The Perfect Guest Room: A Checklist by Paloma Contreras

October 19, 2018
Paloma Contreras. Photography by Brittany Ambridge.

“A wise woman once said that a host should spend a night in his or her guest bedroom in order to ensure that everything is comfortable enough for a guest,” the Houston-based decorator Paloma Contreras writes in her buzzy new book, Dream. Design. Live.

“If there is a wallpaper or paint color you absolutely love, but are afraid it would be too much to commit to in a room you use every day, a guest bedroom might be the perfect place for it, since it probably won’t get as much use as the other rooms in your house and your guests are likely to appreciate a room with panache.”

“My guest bedroom (above) is more pattern-driven than any other room in the house for this very reason. I dressed the space in various patterns in blue and white and even opted for printed fabric lamp shades. The room is cozy and fun!”

Of course it’s all of the little details that make a guest suite feel like home, so we asked Paloma for a short list to create the perfect space.


  • Fresh Flowers on the Nightstand
  • A Carafe Filled with Water and a Glass for Drinking
  • Extra Blankets
  • An Assortment of Pillows: “I have both down and down alternative pillows on the bed in our guest room so that guests can choose what they prefer.”
  • A Luggage Rack
  • Plenty of Empty Hangers
  • Nice Soap
  • Shampoo and Conditioner
  • Moisturizing Body Wash
  • Ibuprofen and Antacids in the Bathroom Cabinet
  • A Spare Toothbrush and Toothpaste
  • Cotton Balls and Cotton Swabs
  • Interesting Books and Local Magazines
  • A Phone Charger
  • A Handwritten Welcome Note with the Wi-Fi Password

See more tips in Paloma’s new book Dream. Design. Live.


And follow her on Instagram @palomacontrerasdesign.