Stylish gestures to welcome over-nighters.

November 11, 2021

As we happily greet overnighters once more, these creative, stylish guest-room gestures will let them know just how welcome they are.

Now that we’re shunning Zoom and starting to see each other IRL, any overnight visit is going to feel special. Practical niceties such as blackout window shades and access to an electric socket that doesn’t entail moving a dresser will make your guests comfortable. But meaningful gestures unique to their tastes—beloved lilacs bedside, a stack of the latest interior magazines by the tub—will touch them on a deeper level. Here, 14 ways to roll out the welcome mat rather unforgettably. Read more, ‘How To Be The Perfect Guest.’

A classic Colefax and Fowler floral sets the tone in the bedroom of Westerly, Tory Burch’s Southampton home. Photography by Oberto Gili for

1. Easy Hookup

To save a visitor’s having to ask “What’s your password again?” print out Wi-Fi info in an attractive, friendly typeface, frame it, and set it where it can’t be missed. Read more, ‘Get The Party Started: How To Be The Perfect Host.’

2. Cool Comfort

When you welcome guests after a long drive, or straight-off-the-plane to your home, offer a cold cloth steeped in lavender oils, topped with a fresh sprig of the herb from the garden. It’s a beautiful gesture that people won’t forget.

3. Pretty Pills

If it’s safe to assume libations will flow late into the night, decant three types of headache remedies—say, aspirin,  Advil, (Nurofen), and Tylenol, (Panadol) —into identical glass apothecary jars for the morning after.

4. Digital Direction

Create a curated guide to your area to share favourite places to shop and eat in town with your visitors. It might be a guide to the best in Hudson, upstate New York or Australia’s Southern Highlands. Even the best local eateries and experiences in your city, so your friends can jump straight in.

5. Fan Favour

Even in climate-controlled environments, guests always appreciate having the option of turning on a fan—both for air movement and white noise.

Fans are contemporary and retro-chic versions that are very attractive.

6. Tailored Flames

Research your guest’s birthday and set out the appropriate personalised Zodiac candle. It’s a very nice touch.

7. Suitcase Place

Because a visitor doesn’t want to flop a bag on your sheets or a chair after it has been rolled through the airport, offer a good-looking folding table, which you can stow away later. The visitor will intuit the table’s function from its bare surface.

8. Bud System

The truly on-it hostess changes bedside flowers at least once while the guest is sojourning.

9. Kid Consideration

A Lego Star Wars set or a beading kit will occupy children while grateful parents share their latest preoccupations with you.

10. Spoil-Them Toiletries

If you have a guest bathroom, stock it with products your visitors would never buy themselves such as licorice-flavored toothpaste and Old Spice deodorant with the amusingly macho name Swagger.

11. Neat Nightcap

European households place a carafe of water next to the bed. Scottish houses put out small decanters filled with whisky and sloe gin, with a matching tumbler.

If you desire to emulate Edinburghers, don’t forget the soda water.

12. The Little Chill

Stock a small, quiet fridge with water and considerate snacks: See’s Peppermints for the guest with a sweet tooth, roasted chickpeas for vegans, lemon wedges to freshen drinking water and slices of cheese and crackers to sate the peckish.

13. Zippy Reads

Layout books that folks can dip in and out of for 15 minutes. Short stories like Zadie Smith’s latest collection, “Grand Union,” or any collection by John Cheever are good pre-cocktail-hour warm-ups.

14. Décor Tweaks

For returning guests, author Amy Fine Collins always changes a picture in the guestroom or rearranges the furniture a bit, just so they notice something’s a little different.

This an edited excerpt that first appeared in the Wall Street Journal. Lead image- AD100 Designer Sheila Bridges bedroom in her elegant upstate New York home. Photography by Frank Frances for

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