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Summer houseguests

Three tips for a cozy guest bedroom

Summer is almost here and houseguests will arrive soon. Get your guest bedroom set up for success. Photo credit: Gwyn Nielson

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As a military wife, I keep our guest bedroom on the ready at all times with summer being the busiest season for family, friends and traveling soldiers. When it comes to houseguests, I am passionate about setting up the guest bedroom with cozy and accommodating details. Today, I am sharing three tips that make any guest feel at home.

Note: If you don't have a guest room, no worries. These tips are great for any space you have to offer. You can create a cozy and inviting space anywhere. 


The center of coziness is the bed. Whether you are using a regular mattress or air mattress, focus on the bedding. Start with a pillow top mattress pad. It is a "no fail" for a well-rested houseguest. Next, I use a 100 percent cotton sateen sheet set. Avoid skimping on the thread count. Go for no less than a 600 count. Lastly, from semi-soft to extra firm, have a variety of plush pillows available. 

Once this trifecta of perfection is set up, spend the night in your guest room. Think about the lighting, temperature and overall comfort. Adjust accordingly. 


Think about the last time you were away from home. What did the last place you stayed provide for your visit? Perhaps, a blow dryer, linens, mini toiletries, an extra blanket, an ironing board and iron, and hangers? Make all of these things easily accessible and up the game. Consider an agenda, snacks, a robe, slippers, water, local maps, stationary or local postcards with stamps, notepads, pens, an umbrella, a night light, powers strips and cords for smart devices, and smart speakers for weather and news updates.

A final touch, frame your Wi-Fi password along with an Instagram hashtag for photos if you have one.


Make your guests feel special by letting them know they are welcome and that you have put a bit of thought into their visit. Here are a few ideas from my home to yours. 

  • Leave a welcoming note and a small gift on the bed for your guest. Consider something local Washington. Maybe a local wine from Chateau St. Michelle, a bottle of Brown Sugar Bourbon distilled in Gig Harbor, a piece of hand-blown Chihuly glass, or a trio of Seattle chocolate bars.
  • Fill a basket with personalized snacks (healthy and junky), fresh fruit, wine, and bottles of sparkling water. 
  • Provide a turn-down service. Freshen beds each evening and add a spritz of a subtle pillow spray. Place a piece of chocolate on the pillow along with a personalized note. 
  • Deliver a tray with fresh flowers, a cookie, and a favorite nightcap or a bedtime tea. 

These three tips for a cozy guest bedroom are 100 percent worth the effort when it comes to hosting houseguests. Your guests will exclaim, "Wow! I slept great! Your guest room is as cozy as home and you are the ultimate hostess!" I hope you are inspired. Be sure to head over to for your free Wi-Fi and Instagram # card, a pillow memo weather card, and a guest room bar cart. Search: House Guests

Gwyn Nielsen is a military wife, volunteer, public speaker, and founder of 

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