The golden rule of prepping your home for guests is to provide clean linens. Nothing says welcome like a cozy throw blanket
and clean towels folded at the end of the bed. And for the full boutique experience, pay heed not only to thread count and quality, but how sheets feel to you -- it's not all a numbers game.
If your guest room is equipped with a desk, stock the surface with chic stationery
and a great pen, so your guests don't need to hunt for a notepad. While you're at it, it's a nice touch to leave a great book or novel for your guest to enjoy during his or her stay; choose something from your library you know your guest will enjoy.
Dress your guest bedroom nightstand with a carafe of distilled water or a bottle of mineral water and a nice tumbler to keep your friends quenched. Make a point to sneak in and refill the water each day.
Set a bar of luxury soap at the sink's side and stock the shower with fragrant shampoos, conditioners, and body washes. We prefer herbal and floral fragrances to particularly fruity ones, which can be off-putting; look for subtle scents like lavender, honeysuckle, citrus verbena, and rose.
Be it a bud vase with a bloom picked from your garden or a bouquet arranged by your favorite florist, a little bit of life in your guest bedroom will liven up your friend's stay. Replace and refill the vase water each day, and if your guests are staying for an extended period, be sure to bring in new flowers if your blooms begin to wilt.
Photograph: Andrew Arthur