toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, soap, face soap, even slippers. Most of these items have been collected at hotels over the years (no, I don’t take handfuls… but I do take what I don’t use if it is good stuff). I used to keep it all in a cupboard, but my guests never knew it was there, and who goes rummaging around someone else’s cupboard? So now it is all together, out in the room, and ready for company. The best part: I can just close the lid between guests, and nothing gets dusty!

For less than $20 I found an antique train case and filled it with sample-sized essentials for my guests.

For less than $20 I found an antique train case and filled it with sample-sized essentials for my guests.

For a full list of the train case’s contents, check out my post:  How to Create a Welcoming Guest Room .

For a full list of the train case’s contents, check out my post: How to Create a Welcoming Guest Room.

I put together an entire post about creating a welcoming guest room which includes downloadable checklists — both for assessing your guest room and for preparing for guests as well as free printables for all kinds of guest room projects. You can check it all out at this link:

The Guest Room Hospitality Cupboard

Books about local attractions.

Books about local attractions.

A vintage alarm clock and milk glass vases

A vintage alarm clock and milk glass vases

Children’s books for our guests to borrow.

Children’s books for our guests to borrow.

If you follow me on Instagram you know that a few weeks ago I gave the little bookshelf alcove in this room a wrapping paper makeover. While the room is painted this lovely aqua, the alcove was white. It needed a little color and life, so I toyed with several ideas before deciding I wanted to put a pattern back there. Rather than spending $50 or more for a roll of wallpaper when I only needed 4’ of material, I papered the back of the shelves with wrapping paper at the tidy sum of $10 total. There is a full tutorial on this process as well.

little free library

After the cupboard was papered, I wanted to fill it. Again I focused on hospitality: what would my guests need while they stayed in our home? So our guest room cupboard contains:

  • A Little Free Library: books guests can take with them and set free in the world when they are done (marked by stickers I created for this purpose)

  • A Lending Library: books about Colorado which our guests can use while they are with us (marked as such by stickers I also created)

  • Children’s books: we often have children who come to stay with us. We chose a few books for them to enjoy while they are at our home.

There are more details about the Guest Room Hospitality Cupboard in my guide to creating a welcoming guest room. Check it out!

The Guest Room Hospitality Cupboard, ready for guests of all ages.

The Guest Room Hospitality Cupboard, ready for guests of all ages.

Photo Frame Makeover

Spring 2019 ORC-2304.jpg

Finally, this room is full of color and travel-accessories, but I also wanted to infuse it with a few of my own travel photographs from places I love to visit. We have had a box full of Ikea frames — brand new, unopened — for eight years. They have been moved four times. And in every house I thought, “I need to use those frames…” and then we moved again.

They are finally hanging on the wall!

But not before I remade them. First I painted them, and then I updated their yellowed mat. The end result is crisp and clean.

I have tutorials for both the painting technique and the mat updates. I hope you will check them out!

So here we are: one week to go. The big work is done. Now it is down to the final details: one more sewing project, one more item to find… and a lot of photographs to take for the big reveal next week. Eek! I hope you will stop by and check out the other ORC participants. I LOVE seeing what everyone else is doing! So inspirational and really interesting!

Have a great week! Don’t forget to watch Instagram for updates throughout the week. And I’ll see you next Thursday for The Big Reveal!

Don’t miss a single update: sign up and each installment of the One Room Challenge will come directly to your email on Thursdays! And be sure to stop by the One Room Challenge Blog to check out the other creative renovations happening across the country. You can also follow #oneroomchallenge and #bhgorc on Instagram for more inspiration! Be sure to follow me, too!


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