Become a Superhost by Avoiding These 7 Guest Room Mistakes


If you’re lucky enough to have a spare room, in-law suite, or second home, there’s a good chance you’ve considered renting it out. Put a bed in there, post it on Airbnb, and count the cash rolling in, right?


Sorry, folks—it’s not as simple as that. Whether your guest suite is for friends and family, or you’re planning on hosting guests for money, there are a few do’s and don’ts when it comes to decorating the space.


Here are the top guest space faux pas you’ll want to avoid—especially if you’d like a good review (or want to see your friends again).


1. Dark decor

Everyone likes having a cozy space to rest, but there’s a fine line between decorating a space so that guests can sleep late and making it look like the Addams family got hold of it. To keep your guests happy, skip the dark wallpaper or paint, and ditch any furniture you didn’t know what else to do with.


“Too often, homeowners tend to put their ‘leftover’ furnishings in the guest room because it’s not a primary room,” says Doreen Amico-Sorellof Sorell Interiors. “But that’s no reason to have broken, dingy, or gloomy fixtures and furniture anywhere in the home.”


2. Bad lighting

Bad lighting can make even the nicest guest room a gloomy cave. Supplement any overhead lighting with bedside and reading lights—and make sure they’re up to par! You won’t get good reviews for flimsy lamps or burned-out bulbs.


3. Missing outlets

One of the first things everyone needs after a long day of travel is a place to charge their phone. If you plan on hosting people born in this century, you can count on their need for reliable working outlets (preferably more than one).


“Whether it’s my friends visiting with all their devices or my parents with their CPAP machines, having outlets by each nightstand has made me a hero,” says Jackie Schagen of Jackie Schagen Design.

Even if your room isn’t equipped with a million outlets, pick up a power strip to give your guests plenty of options.


4. No privacy

As a host, making guests comfortable should be priority No. 1—and comfort includes a certain level of privacy.


“Not all houses have a dedicated guest room, but whether it’s a room or casual space, guests should be made to feel welcome,” says Amico-Sorell. “And that can only happen with privacy.”


Make sure your guests have a way to cover the windows, close the door, slide out a room divider, or whatever is needed to comfortably relax while visiting.


5. Withholding the Wi-Fi

Withholding Wi-Fi and other important details (like the access code on the front door) is only going to accomplish one thing: making your guests really, really annoyed.


“Real love means not having to ask for the Wi-Fi password,” says Schagen.


Not providing these details in advance might also mean you receive a nonstop stream of texts filled with questions. Make everyone’s life easier and leave out a cheat sheet of all the numbers and passwords your guests need to know during their visit.


6. Scratchy or stained linens

Cheap fabric or mystery stains are a surefire way to diminish your star rating, whether the guests are paying or not.


“There’s no excuse for cheap, scratchy sheets or not enough towels,” says Amico-Sorell. “These products can be acquired at a very reasonable price— there’s no reason to treat guests like you don’t want them there.”


7. Not providing cleaning products

People make messes and accidents happen. Rather than being the one to clean up a colossal mess when your company leaves, discreetly include a few basic cleaning products (toilet brush, antibacterial wipes, plunger), toiletries, extra toilet paper, and waste bins around your guest suite.


The conscientious guests will take the hint, and be glad to have a way to clean up after themselves without having any awkward conversations.



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