Helpful Hints for Overnight House Guests

An excerpt from California designer Kathryn M. Ireland’s book, Kathryn At Home: A Guide to Simple Entertaining, gives advice on how to make your overnight house guests feel right at home
overnight house guests
Photo by Deborah Anderson

I love the occasional sleepover with a good friend. The pressure of limited time is lifted; you don’t have to condense conversation, confidences, and closeness into one dinner. You also don’t have to call the next day and go over everything—you’re both right there and can do it over breakfast. It’s a relaxed, leisurely way to recharge fondness and friendship. Whether sleepovers are planned or spur of the moment, this checklist of tips will help ensure that your guest accommodation resembles the graciousness of your offer, and that your friend feels welcome and highly valued.

overnight house guests
Photo by Kathy Marshall

1 | Be Prepared

Whether you have an extra room designated for guests or you’re converting a sofa into a bed for the night, make sure you always have clean sheets, extra pillows, and fresh towels on hand.

2 | Bundle Up

Have an array of quilts and throws for the end of the bed, according to the season.

3 | Make it Special

Add a personal touch — a note, a homemade lavender sachet, a sprig of rosemary, or a small spray of garden flowers on the pillow.

overnight house guests
Photo by Mikkel Vang

4 | Keep it Bright

Make sure the light bulbs are working. Dimmer switches make it more intimate for the guest.

5 | Set the Table

Place tissues, fresh water and a glass on the bedside table.

6 | Provide Power

Devote a universal charger to your guest space so your friends can keep plugged in.

7 | Stock Up

Provide a spare toothbrush and other toiletries.




Excerpted from Kathryn At Home: A Guide to Simple Entertaining by Kathryn M. Ireland, reprinted by permission of Gibbs Smith.

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