Source: Make it Better Magazine By: Kristina Tober
4 Secrets to Creating a Great Guest Room
Gone are the days when a couch and blanket would suffice for your houseguests. Give them the comfort and amenities they deserve.
We asked Meg Carroll of Bedside Manor and interior designers Mary Shea and Beth Boyd of Wiley Designs for the necessary ingredients of a great guest room.
Make an inviting bed
- Start with the biggest bed that will fit the room. Shea recommends a queen as the ideal fit for most guest scenarios (a couple, tall guest, adult plus child, etc.). Carroll finds a queen bed more inviting and homey than two twins.
- Washability is number one, and there are a myriad of beautiful options that are equally stylish and low maintenance. You don’t want your guest worrying about a smudge or who slept there before.
- Layering is also key, as it offers guests the most flexibility and personalized comfort. Start with fine-quality sheets, a blanket and coverlet, and top with a duvet folded at the foot of the bed.
- Don’t drown the bed in pillows or skimp on comfort. Carroll recommends stacking two sleeping pillows against the headboard, and fronting them with a pair of Euro-sized shams and maybe one decorative pillow. The Euros are ideal for bedtime reading, but they’re easily put aside when it’s time to sleep.
- If you want to provide a non-allergen pillow or two, stack them cased and ready to go on a closet shelf. Carroll adds that finer quality down bedding is repeatedly washed to reduce allergens, and it’s truly the most comfortable option.
Focus on functionality
Guests come with stuff, so give them plenty of functional space to put it.
- Set out a luggage rack or bench to hold a suitcase or duffel.
- Leave the closet ajar so your guest can see hangers and perhaps an open shelf or two to stack clothing. Consider upgrading to wooden or padded hangers.
- If you have to choose between a desk or nightstand, go with the nightstand, and make sure it’s got plenty of room for a reading lamp, clock and easy plug-in access to charge a phone. Shea warns that tables smaller than 15 square inches challenge efficiency.
- A reading chair is always welcome with a cozy throw for napping. If you’ve got room for an additional flat, open space (such as a lean console or dresser), fit it in. Guests will appreciate the extra room.
- A diffuser or candle adds a homey touch, as long as the scent isn’t too heavy or pungent.
- Don’t forget a pitcher and glass for water and a welcoming vase of fresh flowers.
Adapt your space
For the majority of us who move kids around to host our guests, keep this in mind:
- The more clutter you can put away the better. Your guest still needs space to spread out.
- Think about keeping a set of bedding dedicated solely to guests and pull it out when your guest arrives. Your son probably loves all those NHL logos, but your guest may not.
- Always lay out a clean set of towels on the bed so your guest doesn’t have to hunt them down, particularly if she has to use the same bath as the kids.
- Try your best to provide a guest with the same amenities (fresh flowers, good lighting, open outlets, hanging space), even if she’s in your toddler’s room.
Add a dash of style
If you’re lucky enough to have a spare, dedicated guest bedroom, go ahead and take a few design risks. Introduce a more dramatic pattern or color scheme than you would in a room slept in daily; but Shea stresses the importance of creating a soothing, comfortable place.
Remember, your guests want to feel like they’re staying in a home—not a hotel. Add warmth, but don’t get too personal. A few family photos are OK, but don’t overwhelm the room. A guest room should feel like an extension of your home, not a disjointed, barren space. If your guest wanted to stay at the W Hotel, they would have.