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Guest Room Checklist For The Holidays

Have overnight visitors coming for Thanksgiving weekend or the winter holidays this year? Get your guest space all ready with these top 10 guest room essentials and extra touches to make their stay comfortable.

Refresh Restyle Bedroom
Refresh Restyle

1. Cozy bedding. Aim to include a comfortable mattress pad, sheets, pillow shams and a duvet or quilt. A soft and cozy throw blanket at the foot of the bed can provide extra warmth on chilly evenings. Consider going for a soft neutral palette like the one shown here for maximum versatility — crisp white sheets paired with cream and tan accents is sophisticated and works equally well in all seasons.

Domino Books
Domino

2. Something to read. A stack of books including a mix of favorite authors and local info is a nice touch for the bedside table.

Domino Bath
Domino

3. Towels and toiletries. Have some of those little trial-size toiletries laying around? Gather them up and plunk them in a pretty bowl or cup to offer to your guests in case they forgot something. Also be sure to set out fresh bath and hand towels — I’m partial to fluffy white towels or thin, striped turkish towels.

Emily Henderson bedroom
Emily Henderson

4. Rug. A soft rug underfoot is a necessity if you have hard flooring — but even if you have carpeting, consider layering a colorful runner or fluffy faux hide on top. Your guests will appreciate the extra softness underfoot.

5. Bedside lighting. Overhead lighting alone is simply not enough. Add a bedside lamp on each side of the bed so your guests can read in bed. And before your guests arrive, remember to check that the bulbs work!

Guest Room Checklist
Ann Street Studio | Driven by Decor | Refresh Restyle | Crate Blog

6. Valet hooks. Your guests will want a spot to hang up a few items of clothing, but you might not have a full closet rod or dresser available. What to do? Install a few hooks instead. Valet hooks (like the ones shown top left) are a style of wall hook perfect for hanging up a hanger or two to keep clothes neat and wrinkle-free.

7. Coffee station. Gather up an electric kettle, french press, mugs, ground coffee and tea on a pretty tray so your guests can help themselves to a hot coffee in the morning or relaxing herbal tea before bed. Bonus: if they’re up early, they won’t have to worry about bothering you to find out where anything is!

8. Workstation. Including a small desk along with your home’s wifi code is a great way to make your guest feel at home. If you’re short on space in your guest room, consider including a slim desk and shelf combination like the one shown here.

Kelly Nan Bedroom
Kelley Nan

9. Extra pillows and blankets. Keep a few varieties of pillows and a spare blanket on hand so guests can grab them if needed. Feel free to leave these items out on the bed or on a nearby bench — if you do opt to stash them inside a closet, be sure to let your guests know where these items are kept so they can get them if needed.

10. Water. After being on the road to travel to your home, your guests will probably be thirsty! Provide a carafe of water with a few glasses, or stock their bedside tables with bottled water so they can hydrate. For bonus points add a small vase of fresh flowers and a scented candle.

To shop for a cozy guest room rug, consider one of these go-with-anything beauties:

Guest Room Rugs

Rug shopping guide (clockwise from top left): Monaco by Safavieh in grey; Anastasia by Loloi Rugs in light blue; Anastasia by Loloi Rugs in desert and brown; Rhapsody by Surya in cream.

To shop all guest bedroom rug options, click here.

For more inspiration from Laura, follow along with her at LauraGaskill.com!

Copyright © Rugs Direct ®

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Stripes Forever: 4th of July Decor

With the Fourth of July falling mid-week this year, let’s take this chance to hit pause on our busy lives and savor the little things that make life sweet — like iced coffee on the porch, fireworks on a summer night, and the always-stylish power of stripes.

Design Sponge
Erin Napier for Design Sponge

With a centennial American flag framed on the wall and an antique armchair reupholstered using striped French grain sacks, this home really knows how to put stripes to work!

Aerin Lauder
Aerin Lauder via Habitually Chic

Barker and Stonehouse
Barker and Stonehouse

Love Breton striped tops? Bring the classic blue-and-white stripes into your home with chic striped wallpaper and a geometric striped rug in the bedroom. With this many stripes going on in one room it helps to keep everything else soft and neutral, so go with white or natural wood floors, a linen-upholstered bed, and crisp white sheets.

Domino2

Domino
Domino

If you want a bolder look, go for wide stripes. In the space shown here, a shade sail with wide black and white stripes is suspended from the ceiling for a dramatic look.

Domino3
Domino

Iittalla via Apartment Therapy
Iittala via Apartment Therapy

For a look as comfy as slipping on your favorite tee shirt, pop striped pillowcases over plush pillow inserts and line them up on your couch.

Whether you like your stripes wide or narrow, classic blue, chic black, or neutral, one super easy way to bring stripes home is with a fresh new rug. Striped rugs go with any style, and are just as easy to work with as a solid, but so much more interesting — check out four of my current favorites below. Happy Fourth, and happy decorating!

Striped Rugs
Rug Shopping Guide (clockwise from top left): Capel Nags Head Vertical Stripe Rectangles in blue; Liora Manne Sorrento Rugby Stripe in black; Liora Manne Sorrento Pinstripe in navy; Safavieh Cape Cod in natural and black.

For more inspiration from Laura, follow along with her at LauraGaskill.com!

Copyright © Rugs Direct ®

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Creative Entertaining Ideas for Mother’s Day

Whether you’re planning to spend Mother’s Day with your own mom, or are looking to honor another important mother in your life, spending quality time together is probably at the top of her wish list. Make her day extra-special with a small gathering at home, plus a themed gift to go with it. Will it be a backyard picnic, literary lunch, or champagne brunch? Get the party how-to’s and gift ideas for Mother’s Day straight ahead.

Sugar and Charm
Sugar and Charm

The backyard picnic is such a fun way to entertain — it’s simple, casual, and seems to put everyone in a good mood. Make your Mother’s Day picnic feel special by bringing some soft, comfortable items from home. Think fringed throws, striped outdoor rugs, and big cushions for leaning on. Keep the menu simple with baguette sandwiches, sparkling lemonade, and a few fresh veggie salads picked up from a local market. Plus something sweet for dessert, of course! And remember, if you don’t have a big backyard you can always meet at a nearby park.

Sugar and Charm
Sugar and Charm

Picnic-Themed Gift Ideas:

- Tasty treats and specialty ingredients from a local market

- Pretty tasseled blanket

- Wide-brim sun hat

- Garden-inspired jewelry or scarf

- Tickets to an outdoor theater or music event

- Digital projector for backyard movie nights

- Any of the above items, packed up in a picnic basket for mom to keep

weddingomania
Via Weddingomania

Does your mom love to read? Embrace her passion for all things literary with a book-themed party! Decorate the table with stacks of books with pretty covers, make bookmarks to use as the place cards, and serve up fare inspired by a favorite novel (Jane Austen tea party, anyone?). To make the party really special, coordinate ahead of time with the other guests to gift your mom a photo book including pictures from everyone involved.

persuasion_031
The Ardent Biblio

Gift Ideas:

- A pretty edition of one of mom’s all-time favorite books

- Gift certificate to a local, independent bookshop

- A cute new bookbag

- A new mug and delicious tea so she can sip while she reads

- Book-themed jewelry

- An art print with a quote from a favorite literary heroine

Sugar and Charm
Sugar and Charm

And finally, you can never go wrong with a classic Mother’s Day brunch. Hosting brunch at home is lovely because you can linger over the table as long as you like — and it doesn’t have to be a lot of effort. If you’d prefer not to cook ten different dishes, no problem! Pick up doughnuts and pastries (or bagels with cream cheese and smoked salmon) from the best shop in town, pile up bowls with heaps of beautiful fresh fruit, and pop a bottle of champagne. Then spend some of the time you didn’t spend cooking to print out childhood photos of each guest, and use them as place cards. What mom wouldn’t love that?

Glitter Guide
The Glitter Guide

Brunch-Themed Gift Ideas:

- French press coffee set and a pound of really good coffee beans

- Passes for a sunrise yoga class that you can attend together

- A gorgeous new cookbook and recipe box

- Pretty tea towels and an apron

- French market basket and a date to walk to the farmer’s market together

- Bouquet of flowers in a lovely vase

- A bottle of bubbly

Mother’s Day Art Shopping Guide:

1.Timeless Endless Mother by Tara Moss;  2. Mother and Daughter by Cassandra Cushman; 3. Mother by Sherry DiPaolo Art; 4. Mother Nature’s Love by Sophia Rodionov; 5. You’re the Mom by American Flat;  6. Playing in the Water by Georgia Janisse.

For more inspiration from Laura, follow along with her at LauraGaskill.com!

Copyright © Rugs Direct ®

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Easy, Natural Holiday Decorating Ideas

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the idea of decorating your home for the holidays, I’d like to encourage you to take a deep breath and relax. A trip to the grocery store or a trek in the great outdoors is all that’s needed to create lots of holiday cheer, all around the house. So pour yourself a hot cup of tea or spiced cider, and get ready to deck those halls.

http://emiliajane.pass.us/danielle
Photo: The Everygirl

First up, my favorite quick trick for creating a festive holiday mood: evergreen garlands and wreaths. You can find garlands and wreaths premade at many grocery stores, nurseries, and Christmas tree lots at this time of year. And while a wreath on the front door and a garland over the mantel are popular places to deck with greenery, consider branching out and draping a garland over a window, too. Hang a wreath from ribbon in front of the window to complete the look.

Simple Natural Christmas
Photos: Top row, The Everygirl; bottom left, Trendenser via Apartment Apothecary; bottom right, The Merrythought via Apartment Apothecary.

Next, consider where you can tuck smaller bits of greenery throughout the house. Try placing a few swags of greens around a bar cart, tuck a mini tree onto a tabletop, prop a small wreath on a bookshelf, or fill the bottom of a large glass hurricane with greenery, and top with a tiny strand of twinkling lights.

When you come up against a holiday decorating dilemma, try brainstorming ways of using natural elements to solve your problem before hitting the shops to spend (more!) money. No mantel to hang the stockings? Attach a branch foraged from outdoors to the wall using Command hooks, and hang your stockings from the branch. Short on holiday-themed gift wrap? Cut a simple tree or star shape from a potato, and stamp it on plain paper to create your own design. Need a gift embellishment? Tie on a sprig of greenery with twine for a charming finishing touch.

Simple Christmas 2
Photos: Lark & Linen

And remember, you can always tweak these ideas to fit your location. Those in the South can use magnolia garland and a wreath featuring natural cotton instead of evergreen! Get creative and use what you have.

Simple Christmas 3
Photo: The Waves We Make via Apartment Apothecary

I love to keep a bunch of potted bulbs on hand for easy hostess and last-minute gifts. Amaryllis, paperwhite, or hyacinth work well, and you can pot up a dozen or more bulbs in a matter of minutes. They look so beautiful lined up on a windowsill, you’ll want to be sure you have a few extras for yourself!

Wintry Rug Picks

Looking for a new rug to make all of your holiday gatherings extra-special? A soft, textured rug in a warm neutral hue (like the four shown above) will make your natural holiday decorations and twinkle lights really sing.

Rug shopping guide: All rugs from the Jaipur Rugs Fables Collection (clockwise from top left) Alicante; Malo; Greek in frost gray; and Mythical in ivory and gray.

For more inspiration from Laura, follow along with her at LauraGaskill.com!

Copyright © Rugs Direct ®

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