When we moved into our previous house, I was thrilled to have my first guest room (pictured below). I had visions of friends coming for long weekends to discover chocolates on their pillows, piles of white towels in the bathroom, and breakfast tacos and fresh juice in the morning.

I hung a canopy, bought new towels and kept the sheets bleached and crisp, but no one ever came to stay in our guest room — except my mom, who lives in Gilbert. (She is such a nice mom.)

Tonight, we are having our first proper out-of-town guest. And, of course, our guest will be coming to stay at Camp. In a room with faux wood paneling over one window and drapes hung with string over another. The hostessing gods really have it out for me.

(Dear Kip, we are still totally excited that you’re coming.)

Our former guest room – photo by Isaac Bailey

Our guest is Tyson’s brother Kip, and last night – Tyson pulled up all the remaining carpet tack strips in his honor.

I set about pulling together the perfect guest room — and oh, the dichotomies. Kip and Tyson will tease me about this for years to come. These are my requirements:

1. Chocolates on the pillow. Tyson’s mom does this for me, and it always makes me feel like she was excited that we were coming. Tyson plans to tell Kip that it’s his dinner.

2. Fresh flowers on the nightstand — and in the bathroom, and on the dining room table. May our guest not notice the garden of weeds in the backyard.

3. An extra blanket folded at the end of the bed. May our guest be protected against our 55-year-old windows that happen to let in as much cold air as a screen door.

4. A stack of fluffy white towels  – always white. They feel more fresh and clean. (These are my favorite.)  May our guest not notice the linoleum, which seems to have been stained in one corner with purple hair dye.

5. Mini toiletries in the bathroom. Ours are from the Ritz Carlton. Howl.

6. Quick and delicious breakfast provisions in the fridge — bacon, scrambled eggs, orange juice, and avocado toast. (Cook the bacon and whisk the eggs the night before to make the morning prep go extra fast.)

7. On the nightstand: a card with the wifi password, along with an extra house key on a large and distinctive key ring. (This one is cute.) The key ring ensures your key will come back.

8. Also, there’s a water bottle — a helpful gesture in any space and particularly at Camp – where the hall lights don’t work and our guest could get lost trying to find the kitchen in the night.

9. That reminds me. I should probably leave him a flashlight.