Southern Charm Tip #96: Make Houseguests Feel at Home With Help From Tobi Fairley

March 24, 2013 | By | Comments (1)
Tobi Fairley Guest Room

Design by Tobi Fairley
Photograph by Nancy Nolan

We asked Little Rock interior designer and hostess extraordinaire Tobi Fairley for the essentials for a perfectly appointed guest room—you know, beyond the obvious linens, towels, and toiletries. Here are her must-haves:

• Slippers and a robe. The plush robes from West Virginia’s Greenbrier Hotel are embroidered with a “G,” which can also stand for guest. ($95;

• Candles. To encouraged a relaxed and soothing atmosphere. Invite guests to take them home after their stay.

• Beverage service.  Include a beverage tray with a small coffee maker (how many of us really want to face the world before that first cup?), a lidded pitcher of water (the lid will keeps dust from settling in), and small basket of snacks such as trail mix.

• Reading material/light. Offer a mix of books and magazine titles that are pertinent to your town, or specially chosen with the guests’ interests in mind. Keep a reading light within arm’s reach.

• Closet space. If you use your guest closet for storage, place a hook to the exterior of the closet door and stock it with a few wooden hangers so guests don’t have to subject themselves to the organizational horrors inside (Hello, prom dress from 1982!)

• A Chocolate on the Pillow. We love the pretty packaging of Tennessee-based Olive & Sinclair Artisanal Chocolates ($5.99 per bar, Or, for extra sweet dreams, try Moonpies (also made in Tennessee) on the pillow instead  ($24.50 for case of 50,

Bonus Tip: 
Spend a night in the guest room to better anticipate your company’s needs. (Who knew it got so cold in there?!)


  1. Ashley Bell

    Great tips! Living in NYC, we often have guests that are here to see us, as well as to see the City. We do the usual (since we are Southern transplants, how could we not?!), but also have a selection of guide books and laminated/foldable maps that we give to our guests to use, along with a printed list of tips/favorite stores/restaurants for those self-guided tours.

    April 15, 2013 at 11:02 am

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