Be My Guest!

Home Stager with Stage Tucson! Professional Home Staging

Well I bet by now that many of you are getting your houses dressed up for the holiday season, wrapping, baking, singing Christmas songs at the top of your lungs along with Amy Grant, or maybe James Taylor (may I take this moment to suggest two of my new iTunes favorites of the season  ....  "Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep" by Christopher Cross - AND  "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm" by Kimberley Locke    -great additions to my "holiday hall of fame" scads of ....and I mean you have no idea Christmas collection of music!





I've allowed myself this next week to get the house ready for all of the upcoming Christmas festivities.  I won't do the baking until 14 minutes before our kids and my parents arrive (for obvious reasons....)  However, one thing that I just absolutely LOVE to do is get the guest-rooms ready for our impending guests. I've always been the type of person that cannot enter a model home from the garage.  If forced to do so, I try not to notice anything in the house as I scurry to the front door so I can make a proper assessment!  I view our guest-rooms much the same way. I try to put myself in "guest mode" and I go from there.  So let me tell you about some of the things that I do when preparing our guest-rooms.





-Fresh 100% cotton linens (don't use your older linens for your guest-room, buy linens specifically for your guest-rooms.... and leave it that way)  -- The only time I iron pillowcases is for our guest-rooms. I also use a light lavender linen or "clean cotton" spray on the linens. I wait until a day or two before guests arrive to prepare the room so everything is fresh smelling and clean.

-Extra pillows on the bed and in the closet (my husband and I sleep with 6 pillows on our bed, he'd prefer more, but I had to put my foot down) ....  there is nothing worse than arriving at a hotel or friends house and you only have 2 dead, flat, foam pillows that you stack on top of each other to raise your head two inches!  I use an assortment of down and really really nice foam... that way they can choose if they have allergies.

- a full set of new fluffy towels in each guest-room. I also make sure there are extra blankets in the closet.

-My favorite thing to put in the guest-room is a large basket that contains current magazines and assorted paperbacks (I'm sure to mention that the paperbacks are for them to choose from and to feel free to take one or two home with them)  I also put several bottles of water, some granola bars, and little packages of crackers or trail mix in the basket. Guests ALWAYS comment on the water and snacks and how convenient it was for them if they got hungry or thirsty during the night.

-I purchase nice smelling small soaps that are individually wrapped. Then, just before our guests arrive, I put a new wrapped soap in the shower soap-dish. I also have a basket on the counter in the guest bathroom that has assorted rolled up washcloths along with an assortment of body butter and body lotion (in the summer months I also include sun screen.)

-We have a large comfortable chair in the guest-room with a throw and pillow so that if our guests wake up early or need some alone time, they can be comfortable in their own room. Make sure you provide good lighting for reading in the middle of the night, and an alarm clock.

-Empty some drawers and make sure you have ample room in the closet to hang clothes with nice (not wire) hangers. I have a little table inside the closet for guests to put their luggage on so they don't have to reach down to the floor to get what they need. A luggage rack would do nicely.

-Fresh flowers are always nice. I usually purchase a couple of bouquets, then I make a nice larger one for the main living area and I make a smaller one in a little vase for the guest-room.

-This last suggestion certainly is not necessary and may be "overboard" but I love to do it anyway. I go to a "chocolatier" in town a day or two before guests arrive and select 4 or 6 chocolates or truffles to be put in a fancy little box with ribbon. This is not as expensive as it sounds and the guests always exclaim in delight when they come across the chocolates which I leave on their bed so it's obvious that they are for them....  they say it makes them feel like they are staying in a 5 star hotel! 

and well...........that was my goal!!

Have fun decorating and fussing!!

Comments (16)

Christina Williams. REALTORĀ® TN property search & local insights
First Realty Company - Crossville, TN
Looks great.. Love the checks.
Nov 30, 2007 02:56 AM
Janice Sutton
1st Stage Property Transformations - Murrieta, CA
Home Stager - Temecula Murrieta

So....when can I visit? :) I am ready to dive right in.  You are an outstanding hostess.

Love your advice.  The only problem is that you might not get your outlaws, I mean inlaws to leave.  ;)


Nov 30, 2007 03:24 AM
Chris and Maria Jeantet
Coldwell Banker C&C Properties - Redding, CA
Redding CA Real Estate Couple

Christina, thanks for sharing this post, I enjoyed it and it reminded me I need to go buy new pillows for both of our guest rooms. Yours is beautiful by the way.


Nov 30, 2007 03:28 AM
Toronto's 2 Hounds Design: Decorating + Staging
2 Hounds Design + Home Staging - Toronto, ON

5 star guest room! You are an amazing host. Your family will know from the attention to detail how much you value their company.

Myself, I like to have the lumpiest mattress and flattest pillows. Just before guests go off to bed I let them know the dog sleeps in their bed so not to be alarmed when she joins them...oh, and if she gets up in the night she just wants out for a pee!


Nov 30, 2007 03:48 AM
Nancy Morrish
Stage Tucson! Professional Home Staging - Tucson, AZ
Stage Tucson!

ok..  apparently I need to "fess up"  --  The picture on my blog is just a random photo from my gallery collection..  it is not our guestroom - it was for "blogging purposes" only.  I don't have a wide angle lens so my close range pictures don't turn out so great.....but I feel guilty, so here it is - our guest-room!

p.s.  Dane..... you're funny!

Nov 30, 2007 04:58 AM
Kathy Passarette
Creative Home Expressions - Mount Sinai, NY
L.I. Staging/Decorating
Nancy ~ Great ideas!  I was going to ask if that was your guest room too.  Your guest room looks just as welcoming!  Although, I don't think I'll be doing the chocolate thing since "guests" implies they will be leaving, and while it's nice to visit, well you know . . .
Nov 30, 2007 05:10 AM
Lea-Ann Virnig
Lea-Ann's Home Beautiful Staging and Design LLC - San Antonio, TX
Home Beautiful: San Antonionulls Premier , Home Staging Company

You have a very nice guest room - even without the wide angle shot!  I am sure your guests feel very loved and welcomed - it must feel like a bed and breakfast!  I can consider visiting Arizona - especially in the winter :)  Thanks for the tips! 

Nov 30, 2007 05:18 AM
Veronica Harbert
Select Home Staging - Denver, CO
Select Home Staging

Thanks for sharing, Nancy! Your guest room is gorgeous and incredibly inviting. You're such a gracious host!

I like to prepare a similar experience for my guests. Whenever I have been treated to the kind of guest room you describe, it's like getting a good hug! I have had chocolates left on the bed when I've been a guest and it is a treat! (go over the top, I say!)

Ironing the sheets is a nice touch. I hadn't thought of it. 

Two other things I do that I thought I'd share:

-One fluffy, freshly laundered bathrobe in the guest bathroom or with the towels. Those robes tend to be hard to pack in luggage and it's something I sometimes long for when I'm traveling. My guests use those every time. If bathroom space is limited, it's nice for guests to be able to cover up and get out of the bathroom quickly after showering. 

-Travel-sized toiletries. My guests don't often take me up on using the shampoo, but they use up the hand lotions. I have picked up the best toiletries from my own travels (Marriott hotels often have out a Bath and Body Works lotion that is heavenly). But with all the travel-sized stuff for sale in Target, etc., it would be easy to pick some up if you didn't have any you grabbed from a hotel. And with the 3 oz. limit for liquids going through airport security, guests may be more apt to run out of stuff. I put these in a little basket in the bathroom and a spare bottle of lotion on the nightstand.

Best of luck preparing for the holidays!


Select Home Staging

Denver, Colorado 

Nov 30, 2007 05:58 AM
Jackie Peraza
Perceptions AdverStaging(TM), LLC - Framingham, MA
Home Stager - Framingham, Massachusetts

Nancy - I too love to prepare my guest room.  There is nothing like making someone feel extra special and valued - I love it.   Your guest room looks like your guests will be 'hugged' in comfort.  I love recent paperback and magazine releases.


Nov 30, 2007 06:11 AM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher
Nancy, The room looks lovely and I love the little "accents" too such as the small soaps and toiletries.  It's got a very welcoming feel, exactly what I'm sure you wanted to create.
Nov 30, 2007 07:44 AM
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging Consultations that Sell Portland Homes"
Nancy ~ Wonderful tips for making your guests feel very pampered.  I ran a Bed & Breakfast in Ireland for a number of years and actually put in my rooms all of the items you mentioned!  Also the small toiletries as Veronica wrote in her comment. Included in the magazine and paperback book basket could be a local guidebook on things to do & see. Guests really appreciate being made to feel "at home" and yours are lucky indeed.
Nov 30, 2007 09:10 AM
Nancy Morrish
Stage Tucson! Professional Home Staging - Tucson, AZ
Stage Tucson!

...thanks everyone for your comments! 

Veronica....  I love the bathrobe and the small toiletries idea.

Maureen... Oh my.....  I wish I had visited your Bed & Breakfast in Ireland!  I've never been but would absolutely LOVE to go! - thanks for the guidebook's great.

Nov 30, 2007 11:15 AM
Abby Roselli
ALR Home Staging and Showcasing, LLC - Staten Island, NY
Staten Island Home Stager
I was going to say, you should be running a B&B.  What a great host you are!  I'm sure everyone LOVES coming to your house to stay!!!!!  When can I make a reservation?  hehe...
Nov 30, 2007 11:48 AM
Stephanie Heron
Dressing Rooms LLC - Scottsdale, AZ
Weeber - Dressing Rooms

Nancy - your guest-room is delightful as are all the little things you do for your guests. I have a couple of girlfriends coming from England next weekend - I will start preparing their rooms this weekend:) I think I  will need to get a basket of munchies for them as guests from Europe tend to wake up very early and are starving - maybe some nice cookies.


Dec 01, 2007 11:47 AM
Dawn Taylor, SE Minnesota Home Stager~
Taylor'd To Sell - Winona, MN
Both rooms look so nice and inviting!  Wish I had a guest room.  But then, when my sister comes to visit she might not she has to sleep in my daughter's room with our cat - she usually doesn't stay long...
Dec 01, 2007 12:25 PM
Nancy Morrish
Stage Tucson! Professional Home Staging - Tucson, AZ
Stage Tucson!

Stephanie....  have fun with your girlfriends.........there is nothing funner than girlfriends!!

Dawn....    haha, that's funny.... don't tell your sister.

Abby....  reservations accepted daily

Dec 02, 2007 02:47 AM