Prepping for be-here-before-you-know-it holiday guests? Give your visitors a little mood boost by decorating the guest room for the holidays with some plush linens, cozy accessories, and a few easy decorative touches.
While Annie doesn’t believe in going overboard with twinkle lights, glitter snowmen, garlands, or other holiday-themed décor in the guest room, she sticks to these rules when decking out the bedroom for holiday guests.
1. Don’t skimp on the bedding. If you haven’t changed up your guest bed in several years, it’s time to spring for new linens. Think layers, in a variety of textures and seasonal weights and colors. Since most people prefer a crisp cotton sheet for sleeping, Annie starts with a 400-thread-count cotton sheet set with a hemstitch detail. On top, she tucks a comfy cable knit throw which can be used on its own for warm-blooded sleepers, or underneath a lofty down or down-alternative duvet—with a duvet cover perfect for those cold-in-the-middle-of-summer travelers. A bed skirt isn’t a necessity, especially if your bed frame has a nice pair of gams, but it makes for a more polished presentation.
2. Stack up the shams. While guests won’t sleep on these, they not only make the bed look sumptuous and welcoming, but they also provide great back and neck support for reading or watching TV in bed. Annie loves to put a pair of Continental pillows—covered in a cotton knit in a punchy hue—across the back of the bed for just this purpose. But make sure guests have a place to store the shams—such as an armchair, basket, or trunk—when they’re ready to turn in, so they’re not scrambling for a spot to stack or tossing your bed linens on the floor.
3. Double up on throws. This might seem redundant, but most guests (except maybe your 80-year-old great-aunt Frieda) will be too polite to wake you in the middle of the night if they need an additional layer, so skirt the issue by giving them two throws to choose from—one folded at the foot of the bed, and one draped over an armchair or folded on a side table or bureau.
4. Hang a luxurious robe on the bathroom or closet door. Nobody likes to waste valuable suitcase real estate with a bulky robe, but who doesn’t love to get wrapped up before or after a shower? This robe is plush linen chenille in a neutral stone color and a unisex silhouette that will appeal to both men and women, but fleece robes, cashmere robes, sweater-knit robes, and cotton knit robes—in other words, any soft, snuggly fabric that feels amazing against the skin—will also do the trick.
5. Station a cute tote bag filled with incidentals, like freshly washed and fluffed bath towels, slippers, and even a cosmetic case filled with travel-size toiletries, by the bed or bathroom door. This way, your guests can easily carry the whole skin-pampering shebang to and from the bathroom. You can also arrange those travel-size toiletries on a portable tray. Annie recommends including the most frequently forgotten-at-home items: toothpaste (and one of the bazillion extra toothbrushes you’ve probably collected from the dentist’s office), shampoo and conditioner, hand and facial moisturizer, hair spray or frizz cream, cotton swabs, cotton pads, lip balm, and tissues.
6. Entertain them. On each nightstand, arrange a stack of books—fiction and nonfiction—and magazines, plus the remote control for the TV, if there’s one in your guest room. Against the bedside lamp, prop up a pretty holiday notecard with your home network’s Wi-Fi name and password, so guests don’t have to track you down for the information when you’re in the middle of holiday food prep.
7. Top it off with a few decorative flourishes. A sweet-smelling candle or two – of course we are in love with the candles and diffusers we offer — some berry branches in a simple vase, a beautiful vintage snow globe, a small wreath or handcrafted ornament hung over the window—all show that you’ve going the distance to make your guest’s stay memorable, without cramming the space with unnecessary, stress-promoting clutter.