Your guest bedroom is one of the most important places in your house, even if you’re not in it a lot. It’s easy to decorate generically, but a more personalised design is well worth the effort. Your guest bedroom can become a sanctuary for you, especially if you have children or a partner. It can be a space that’s relaxing and quiet, even if you want to create a double duty space and have an office corner.
Today’s post is my top 15 things to consider when you’re decorating your guest bedroom – everything from styling the ensuite to little gifts that guests will love!
Choose a neutral color scheme
My first recommendation is to go neutral. You can always change it up with accessories, but starting with a neutral palette is so important. It’ll create a sophisticated and easy base for you to design off, and using colors like grays and whites will ensure that your accent colors will compliment nicely.
I like to pull colors from nature when it comes to guest rooms. Browns, greens, or blues provide an excellent color scheme that is both relaxing and refreshing. Of course, since it’s a room you’re not likely to be hanging out in, feel free to accessorise with the brighter colors that you don’t want in the rest of your home. Corals, sunshine yellow, and even a bright purple will look incredible, but you can shut the door when it gets overwhelming.
Go big or go double
The best bed option for a guest room is one that can pull apart. This way you can customise the room for the needs of your guests; a larger bed for adults, or two smaller beds for children. If you have enough space, you can just set up the room with two full sized beds. That way, all of your potential guests are accommodated to, and no one has to share a bed with someone that kicks.
Bring in plenty of lighting
To create an intimate and welcoming space, add in plenty of accent lighting. Dimmer lamps by the bed are essential so that your guests can read, and so that they don’t stumble when they return to bed from turning off the overhead light. I also like to add candles, a floor lamp by a cozy chair, and task lighting on a small desk. You never know what your guests might need, so having those options means they won’t have to worry.
Add a luggage rack
One of the worst things about staying at someone’s house is having nowhere to set your bag to unpack. A luggage rack can be so handy. It’s a dedicated space for your bags to go, and will keep things nice and tidy. You can also get a sturdier one made of wood or metal that can double as a stool or low table.
If you use the room as an office or craft space as well as a guest room, consider purchasing a luggage rack that folds down. That way it can slide into a closet or under the bed, and leave the space free and clear for whatever you need it for.
Style a spa-like en suite
To make your guests truly feel welcome, style the bathroom like a high end spa. Have diffusers and candles, plush white towels, fresh flowers, and a set of toiletries with lovely packaging. These little extras will make your guest feel special, and they won’t have to awkwardly ask you if they can borrow your shampoo or toothpaste.
Another thing you should have in your guest bathroom is a little laminated brochure on how to operate the shower. I’ve stayed at plenty of friends houses and spent my shower time trying to figure out how to turn the water from hot to cold! It saves your guests from having to ask, and you won’t have to explain how to turn on the water each time you have someone staying.
Have extra linen storage
The literal worst thing about staying at someone else’s home is when you don’t have enough blankets or pillows, and you’re too uncomfortable to sleep. One of the best options for this is to have a blanket box or armoire for storing extra blankets, sheets, and pillows. I love the armoire option, because you can style it to look super comfy and inviting!
Opt for plush bedding
Have you ever stayed at someone’s home, and their linen is scratchy or really loud? Dress your guest bed with the best linens that you can afford. I love organic Italian-woven cotton, which is some of the best in the world. Choose a variety of pillow types, from extra firm to super squishy or flat. And add a big fluffy duvet on the top to help it look extra inviting and homey.
I also recommend white sheets for your guest room. Layer in texture and color with blankets and throw pillows, but keep your basics basic. That way, you can just throw them in the wash with a bit of bleach and they’ll come out looking super fresh and clean. I always feel better sleeping in a bed that has white sheets, because it’s really obvious when they haven’t been cleaned.
Put up non personal artwork
No one wants naked baby photos surrounding them as they sleep. Keep the family photos for family areas, and pick up a few simple and non-personal pieces for your guest room. You can create a gallery wall, or use a larger piece. Personally, I love larger pieces with muted colors. They provide something nice to look at, are usually more affordable than multiple smaller pieces, and are the easiest thing to style.
If you’re thinking of having a color scheme in your guest bedroom, pick out a piece of artwork first. Then draw from that for your accessories. It’ll tie the room together and bring a cohesive harmony to the space. You can even carry those colors into your bathroom accents to give the whole space a more polished feel.
Display your wifi password
Wifi is basically an essential these days, so displaying your password is a neat little gift to your guests. They can type it in directly, rather than you having to spell it out for them. If you don’t want people to have your wifi password forever, you can easily change it if you use a whiteboard or a chalkboard display.
I prefer to have the password in a little folded note card sitting on the nightstand. It brings a small touch of luxury to the space, and you can write a personal note inside of it. This is also because I prefer to keep guest bedrooms minimal and uncluttered, but if your design style says have a frame then go for it!
Try a concierge cart
To stop your guests from feeling awkward and hungry when they wake up before you, put a concierge cart in the room. When you don’t have guests, it can sit empty or with a set of linens on it. Some great things to include are snacks (healthy and naughty), fresh fruit, extra towels and toiletries, something to drink and some glasses, and even a coffee maker.
You can completely customise it every time you have someone over. Just remember to restock your non-perishables so that you’ll always have everything you need. I also love to put a small vase of flowers on the cart to brighten it up a little. Nothing too big or overpowering! Some simple classic flowers with a subtle scent will work perfectly.
Add extra seating
I always suggest having an armchair in any kind of bedroom. Sometimes you just don’t want to sit on the bed for reading or working on your laptop, so an armchair provides a great place for that. Add a couple of cushions and a light blanket, and you have a perfectly cozy reading nook for your guests to snuggle up in. It’s also a great place for them to sit when they’re taking off their shoes, or for you if you want to hang out in the room with them.
Keep entertainment accessible
Books, a tv, and music. Basic entertainment options should always be at hand for your guests. I like to keep a stack of good books on the nightstand, just in case they can’t sleep and didn’t bring a book with them. A TV is also a good option, especially if you have some movies or a white noise DVD nearby. Some people can’t sleep without a little noise. It also means that they can catch up on the news as they’re getting ready for the day.
Invite nature indoors
Add something green. Whether it’s a big fig, a peace lily, or some succulents, greenery will make your guest room better. I’m not exactly sure how it works, but I just know I feel better in a space that has something alive in it. Choose something with air-filtering properties, like a chinese evergreen or a bamboo palm. If you’re not good at keeping plants alive, a faux plant will do. Live is always better!
Have a charging station
The modern day panic of forgetting your phone charger can be easily remedied by hiding a charging station in a nightstand drawer. Keep a couple of basic popular chargers inside with a power strip, and your guests will never have to worry about inconveniencing you by borrowing your phone charger. You can even get one of those octopus-like multi chargers to have the best range of options.
Install black out shades
The best option for window coverings in a guest bedroom is black out drapes. Nothing is worse than an awkward street light shining in your face, or a neighbour that has a touchy security light. I have a neighbour with that kind of security light, and even with blackout curtains I can still see it sometimes! You should also hang sheers behind them to help filter light in the daytime, and to add a bit of privacy.
Although I don’t have a guest room in my home, I still find it very easy to know what’s required. Simply think about it this way: what things do you like when you stay at a friends house, or at a hotel? Give your guests a luxurious and welcoming experience that they won’t forget, and maybe you’ll even inspire them to redo their guest room! As always, decorate the space in a way that makes you feel happy. Not all of your guests will like your decor, but they’re leaving soon anyway. You’re the one that has to live with it.
Header image is via Arch Studio Inc.