What Makes a Great Guest Room?

By Kate Riley May 22, 2018

Last weekend, I did something I’ve never done before. I rented a room and stayed inside a stranger’s house while I was exploring a new city.

I came home from Seattle yesterday and instead of a separate apartment, while in town I rented a private bedroom and bathroom on Airbnb. It dawned on me that the same amenities that made for a great rented guest room are the same amenities that make a great guest room if a friend or family member was coming to stay in your home.

So what is it that makes a great guest room? These were the little details that made my stay so fantastic.

Instructions for Access

My hosts have a a Schlage automated deadbolt, and provided me with a code to access the house since I arrived when they were at work. I used the code to come and go as I pleased! Without a similar setup, providing a separate set of keys for access is a nice gesture so your guests don’t feel the need to inconvenience you!


Comfortable Place to Sleep

I rented a private room with a big comfortable bed that I got to enjoy all by myself! (One of the perks of traveling solo). It’s nice to provide a stack of fresh towels too.


I paid for a private room, but if you’re hosting friends or family, it’s not essential to provide a separate room. If a comfortable sofa or air mattress is all you have space for, that works too! Provide some good smelling clean sheets and blankets and you’re good to go.


Access to Clean Bathroom

This is a given, but it’s considerate to provide towels and a clean bathroom for any guest. I had this cute bathroom all to myself, I loved its traditional blue wall tile and yellow floor tile.


One thing I noticed which I just bought for my own house is was the hideaway toilet scrubber/plunger in a streamlined caddy. This is nice to have so your guests don’t have to ask if it’s ever necessary to use one!


Super Comfy Bedding

My hosts provided comfortable cotton sheets, pillowcases, and a down comforter inside duvet with extra blanket on bed. I slept great in the bed because of it!


Also I loved that they provided two different densities of pillows, one that was fuller and one that was more flat, which I prefer. I need a flat pillow! Everyone has a different preference so I love that they provided two sizes to choose from. :)

Local Maps & Guidebooks

Like most people, I gather a lot of information from my phone and use the GPS a lot when I travel, but I always appreciate a great guidebook and map! It helps me get oriented quickly. If you have out-of-town guests, consider providing some information on the area for if and when they go out exploring on their own.


Bottled Water & Basket of Snacks

This was a thoughtful amenity. Having bottled water and a few little snacks is a nice thing to offer guests from out of town, also coffee, tea, and hot chocolate too. :)


Disclose Pets

It’s important for guests to be aware of animals living in the house, dogs, bunnies, snakes, whatever. My dad has a cat allergy so he can’t be a guest in anyone’s home who has a cat.

I made friends with my hosts’ doggie Nigel who barked whenever I showed up at the front door (good boy!) but wagged his tail and licked my hand when he saw me, he was such a sweetie.


If you want to see more of this living room, follow the link to the Airbnb listing below. :)

Little Extras & Necessary Information

My hosts had a sheet of necessary information waiting for me so I didn’t have to bother them. It included the wifi password, recommended places to eat, and special instructions about the house. For example, since this older home’s electrical system could only handle so much they asked that I don’t run a kettle and the hairdryer and the towel warmer at the same time or the electricity might short out! Good to know. :)


Kitchen Access

My hosts encouraged me to use their kitchen and provided coffee for me in the morning and told me I could cook anything I wanted while I was there.


I made French press coffee here each morning, while I waited for it to brew I admired their classic kitchen with its terra cotta tile floors, shaker cabinets, and dark green stone countertops. :)

I loved all the classic touches in my hosts’ beautiful colonial home. Here’s a peek at their dining room with built ins.



If you want to tour the rest of the home where I stayed in Seattle, visit the Airbnb listing!


A lot of people bristle at the idea of renting a room inside a stranger’s home, but I had such a great experience! If renting from a website like Airbnb (my preference), it’s essential to read the reviews from people who have stayed in the home before. My hosts were so kind and thoughtful, and made sure I was comfortable during my entire stay. They recommended great sights to see and good restaurants in the neighborhood, and I was so grateful for that inside information.

I encourage anyone to give the private room rental experience a try! After all, strangers are just friends we haven’t met yet. :) Happy travels.

Weekend Reading

By Kate Riley May 18, 2018

Hello my friends! I’ve spent the day running around Seattle after I landed here yesterday. If you’ve seen my Insta stories, you know I’m hitting some cool spots, several you recommended to me. I’m off to explore more tomorrow and Sunday. Thankfully, I’ve escaped rain (fingers crossed for more nice weather).

Tonight I’m meeting my sweet friend Melissa from The Inspired Room for dinner downtown. We’ve been friends for many years since we started blogging, it will be such a delight to catch up! It’s always so pleasant talking shop with people who do what you do!

There’s so much buzz about the royal wedding, will you be watching? I’m not waking up early (it starts at 4 a.m. PST) but I do look forward to all the details: the dress, the cake, the flowers, I’m a romantic when it comes to royal weddings. And I love the fascinators that British female guests wear in their hair, don’t you?

Favorite links:

Super cool vibes in this surf inspired Newport Beach cottage.

These hotel bedroom suites have tropical touches but are so elegant.

I love this colorful tweet bright wallpaper so much.

A great example of how to make a two story family room feel cozy.

Do you like minimalist “no upper cabinet” kitchens? Or no?  Great post Emily.

She works 9 to 5 and still travels the world.

Thank you Pink for speaking truth.

Made me laugh: this article about Prince Harry.