10 Guest Bedroom Essentials

I remember when we lived in an apartment, I would dream about having a real guest bedroom to decorate someday. Then, when we bought our first home a few years ago, we ended up with three! One is being turned into a nursery very soon, but since we have ample room we find ourselves hosting overnight guests on a pretty regular basis. As such, I decided my 2014 post on 7 Guest Bedroom Essentials was in for a little update! Read on to see my new list of tips for how to put together a welcoming guest bedroom.

Idylwyld Project Guest Bedroom

1. Layered blankets

No matter what season it is, give your guests a variety of blankets to choose from. My go-to bed bedding combination is a duvet, a lightweight quilt and a throw blanket. Similarly, it's a good idea to have two sets of pillows to layer on a bed -- two on the softer side and two slightly firmer. I do the same thing on our bed because I like a soft pillow whereas my husband prefers something firmer. Give your guests some options to make them feel right at home!

2. Wifi password

One of the first things I want to do after spending long hours on the road is to plug my electronics in and check my email. Make it easy for your guests by sharing your home's wifi password with this cute printable I designed! It's kind of crazy, but this little printable has been repinned over 100K times on Pinterest. Can you believe it? Grab your copy below or shop my other printable designs here



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3. Cozy chair

If you have the space, it's always great to add some comfortable seating to your guest bedroom! We have a small settee across from the foot of the bed in ours, but an upholstered chair in a corner is a great option too. It gives guests a place to sit other than the bed and makes the whole room feel warmer and more inviting.

4. Spare set of house keys

We've hosted a lot of guests in the two and a half years we've owned our house. For guests staying for a longer visit or just crashing while they are in town for an event, we like to leave out a spare key. It gives our guests a little more autonomy with coming and going as they need to and just makes things easier! We have ours on a pretty leather tassel keychain I made so it's easy to spot!

5. Fresh towels

This one seems obvious, but there's nothing worse than realizing you forgot to do that load of laundry right when your guest wants to take a shower. Unfortunately, I know this from experience-- sorry, Ella! In the bustle of getting ready for houseguests, it's easy to forget something but make sure you have a couple nice, freshly laundered towels ready for when they arrive! I usually stack them in a pile on the foot of the bed or on the chair/settee.

6. Snacks

I always like to have some snack food at the ready when I have guests coming. My guests are always welcome to what's in the refrigerator, but guests feel more comfortable helping themselves to snacks that are already out and ready for munching. I keep a bowl of granola bars and crackers stocked in our kitchen but if you really want to make a good impression, a small tray with a carafe, drinking glass and a few snacks right in the guest bedroom is a really nice detail!

7. Reading material

I always have a supply of magazines like Southern Living and Better Homes and Gardens, and I will usually leave a few of the current issues out when I know guests are coming over. I use hardcover and vintage books all around our house for styling, but I recently started keeping my collection of paperbacks in our guest bedroom too. This gives guests something to do if you are busy milling about the house preparing for a family gathering or celebration!

8. Wastebasket

Confession, we don't currently have a waste basket in our guest room but it's something I keep meaning to add to my shopping list! There's a lot of small trash that can be created when you're traveling and it's always more convenient when your guests don't have to go looking for a spot to throw something away. I like decorative wastebaskets with removable liners, like this one

9. Mirror

We used to have a mirror in our guest room, but things in our house are always moving around and now I'm on the hunt for a nice, affordable floor mirror to put next to the closet. Yes, there's the bathroom but it's a nice touch to give guests a spot to check their outfit or touch up their makeup before they leave the room. Plus, a pretty mirror can add so much light and energy to a space! Hang a smaller one over a dresser or desk, or lean a tall mirror up against the wall like I plan to do. 

10. Scented linen spray

In addition to washing all the bedding before I'm expecting a house guest, I like to add an extra boost of freshness when I'm making the bed with a naturally scented linen spray. You can definitely buy a premade spray, but I've started incorporating essential oils into my wellness and housekeeping routines over the last year or so and room sprays are so easy to whip up! I keep one in our room too to add some extra freshness to our bedding in between washes. I'll be sharing the DIY later this week!

What do you do to prep for house guests?

Comment below or on Instagram to share your tips! I love hosting friends and family in our home and I'm always looking for new ways to make things special for their visit!

Three Years

All photos in this post were taken by Savannah Smith Photography. If you're local to York-Lancaster-Philadelphia and looking for a family photographer, be sure to read to the end of this post for an exclusive discount on a photography session with Savannah!

Three Years | Fall Couple Anniversary Photos by Savannah Smith Photography

Today marks three years since I became Mrs. Storck. It's a little hard to believe, because honestly, it feels like longer than that! So, so much has changed in our lives since our wedding in 2013. We changed jobs, Anthony once and me three times. We bought our first house. We went on our first "big" trip together, saving up so we could fly to California to see our friend,  Ella graduate film school. We adopted our sweet baby, Chloe. Anthony went back to school. I left the security of a "day job" to pursue my dreams of running my own business. We have overcome and we continue to face challenges big and small. Man, we've lived a lot of life in these past 3 years. 

Three Years | Fall Couple Anniversary Photos by Savannah Smith Photography
Three Years | Fall Couple Anniversary Photos by Savannah Smith Photography
SSP_StorckAnniversary3 (54 of 108).jpg

There are many times in the past 3 years where we've felt like it's "us against the world", and you know, in certain areas we are feeling that way right now. There will always be struggles and difficulty in life, whether it's family, finances, work, friendships, or anything else. I feel so lucky to have a partner in life that builds me up and gives me strength to face whatever comes our way and I try my best to do the same for him.  Whenever something unexpected happens, or an obstacle crops up in our path, I always say, "Don't worry, Anthony. This is a character building experience"! Part of being a young adult is learning things the hard way. It reminds me of a verse from my favorite hymn growing up in the Methodist church, How Firm A Foundation.

When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,

My grace, all sufficient, will be thy supply.

The flame shall not hurt thee, I only design

Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine. 

Three Years | Fall Couple Anniversary Photos by Savannah Smith Photography
Three Years | Fall Couple Anniversary Photos by Savannah Smith Photography
Three Years | Fall Couple Anniversary Photos by Savannah Smith Photography
Three Years | Fall Couple Anniversary Photos by Savannah Smith Photography
Three Years | Fall Couple Anniversary Photos by Savannah Smith Photography
Three Years | Fall Couple Anniversary Photos by Savannah Smith Photography

For our photos this year, we met Savannah at Indian Steps Museum, a beautiful historic property on the banks of the Susquehanna River. Anthony was originally a history major and has a big interest in Native American history. Indian Steps was my first ever field trip back in my Preschool days. We've been to the museum together a few times now and we love it. Plus, the grounds are absolutely beautiful!

Three Years | Fall Couple Anniversary Photos by Savannah Smith Photography
Three Years | Fall Couple Anniversary Photos by Savannah Smith Photography

Bouquet by Rosemary & Rust in Shrewsbury, PA

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know that Savannah is our go-to family photographer. We've prioritized having professional photography done every year since we got married, and not just because we want a pretty photo to send out at Christmas time. Anthony and I both love looking through old family photo albums because we are nostalgia-lovers at heart. I love the idea that we are capturing images with Savannah that we will be able to share with our children and grandchildren someday. 

Learn more about Savannah's portraiture collections here

If you're interested in booking a session with SSP, we have a special offer for you: Book a Petite or Complete Session with Savannah by the end of October and you will receive $30 off the package price. To claim your discount, just email SavannahSmithPhotography@gmail.com with the subject line "Stevie".

The details: This offer is valid on both Petite and Complete session collections. Session must be scheduled (retainer paid and contract signed) before 10/31/16 to receive the offer. Sessions must take place before 03/31/17. Offer is not valid on wedding or event coverage. Sessions are for children of all ages, families of all sizes, couples of all ages and more. There is no restriction on session location to receive the offer but all normal travel fees still apply. 

So I Quit My Day Job...

...Back in April. I probably should have told you guys sooner, but to be honest, I was scared! But it's time to let you guys in on what's been going on with me. Jeez! Why am I more scared to make this announcement than I was to actually leave my job? 

Hopefully by now, you've already figured out that I left my full-time job at the furniture store to purse my dream of running my own interior design business. I've been alluding to it for months now on my Facebook & Instagram accounts. Heck, I even co-founded a group for creative female entreprenuers! Scared Stevie was just leaving bread crumbs hoping you all would connect the dots and she wouldn't have to muster the courage to write this post. 

I quit my day job four months ago, and I couldn't be happier or more terrified. 

Not once in the last 108 days have I doubted my decision. I know in my soul that leaving the 9-5 culture was inevitable for me, and that now there's no going back. It's an exhilarating feeling to know that years of hard work, persistence and faith have paid off, but also terrifying to know that this is just the beginning. There's no guidebook for where I'm standing today. Every single day, I'm pouring all of my creative energy into designing the best possible ways to serve my clients and fulfill my purpose in life.

I've known WHAT I wanted to do for 10 years now. Since then, I've been learning as much as I can, honing my skills, developing my aesthetic and creative point of view. I earned my Bachelor's degree in Interior Architecture in 2013, but even that didn't show me HOW to be an interior designer. 

I don't want to confuse anyone. 

Interior Design is confusing enough as it is. Historically, there's been no real transparency in the Interior Design industry as a whole, and because of that no one really knows exactly what it is that designers do and how (& how much) they are paid. Established, successful designers have no real interest in sharing their best practices with the competition, so this veil of secrecy and exclusivity is perpetuated generation after generation. 

I'm telling you this so you know that I didn't just copy and paste someone else's way of doing things. I've poured my heart and soul into designing a creative process and service structure that will demystify residential interior design for my clients. Because when all is said and done, what we all want is pretty simple;

A home that looks beautiful, functions for our lifestyle, and that we are proud to welcome our friends and family into. Right?

I want to take you there. Here's how I do things differently:

Service, Not Sales

After 3 years of working in the field as a designer/salesperson, I can tell you it's not for me! If you've read this blog for any length of time, you know you don't need a McMansion sized budget to have a Pinterest-worthy home. My clients pay me for my design services only, I have no interest in pushing them to spend more than what they are comfortable with. 

Flat Fee vs. Hourly Rate

I choose to work primarily on a Flat Fee based structure. This means you will know upfront, before any design work is completed, how much you will be investing in my services. This along with my Service, Not Sales policy is a complete 180 from the traditional hourly rate + mark up structure that is the standard across the Interior Design industry. 

In-Person & E-Design

You don't have to live in Pennsylvania to work with me!  In addition to in-home consultations & full-service design for clients in south central PA & northern MD, I also offer both E-Design and E-Styling service packages. These are great, affordable options for getting a professionally designed plan that you can implement at your own pace. Perfect for non-locals, or do-it-yourselfers looking for a some design direction.

For more info about my interior design & styling services, visit my "Interiors" tab, or click here!

And with that, I want to thank each and everyone of you reading this now for supporting me. Those who maybe just stumbled across this blog today, and especially those who have been with me since I started blogging 6 years ago under the name Lace & Paper Flowers (an ode to my namesake, Stevie Nicks). I wasn't sure exactly how things would play out, but every day since then I've been working towards this goal of working for myself and doing what I love. So thank you for being there for me along the way, showing me grace as I've figured things out, changing blog name not once but 3 times, starting new side projects (Etsy, Thrifted, and more to come I'm sure!), and finding my way. Your support means so much! 

If you like what I do on this blog, the best thing you could do for me is to tell your friends about me. I need your help in getting the word out! Share this blog post, invite others to follow me on social media, or just mention me next time someone is talking about redecorating! Anything you could do would be so, so appreciated. Thank you again!