Over the past year and a half, we’ve seen many of our customers transform guest rooms into home offices to support their transition to working from home. Now we’re noticing the reverse trend—getting these spaces back into shape to welcome guests again. We sat down with Rick Johnson, formerly in charge of visual merchandising and styling, who now oversees all our retail stores—and picked his brain for tips on how to get your guest suite, guest ready.

Let's start with lighting: What are the key points to consider when lighting a guest room?

We always recommend adding layers of light. Start with a strong source of overhead light and layer in wall lighting. In any bedroom you want to make sure that you have table or floor lamps so that you have adequate illumination throughout your space. If you are up for a project, mounting sconces on either side of the bed is perfect for reading in bed.

What are the key points for building for a serene and easy-to-make guest bed?

Our linen bedding is made with Belgian flax fibers at a Fair Trade factory. Linen is breathable and perfect for year-round use. So, it's sustainable and responsibly sourced as well as super comfortable. When styling a guest bed, I like to start with high quality sheets, add a patterned duvet cover, like our Eden Duvet, and then select one of our stitched linen quilts for a pop of color and some patterned decorative pillows to complete the look.

Can you share one of your favorite styling tricks for guest rooms?

I like to create a little vignette on the nightstand in my guest suite with our Frankfort Table Lamps—I love its distinctive sculptural form and ridged hardwood base. Then I add one of our Whitney Vases with some flowers for the finishing touch.

What do you make sure to have on hand to make guests feel comfortable?

A couple of our chunky wool throws always adds a cozy element and makes guests feel welcome! I also recommend keeping a stack of additional bath towels, wash cloths, and pretty soaps in your guest bath to add a more personal touch.

Speaking of the guest bath, if you’re doing a renovation, what’s a good way to give the space a spa-like feel?

Our range of solid brass plumbing and shower sets (including handshower options) will elevate any guest bath and give it a more spa-like feel. We have both thermostatic and pressure balanced varieties.

Do you prefer matching hardware and plumbing for a cohesive look or choosing mixed finishes?

Both are great ways to go! It depends on your personal style. All our hardware and lighting collections come in matching finishes. Matching finishes gives your space a more consolidated look, while mixing finishes is an opportunity to add personality. When mixing finishes, we usually recommend keeping all your hardware and plumbing in the same finish and all your lighting the same finish.

Any guest bath lighting tips?

You can enhance your entire space by adding wall sconces as vanity lighting either above your mirror or on either side of it.

And finally, which guest towels do you recommend?

Our 780-gram Aerocotton towels are made from 100% organic GOTS-certified Turkish cotton and are crafted using a spinning process that allows the air to pass through the fibers. They are super absorbent and have a super-soft feel. Your guests will feel like they’re visiting a  five star hotel.

Related Reading:

Ask the Expert: Talking About Lighting Trends With Our Creative Director, Evan Dublin

Five Earth-Friendly Updates for Your Home

Bedroom Basics: Four Ways to Refresh Your Retreat