The Art of Being a Gracious Host and Guest

Outfitting a Guest Room 

1. Layer the Bed Linens
Invest in several different pillows—some people prefer them flat and others puffy. Choose synthetic materials instead of down in case of allergies. Supply a couple good blankets or duvets (one light, one thicker), and dress the bed with the finest-quality sheets you can afford. Your guests may not remember the fine points of the room’s décor, but they’ll remember a good night’s sleep.

2. Put Out Fresh Flowers
Nothing says “welcome” like a pretty posy. It doesn’t have to be elaborate; even a single, stunning bloom in a bud vase does the trick. Or, go one better and arrange a hospitality tray: flowers plus a pitcher of tea or water and a dish or two of nibbles. If you know your guests have a particular local favorite—perhaps a sweet treat or a brand of cheese straws from your hometown—be sure to include it.

3. Incorporate a Comfortable Chair or Bench
Provide a versatile seat that guests can use to slip on their shoes or rest a spell. If you like, you can also include a folding luggage rack to make suitcase storage a snap.