8 thoughtful ideas to elevate a guest's stay

Welcome favorite faces

Guest welcome treats
(Image credit: @alejandrapoupelevents)

"You've just made me do a welcome tray and style a tablescape," said my gal pal, talking of guest-prepping her new apartment rental for a wild weekend reveal. Hee, what can I say — I'm a stylist, it's in our nature to faff with flowers, frolic with decorative details, and get creative with the little things that make all the difference to elevate a guest's stay (or anything for that matter!) 

Having also just hosted my tribe (with a cozy boho lounge picnic ready on arrival oh yeah!) and with thoughtful gestures in mind, let's talk guest room ideas. It's definitely that time of year when we're all craving a hit of happiness from the special souls in our lives, so get your apartment spruce on and elevate their experience with an extra special home away from home. There's more to it than simply laying out extra towels on the bed — although this is a great place to start! Be inspired to embrace thoughtful details that really count, so much so that you might struggle a little to get rid of them...

1. Delight them with a welcome guest tray

Neutral, chic guest bedroom with lovely welcome caddy on bed

(Image credit: @shelbyhjohnson)

Make them smile from the get-go and treat overnighters to the ultimate cabin-chic experience with a cute welcome guest tray beautifully presented on a laundered bed of dreams. Simply fill a basket or use a gorgeous tray to display all the thoughtful details your fave person or people will appreciate and adore. A scented candle, sweet treat, natural soap, sleep spray, water glass, and fluffy towels are always a winner (include socks/slippers and a hottie bottle in the brrr months). I delight in adding a personalized touch too, with a LOL photo or greeting card, and a bud vase with a floral burst is an absolute DO! We're going for hostess-with-the-mostess prowess here peeps!

2. "Wheelie" wow them with a coffee cart

Chic drinks cart style with coffee machine and bottled water

(Image credit: @rosesandrainboots)

Replace cocktail hour with cafe culture, and get them buzzin' with their very own coffee cart or small space coffee bar (and save yourself the Cinderella cafe run whilst you're at it!) 

Take your pick of swish bar carts, and style the love into it like @rosesandrainboots, with a portable coffee maker, drink-making essentials, playful coffee cups, and freshwater to keep them hydrated. And not forgetting that posy of fresh petals again for a color pop and decorative finish.  

3. Share the (WiFi) love 

Framed wifi access on shelf with pampas grass

(Image credit: @lifewiththewestwoods)

Get them connected asap so that they can share all of your homestay amazingness on the socials! This cute framed idea from @lifewiththewestwoods is a far lovelier alternative than scrambling behind the console to wrestle with the rooter! 

4. Add a textural accent on the bedside

Posy of tonal antipodean flowers on rustic bedside table

(Image credit: @andwhatshefound)

Flowers are always the ultimate finale flourish (literally) in any styling scenario, and can quickly elevate a bland bedside, shelf, or windowsill into a colorful mini-feature that speaks volumes. 

We ADORE the sculptural forms and teasing, dried textures in this tonal beside vase arrangement by @andwhatshefound. It's small but oh so striking. 

5. Display a bundle of guest towels

Rustic pamper/spa basket with rolled towels, loofah, and houseplant

(Image credit: @hollys.hobby)

I don't know about you, but I never understand why I'm only ever given a single towel when I stay at pals' pads — truly bizarre? Sure, extra laundry is always a pain, but I have a bird's nest on my head aka curly hair — I need at least two purleaseee! With this in mind, I'm always super sure to provide an excessive bundle of luxe bath linens for crash-over souls. And if you're a bit of a styling perfectionist like moi, you'll also appreciate a gorgeous stack of neatly rolled towels in a basket, secured with rustic twine, and garnished with a fresh flower sprig. 

Talking of the above fluffy loveliness, Holly, home decor creator, @hollys.hobby, says: "Always have designated guest towels on standby. That way no matter when you have company, you always have fresh clean towels! Even if your guests do not use the items you have selected for them, I guarantee they feel special."

6. Treat them with a pamper tray

Gorgeous wabi sabi style pamper tray

(Image credit: @labellavita_studios)

Bring the spa vibes to them (just because they deserve all of the sensory treats on a budget), with a gorgeous tray styled with natural beauty delectables. We're totally digging the authentic Wabi-sabi vibes in this swoony offering from labellavita_studios. Follow suit, banish all packaging, and serve-up pampering treats in tactile, rustic trinket bowls for a mindful and relaxing sensory experience.

7. Glow-up brunch with a joyful tablescape

Fresh, colorful brunch tablescape with grapefruit halves, green foliage, and color pop flowers

(Image credit: @jessicafosterplanning)

It's been tooo long since you've exchanged grins, and their vacay is fleeting, so make weekend noms an extra sparkling occasion filled with beautiful moments and a sprinkle of tablescaping magic.

Pack a trending dopamine decor punch at brunch with an elevated tablescape dazzling in all things fresh and fabulous (that includes you obvs)! Create a "living table runner" with trailing green foliage, dotted with bright-delight stems in bud vases, and pepper the surrounding tabletop with sharing plates of juicy tutti fruits, bakery-fresh pastries, and virtuous water infusions (oh go on then, a glass of bubbles won't hurt, we're celebrating togetherness after all!)

8. Support local with a goodbye gift

Edible gift basket filled with goodies from local makers

(Image credit: @georgiajettgiftco)

You've all had a short but giggle-fuelled blast, and now they're flying your thoughtful nest (boo but kinda "phew"!) until the next calendar clinks and chirp-ups... So for a parting bestie boost, pack them off with a bundle of local neighborhood picks. They'll be heart-melting when they unpack that delish bottle of grape juice from the hipster deli, and the cutest plant bubba ever from the corner florist. You da best!

Content Editor

Holly is a Content Editor at Real Homes, and has previously worked at Future Homes brands including Country Homes & Interiors and Livingetc. She has a background in interior and event styling spanning a decade, which previously took her from coast to city and beyond to Australia. 

Holly loves working with creative minds and discovering fresh, indie brands, and is a firm believer that no home can have too many cushions, unruly blooms or decorative details of happy