I love nothing more than entertaining guests at my home. No matter the time of year or season, it’s always so much fun to pamper friends and family, and provide a relaxing haven while they’re away from their own nests. Whether they’re enjoying the patio weather, dining alfresco or just doing some luxurious lounging, I always try to make sure our visitors have everything they need (and more!) during their stay. Of course, when designing homes for my clients, it’s always a priority to create a “home away from home” for their guests as well!

There is an art to designing a space for guests that is inviting, relaxing and comfortable. Everyone has a story about a hotel, resort, or Airbnb that made their trip much more memorable. What makes a true home away from home for you? Is it a luxe bathtub, a substantial closet, a reading nook in your room or simply an inviting bed with soft, cozy linens?

Read on for some of our tips to turn your home into a place where your family and friends want to return to again and again!

Get cozy

When working with clients to design a space for guests, I always recommend they consider the amenities they want when they are traveling and to spend time in their own guest room or house. This helps them to understand how the room needs to be laid out for their guests to be the most comfortable during their stay.

For me, crafting a comfy retreat for your guests is key. Start by sourcing plush linens they can sink into after a long day of fun. I love linens by Sferra and Tribute Goods. They are gorgeous and crisp. Guests like sleeping at different temperatures so be sure to layer your bed. This is how we set up bedding in all Laura U interiors: mattress pad (on the best mattress available of course), fitted sheet, flat sheet, blanket, duvet, 50% firm and 50% soft sleeping pillows, and lastly, a soft throw blanket. Of course, we throw on some decorative pillows in a fab fabric for color and texture! Also, think about adding some fresh flowers to the room. It’s a thoughtful touch that will let them know you were looking forward to their arrival!

Soak up the sun

 If you have the luxury of an outdoor space (and if the weather allows!), it’s always fun to spend time alfresco with your houseguests. Create an inviting vibe with plenty of seating options perfect for taking a break from the heat and enjoying the breeze and some shade.

Your company can grab a good book, or better yet, a cocktail, to enjoy outside while taking in the beautiful scenery.

Pull up a chair

Once the outdoor lounging is over, grab a seat at the table! My bestie, DeeAnn, loves hosting dinner parties outdoors all summer long so I am taking a page from her playbook here. While your friends are staying over, why not host a nice meal on the patio or in the backyard complete with a menu full of their favorite foods? DeeAnn especially loves to grill out because it is interactive and everyone can hang out together. Add café lights, like she does, some chill music, and a wine that complements the food you are serving – she likes to have a theme like Tapas and Tempranillo – and there’s nothing like sharing a good meal with your guests!

Curl up

I always look forward to catching up on my reading while on vacation! In case your guests feel the same, make sure there is a private, personal nook where they can unplug and reach for a good read. It is nice to have some alone time – for you and for your guests – so be sure this is a space that is just theirs. To design the perfect spot for reading, we always start with an oversized chair and a plush pillow, perfect for settling in. Then, we add a stylish pouf or ottoman that can double as another seat, and top things off with task lighting. Follow these steps and, before you know it, you’ll have the ideal spot for your guests to get lost in a good book.

Expect the Unexpected

 Can you think of anything better on vacation than taking a long, leisurely bath? If you know what we mean, then make sure your guest bathroom is full of the things that will make your visitors feel like they’re at a five-star spa.

Stock your guest bath with plenty special soaps and, if you have a tub like the one below, make sure you leave some bubble bath or bath salts nearby so your friends and family can unplug and unwind during their stay with you! We love designing guest bathrooms like this one complete with plenty of counter space for all of your houseguests’ belongings.

We hope you’re feeling inspired to open your home to your friends and family for an extended stay this summer! Your home will be the place guests look forward to returning to time and time again.

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