Hannah Drake

3 Ways to Elevate Your Guest Room

At HomeHannah DrakeComment

We had quite a few visitors a few weeks ago (for the wedding), even though none of them really stayed with us. Still, we've had a handful of friends and family stay with us over the last 11 months and our guest room has slowly improved. I figured with so many people in town recently--plus one coming back for a visit in just a few weeks--now would be a good time to talk about the guest room and how to make it an enjoyable stay for your guests.

Because the guest room is quite small and fairly simple, instead of giving you a tour, I'm going to highlight three ways we've elevated the room as a whole to hopefully give our guests the best possible experience. Everything has come from either what I would want from a hotel or Airbnb or what I've read about hosting people, which has surprisingly been a lot.


Every house has a smell. You probably don't notice yours anymore because you spend so much time there. But your guests certainly will and you'd like them to think your house smells good. In case it doesn't or in case there's something in the air that just irritates their nose, give them the option for something that smells good. I happen to have quite a few fall candles on hand because my mom couldn't fit them all in her suitcase in October so Luke brought the other two back in March. It's simple and I think it smells great. Bath & Body Works candles can be quite pricey, but you can also find great candles elsewhere for a little less. I personally love Target for candles as well.


Raise your hand if you've ever traveled somewhere and forgotten something. One time in high school I was packing for a weekend retreat with my church and between organising and reorganising what I was going to take for the weekend, I basically forgot the pile of ALL of my clothes at home. I had to borrow jackets and t-shirts from whoever had spare and just wore the same jeans all weekend. (Not like that's anything new.) When we went to Wales last fall, I didn't pack a brush, bobby pins, a straightener, a hair dryer, anything to do with hair. I just didn't bring it. Like it didn't even cross my mind to bring at any point. So while we haven't built up a huge collection of amenities for our guests, I think we have the basics covered. I got these little travel size bottles of toiletries (the bottles were only 90p at the grocery store) in case someone forgets some toiletries. We also have a US to UK adapter, towels, and wash cloths. Of course guests could just borrow our shampoo or body wash if they forgot it, but there's something nice about having everything already available to them where they're staying so they don't have to feel like an imposition if they have to ask. (Even though they're not!) The dresser in the guest room is half occupied by Luke's athletic wear and cold weather clothes, but the other half is empty for guests to use if they want to unpack. The last thing is we have a quilt on the bed as well as a duvet. Everyone has preferences on temperature while they sleep and in case someone is too hot with the duvet or even not warm enough, we want them to have quick access to another option.


I've always loved the idea of keeping a guest book at home to document who comes to stay. I think we're in a particularly special situation of basically always having people who will come visit, no matter where we live, since we'll always live in another country as one of our families, if not both. We've also hosted a handful of friends for one night or even a weekend and I always encourage anyone who stays with us to sign the guest book. I found this little maroon velvet book at Tiger for £1 and it was perfect! (I bought an uglier one for a few more quid like a week before I found this one, but I just couldn't pass it up.) Not everyone remembers to sign it, but it's really special to have a record of who has visited.

Shop the Dream print and more in my shop, Shop Joy42.