Be a great host -- extend an inviting and heartfelt welcome to friends and family with a well-outfitted guest bedroom. Here are some thoughtful decorating ideas to help you furnish the room with comfort and style.
One way to make guests feel truly welcome is to try to replicate what they love about their own home. Imagine what they’d like to transport from their bedroom if they could. Comfortable linens, supple pillows, and a good mattress lay the foundation. Then layer on specialized creature comforts. For example, give guests who like to read a padded headboard that’s nice to lean against, and offer a throw to wrap around their shoulders. If visitors have work to do, include a desk or lap desk, plus a charging station for their devices.
Make sure guests can control the temperature and the light in their room, just like they would at home. A ceiling fan and blackout shades on the windows let them make the room feel just right.
Though your guests are surely enjoying visiting with you, they would also like to have time alone. Make sure their bedroom is a place they can feel comfortable retreating to at any time of the day. Some guests may wish to take a midafternoon nap, and curtains or shades will help them cover the windows adequately. Some may want to check in with work and may need a small desk. Others just want a cozy chair and footstool to read or rest in and enjoy time to themselves. Give them a small table so they can take a snack or cup of coffee with them, and provide reading material, such as a guidebook about local interests.
Rather than stock a guest’s room with unique mementos and family photos, take cues from the slightly impersonal but genuinely welcoming feel of a hotel. Plump the bed with freshly pressed white linens, which always look clean and crisp. Warm the floor and hush ambient noises from the household with soft carpeting. Provide a bench to hold a suitcase and dresser drawers for unpacked clothes. Stock the room with water bottles and a few snacks. If you don’t have a dedicated guest bathroom, at least offer a mirror for quick appearance checks.
When you know there will be times you'll be hosting several people, and not all of them may want to share a bed, twin beds are a flexible option for guest rooms. You can even make one or both of them trundle beds to squeeze in a crowd. Separate the beds with an ample surface for twice the number of phones, books or magazines, lamps, and even snacks. Give each sleeper an assortment of pillows to choose from, including large, firm ones for leaning against. And let each person have control over sleep temperature: Dress beds with layers that can be stripped off, and offer throw blankets that can be added. A soft rug between the beds warms the floor and cushions footsteps if one person sleeps later than the other.
Special touches will make guests feel right at home. Read on for more tips on how to stock your guest room.