Get the best of cottage style directly in your inbox!
How to be a Good Host
Expecting Guests? Here’s an expert’s point of view on the fundamentals of guest room success.
Written by Maria Baruxis
Photography by Bret Gum
Styled by Jacqueline deMontravel

It’s easy to overlook a guest bedroom—sometimes it ends up becoming more of a storage room over time. Designer Traci Zeller has transformed her share of neglected guest rooms, and these are her top 4 musts when reviving your own.

Giving your guest a spot to temporarily move in will always make them feel more comfortable. No one likes living out of a suitcase and everyone loves a little hospitality.

1. Room of Their Own

An empty chest of drawers is essential for all guest rooms as it allows your visitors to fully unpack and really feel at home.

Benches that are attached to the wall don’t take up too much space and provides your guests with a space to get organized.

2. Luggage Helpers

A place to put a suitcase is probably the first thing your visitor will be looking for. Establish a place to set down their bags—Traci loves benches for this.

A room with no lights and no windows is very impersonal. Make your guest feel like they’re staying in the best room in the house.

3. Plenty of Light

A layered lighting plan is a real must have, Traci says. It allows guests a full spectrum of control for illuminating whatever task is at hand. Traci likes to combine table lamps, task lamps and pendant lights no matter the size of the room.

A desk and a chair is great for guests because they can use this space to hold their luggage or extra things. If your guest is still doing business, a desk will allow them to get their work done without them feeling uncomfortable.

4. Multitasking furniture

Multifunctional chairs are important for a small space that may have to accommodate a host of tasks—anything from providing a spot for reading or writing post cards to stepping in as a luggage rack.