These 4 Items in My Guest Room Always Get Rave Reviews — And They’re All Under $20

published Dec 4, 2023
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Guest rooms are the most relaxing when they’re simple: All that’s needed is the essential furniture and a bit of space for their clothes, bags, and shoes. But there’s a fine line here, too. You don’t want to go so minimalist that your guests feel as though they’ve checked into a bare-budget hotel. After all, they’re staying with you for a reason!

Thankfully, you can add a few extra items to transform your guest room into a boutique-level experience, starting at just $5. These are the four items I always have in my guest room, and my loved ones routinely mention that they add a nice touch to the space. I’ve even had guests tell me they’ve bought them for their own homes afterward, and that’s really the best thank you a host could ever receive. 

Bedside Charging Station

How many times have you arrived at your destination only to find you forgot your phone charger? Or, maybe you were prepared with a charger in hand, but there’s not an outlet to be found. You’re moving chairs, looking behind the dresser, hoping to find an open outlet, with no luck. 

That’s a situation I hope my guests will never encounter, and an under-$20 bedside power strip on every nightstand makes their life easier. With three appliance outlets, three USB ports, and a USB-C port, guests will have multiple options for charging all their devices. Plus, they don’t need to unplug their iPhone to power their computer or hair dryer. 

A Catchall Tray

One of my pet peeves while traveling is that my husband will empty his pockets all over the dresser and nightstands, leaving change, receipts, tickets to attractions, and museum brochures in his wake. At home, these items would be put in their place, but with nothing but a flat surface available, they end up running amok.

I solved for this in our own guest room by placing a simple dish on every nightstand and a nice catchall tray for larger items on the dresser. I love searching for vintage ashtrays while thrifting to use as jewelry dishes, though you can also find them just as easily on Amazon.

Black Makeup Towels

I never know if all my mascara is really gone, so I live in fear of leaving black smudges across a friend’s fluffy white guest towels. I don’t want my own guests to deal with the “Did I ruin your towels?!” stress, so I always have a basket of black washcloths by the sink with a little handwritten label that says, “Makeup Towels.”

You can buy fancy black makeup towels, yes, but I prefer to buy a set of black washcloths from Target for just $5. I stock up and use them both for my guests and myself. 

“Luxury” Shampoo and Conditioner

Who doesn’t love seeing the high-end shampoos and conditioners at nice hotels, especially if they’re housed in pretty bottles? Well, those can be pricey, and you may not want to keep them stocked in your house. I’m someone who prefers shampoo and conditioner of the sub $5 variety, but I doll them up both for my guest room and my own room to give off the appearance of luxury — and it works.

I decant my shampoo, conditioner, and body wash into large black and white pump bottles with waterproof labels. From a guests’ perspective, they look minimalist and high-end sitting in a shower — they’re just as chic as any luxury bottle, but for way less!