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

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

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!

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Not So Moody Greys

Nina Holst, Stylizimo
Nina Holst

Writing about the color grey feels like writing about home, most likely because every room in my house has light grey walls with the exception of two bathrooms. The color is very close to what’s seen on the walls above; what someone once described as the perfect white/grey or grey/white. Yes, greys can be moody but they can also give depth and dimension to a space. Depending on the undertones, a good grey can make a room feel cool (blues) or warm (yellows). Or pair it with just about any other color for a beautifully inspired match.

Phil Durrant
Philip Durrant

Grey is most definitely the minimalist’s friend. White, black, and neutral natural tones love it and give off an incredibly chic pulled together vibe when put together. An interior look like the one above will transverse the entire year well, making summer months feel relaxed and winter months cozy.

Brandon Barre
Brandon Barré

The cool grey with blue undertones in these kitchen cabinets, paired with warm woods everywhere you look, make for such a welcoming space. The black metal stools pulled up to the island, and the two industrial nickel pendant lights overhead, do their due diligence while allowing that beautiful hue to really shine and be the superstar of the room. This is a fantastic example of creating what feels like an entirely separate room in an open space floor plan.

House Beautiful
House Beautiful

Maybe you’re thinking grey is just too boring for you when there are so many other colors are out there to experiment with. If that’s the case, let me remind you of just how many shades of grey there are (more than fifty, I promise). Grey offers you an entire spectrum unto itself that allows you to play with pattern to your heart’s content. You can nearly do no wrong – in the space above there are stripes, dots, and Art Deco! Because of the safe palette, you have a much larger margin to play within.


As well as grey plays with modern decor, it does so equally well with more traditional aesthetics. Looking to give a piece of furniture that’s seen better days a bit of a facelift? Look no further than your favorite dusty hue. Want to create a canvas of room to show off all of your colorful worldly possessions? Light grey, again. And of course if what you’re looking for is something cozy and stylish underfoot, consider a grey floor rug like the ones below!

Grey Rugs

1/ Surya Fowler   2/ Surya Corsair Blocked Off
3/ Couristan Recife Stria Texture   4/ Safavieh Impressions
5/ Dynamic Rugs Regal   6/ Kaleen Textura 

To see more grey rugs, shop all grey rugs.

For more inspiration from Kelly, follow along with her at Design Crush!

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5 Common Decorating Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Whether you’re decorating your first place or revamping a home you’ve lived in for decades, figuring out where to begin can feel overwhelming. To take away some of the guesswork, we’re walking you through five top decorating mistakes so you know what to look for, and (more importantly!) how to remedy them in your own home. With these five areas of design know-how under your belt, your home will feel beautifully, intentionally designed in a flash.

Erin Gates Design
Erin Gates Design

Problem #1: Too short curtains. If your curtains do not reach the floor or if the curtain hardware is attached to the window frame, your curtains are probably too short. The only exception being if you have a radiator blocking the curtain’s path to the floor — in which case, you may want to consider opting for blinds or roman shades rather than drapes.

The fix: Think of your curtains as not just a covering for your window, but a frame for these light-enhancing architectural features. When measuring for curtains, take your measurements high enough that you can hang the rods near the ceiling, and the drapes will just brush the floor. If there’s wall space on both sides of the window frame, consider hanging your curtains wider than the frame itself, so when you pull your curtains open the entire window is visible, maximizing the light.

Svenja Brucker for Decor8
Svenja Brucker
for Decor8

Problem #2: Too small rug. It’s tempting to go for a 5×8 foot or even a 4×6 rug because they tend to be more affordable. But the thing is, unless the room you are decorating is truly petite, or if you’re looking for an accent rug, those sizes are not usually big enough. Most standard size living rooms can easily handle an 8×10 rug, if not bigger.

The remedy: The simplest way to measure for a new rug is to set up the furniture arrangement in your space first, and then measure around it. There are all sorts of design quibbles about how many feet ought to be on or off your rug, but it’s never wrong to have a nice big rug that all of the main furniture can fit on. If you already own a pretty little rug, consider layering it over a less costly (but bigger) natural fiber rug to expand the sense of space.

Lighting 3 studio mcgee
Studio McGee

Problem #3: Not enough lighting. It’s a fact: a dark room feels smaller and less inviting. Including lots of light sources is second-nature to professional designers, but isn’t always so obvious to the rest of us. After all, isn’t the overhead light that came with the house, plus a table lamp enough? The answer is…nope, probably not.

The fix: At a minimum, aim to include at least three different light sources in each room. But if you really want to make your space feel magical, bump that number up to five. Overhead fixtures can be great, but consider swapping out the simple flush-mount light that came with the house for something more stylish (and with more lighting potential) like a pendant light. Floor lamps are handy for lighting dark corners, and sconces are fantastic in dark hallways and bedrooms.

 The Shade Store and Studio McGee
Studio McGee

Problem #4: Jumbled color palette. This usually comes down to indecision and lack of planning. You may have the best of intentions, but without a clear plan for your home’s color palette, chances are you’re going to end up with a mishmash of hues throughout your space, lending it an unintentionally cluttered look.

The fix: I find a camera to come in quite handy for determining which colors need to go — simply snap a few photos with your phone, and look at them with a keen eye for color. What jumps out at you? How many different colors can you spot in each room? Once you’ve examined your photos, go back into each space and edit out excess items in clashing colors until you’re down to neutrals plus one main hue.

Studio at One Kings Lane
via Studio McGee

Problem #5: Too many little decor items. This is what I like to think of as the Target trap. You’re strolling along, minding your own business, just trying to buy some cat food and laundry detergent when — bam! — sparkly, shiny, colorful little decor items call to you from those enticing endcaps and somehow end up in your cart. I know, I’ve been there! The problem with collecting too many small decor items is they end up losing their impact. From a distance, it reads as clutter. So let’s take a step back and edit our decor.

The fix: Less is more when it comes to decorative objects. Choose just a few key decor items for each room that have real presence. This could be a big mirror, a pair of cool vases, and one framed art print you love, for example. Fewer but larger decor items will make a stunning statement.

And that’s it! Put these 5 tips into practice, and your friends might just start asking you whether you hired a decorator.

Gorgeous Large Rugs

Rug shopping guide (clockwise from top left): Loloi Rugs Hygge in gray and mist; Loloi Rugs Hygge in smoke and taupe; Jaipur Rugs Genesis Atha in copper and gray; KAS Montreal Heidi in gray.

To shop more large rugs, shop all 8×10, 9×12 and 10×14 rugs.

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

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Spot On Dalmatian: A Unique Animal Print In The Home

Lilly Bunn Interiors
Lilly Bunn Interiors

When you think of trendy animal print patterns, I’m guessing Dalmatian doesn’t make the list. But oh, it really should! Not only does this pattern provide a dynamic, bold statement, it also magically maintains the neutral appeal that other animal prints have. That means it’s a really versatile look and works great in small spaces like a bathroom, a small hallway, or even lining the back of a linen closet or bar cabinet.

Courtney Apple
Courtney Apple

A Dalmatian print is modern and graphic – an edgier take on the classic polka dot, if you will. At the moment this print is really enjoying its time in the spotlight with lots of wallpaper and fabric options readily available. There are also plenty of DIY projects to be had if you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for in stores. Most projects, like the pair of dining chairs above, only require a Sharpie marker and a willing hand with some time to spare.

Genevieve Garruppo
Genevieve Garruppo

Dalmatian manages to pull off the rare combination of feeling pulled together and chic, yet playful and fun. I really like what an unexpected surprise it is in this casual dining space. Thanks to removable wallpaper, the pop behind the shelves doesn’t have to be permanent, and the same goes for the chair cushions with so much affordable fabric by the yard readily available. The simple palette of black and white works so well, but this space would look just as fantastic with royal blue shelves or a bright red dining table.

via Domaine

When in doubt go against the expected and flip it on its head – in this case, black on white reverse Dalmatian! When partnered with a large and bold pattern, like the tile floor in this bathroom, it really shines as a neutral with some power behind it. By keeping the rest of the room simple with glossy black and white the two patterns doesn’t need to compete with one another.

Bed Bath & Beyond
Bed Bath & Beyond

If you’re still not convinced, or maybe just not quite ready to take a diving leap into full-on Dalmatian, think about how you might incorporate the print in smaller ways. Throw pillows or sham covers, a cozy blanket, dish towels or napkins. Floor rugs are also a smart way to dip your toe into any trend you’d like to experiment with, here are a few favorites.

Dalmation Spot Rugs

1/ Artistic Weavers Stella Dalmation   2/ Surya Moroccan Shag

For more inspiration from Kelly, follow along with her at Design Crush!

Looking for other animal print rugs? Shop all animal print rugs.

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