How to Welcome a Guest When You Don't Have a Guest Room

Interiors & Decor

This post is brought to you by The Citizenry
A few small details can transform your room into a welcoming destination for guests.
Pictured: San Cristobal Wall Hanging and Beso Pillow from The Citizenry

I’ve spoken and written at length about how to make a guest feel welcome, whether it be changes you can make ahead of hosting for the holidays (and here), or how to completely transform your space from one room to the next. The tips I’ve suggested apply well to those living in a single-family home, but what if you don’t have additional space? Or what if you share a space? Is it possible to host a guest comfortably without an extra room available for them!? The answer to that last question is a resounding yes. 

Our graphic designer, Raquel Benedict, recently moved into her first “Big Girl” apartment (her words). With the holidays approaching, she asked if it was possible to make a guest feel welcome in a shared apartment. With a few simple changes and some key additions from The Citizenry, we were able to transform her bedroom into a welcoming space for her guests to enjoy.

You don’t have to have an extra room to make guests feel welcome. Just a few small touches make your room feel special.

If you are a regular reader, you are well aware of my love for The Citizenry. I’ve had their products in my home for years and had an opportunity to meet the team and see their showroom oh so many years ago in Dallas.

All of The Citizenry’s pieces are handmade and sourced from artisans around the world. Raquel, like me, has become more mindful of her purchasing habits and wants to know more about the origins of the products she brings into her home. (She’s W&D’s resident environmental impact authority!)

With all this in mind, I was happy to recommend pieces from The Citizenry as an affordable way to transform her space for guests with a few quality items that would last longer than the lease she signed. 

Here are four tips to make even the smallest space feel welcoming for visitors:

Use a decorative floor basket to roll up and store “guest-only” linens. We are using The Citizenry’s Mercado Floor Baskets to hold extra blankets and towels.

1. Linens, Linens, Linens

If possible, I recommend purchasing a set of “guest only” linens and towels that can easily be stored away when not in use. There’s nothing like the feeling of crisp sheets and new, fluffy towels to make a person feel at home.

The Citizenry’s Japanese Waffle Towel Set is perfect for out-of-town visitors. Bath, hand, and face towels in waffle weave get softer after repeated washings. Guests will appreciate the thoughtful gesture and the assurance that they aren’t using your roommate’s old towels.

Pro Tip: After making the bed with freshly washed sheets, roll towels, and a cozy throw and display all items in a basket next to the bed. The handcrafted Mercado Floor Baskets are large enough to hold linens and extra blankets and will ensure your guests have everything needed for a restful night.


Welcome your guests to your space with a ready-made cup of tea, fresh orange slices, and the scent of your favorite incense.

2. (Small) Room Service

While you might not be able to provide your guest with breakfast in bed (and if you are, can I come over?!), give them the next best thing with a space to make a nice cup of tea. Grab your electric kettle and break out your favorite kind of tea ahead of their arrival. I like to arrange these items alongside a slice or two of lemon and a handmade ceramic Halston mug on a tray (don’t forget a coaster!).

Your guests aren’t into tea? Include a French press and a small bowl of coarsely ground coffee instead.

Pro Tip: If guests are staying for multiple nights, refresh these items daily.


Let your personality shine through with your art. Mix and match pieces and styles.
Want to know how to hang a gallery wall? Read more here.

3. Let’s Get Personal

As is the case with Raquel’s apartment and in most shared spaces across the board, when guests stay over, they take over the host’s room. And what better way is there to allow people to really get to know you than by the art on your walls? (If you are a regular follower, you know you don’t have to convince me to refresh my wall space. Ever.)

Having guests over is a great time to rearrange and look at your own area through a pair of fresh eyes. An easy placement change or the addition of a simple wall hanging, like the San Cristobal Wall Hanging from The Citizenry, can make a room feel new, even to you.

Pro Tip: Command Hooks. 100%. It’s the easiest way to swap out art and wall hangings without damaging walls.


Provide your guests with a welcome respite to the end of a long travel day, or time in the morning to feel ready to go. A small journal for sketching or sharing memories of the trip they can take home is a wonderful way to make them feel welcome.

4. Finishing Touches

Having guests stay with you can be incredibly enjoyable and, at times, incredibly stressful, for both you and your guest. Add finishing touches such as your favorite book, a cozy throw (we are using the Contigo Throw), or a small journal to write and sketch—all are items that help create a calm and relaxing space for guests upon arrival, in the evening, or just when a moment of peace is needed.

Pro Tip: The Brass Incense Set by the Citizenry is great for burning your favorite relaxing scent. If that’s not enough and the holiday anxiety is getting the best of you, listen to Dr. Anna!


The thought behind these small gestures will go a long way with your guests. You don’t have to have an abundance of space to make someone feel at home. 

Are you hosting a guest over the holiday season? Or are you staying in someone’s home? Be sure to check out The Citizenry’s gift guide for some ideas for the perfect hosting or hosted gift. 


Ed. note: This post was sponsored by The Citizenry. The compensation received in exchange for placement on Wit & Delight is used to purchase props, hire a photographer, write/edit the blog post and support the larger team behind Wit & Delight.

While compensation was received in exchange for coverage, all thoughts and opinions are always my own. Sponsored posts like these allow for development of additional dynamic content to be produced, unsponsored. Thank you for supporting our partners!

BY Kate Arends - December 10, 2019

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I’m honestly not sure how I’d host someone in my small studio apartment, but that doesn’t mean I’m complete averse to the odd overnight stay!

Great suggestions. The right linens do make a big difference to the look and to the comfort of the guest.

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