A guest bedroom with neutral bedding.

Create a Mood

Layer your lighting: Use lamps with three-way bulbs so guests can adjust the amount of needed light when reading or getting ready in the morning.

Triple the sheets: How do luxe hotels make their beds so comfy? It's the three-sheet rule. One is spread over the feathertop on the mattress. The other two sandwich a thin, down-filled blanket. Then a heavier down duvet goes on top of all that.

Towels and toiletries for guests

Make Them Feel at Home

Be prepared: It really does make life easier when your guests have what they need at the ready. On a bench at the end of the bed, lay out sets of towels, soaps, shampoos, lotions, bottled water, and snacks.

Special touches: Think of ways to personalize the amenities. Does your mother love the scent of lavender? Does your sister go gaga for dark chocolate truffles? Let them know that a run-of-the-mill mini-bar has nothing on you.

Water on the bedside table

Little Touches

Ready the closet: Supply hangers so guests can unpack with ease; provide extra pillows and blankets, robes, and slippers. A luggage rack or small table is also a thoughtful touch.

For their entertainment: Keep current magazines and books on shelves or inside nightstand drawers. If you have a TV in the room, jot down a channel guide on an index card, or print one from your cable provider's Web site.

Simple addition: Remember to set out a decanter and glass wtih some bottled water.

Upholstered headboard
Courtesy of Southern Living

Custom Touches

Don't forget the bed. Even your extra mattress set can look inviting with an updated headboard.

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