A guest room, when it comes down to it, is a bonus room. If you’re not inhabiting it, your children aren’t inhabiting it, and you don’t have out of town guests every weekend, it may have become the landing pad for out of season clothes, wall décor that doesn’t fit anywhere else in the house, and piles of towels, bed sheets, and blankets. Short story: a guest room very rarely gets used for that purpose.
But let’s say you’re changing your thinking. Now you want your spare bedroom to actually look like a bedroom. Maybe it’s getting more foot traffic lately or you’re just sick of peering in and seeing a jumbled piecemeal of a room. Whatever the reason, let’s get this room cute. Let’s get this room comfortable. Let’s get it inviting and cozy. Let’s get it decorated!
A good place to always begin when it comes to furnishing any sort of place is furniture, of course! Everything else can be arranged or decorated around the main pieces. It’s most important to choose a comfortable mattress where guests will get a good night’s sleep, so they won’t dread visiting overnight (unless that’s what you want…). Test it out by spending a night or two on the bed to make sure there isn’t something out of the ordinary that would make sleep uncomfortable. Other situations to test during your “trial” night:
- That the curtains are dark enough to keep out very early morning light.
- To make sure that the room isn’t too hot or cold. If it tends to get too hot, provide a box fan for your guests, or clean the ceiling fan so it’s ready to be used. If it gets cold, provide a stack of blankets for layering!
Think about the style of the bed you choose. A bed with a headboard, especially a padded one, is comfortable for guests who like to read before they go to sleep and might feel cozier. If a guest stays often and works randomly through their visits, providing a desk and chair would make them feel more comfortable. An area rug and a matching set of nightstands will also tie the room together while also providing tabletops for drinks or table lamps.
Personalize the room, but not for yourself: for your guests. Yes, this room is in YOUR home but if you’re committed to a GUEST room, make it one. Add a small library of books and movies. Decorate as impersonally and generically as you can stand. After all, this is your guest’s space while they’re visiting you and it shouldn’t feel like they’re invading your home. Stay away from family photos and go for beautiful and unique framed prints, and other art pieces.