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Primer: A Well-Equipped Guest Room

Old-fashioned homemaking wisdom says that everyone should sleep in her own guest room at least once, to see how it feels and make improvements. (As the guest in many rooms over the years, I can safely say that most people do not do this.) Of course, if you live in a smallish apartment or house, you may not have a spare room, but that doesn't mean you should ignore your guests' needs, even if they're just crashing on the couch.

So I've put together a quick checklist that covers the basic essentials that any good guest room (or mere guest space) should have. To see if yours is up to par,


  • clean towels, perhaps laid out on the bed
  • a well-lighted mirror
  • a bedside table and reading lamp
  • a few well-chosen books and magazines
  • a wastebasket
  • paper and a nice pen
  • a closet with plenty of free hangers
  • an alarm clock
  • a night light, if the room is unusually dark

From there, whatever embellishments you want to add — from fresh flowers to maps of your city — are up to you. Think I'm missing a crucial accoutrement? Tell me below.

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