14 Decorating Tips for a Welcoming, Well-Outfitted Guest Bedroom

Make visitors feel at home with these guest bedroom ideas.

modern guest bedroom murphy bed neutral linens plants
Photo: Edmund Barr

A guest bedroom is exactly that: for your visitors. You don't want them to feel like they are staying in a hotel room lacking character and comfort. Be prepared with everything they will need. From stocked toiletries to comfortable sheets, offer a heartfelt welcome to friends and family with a well-outfitted guest bedroom.

Before you extend any invitations, there are a few essentials every guest room should have to make overnight visitors feel at home. Be sure to cater to whichever guest will be staying with you. Have essentials for the business person or something to read for the bookworm. These thoughtful decorating ideas will help you furnish a guest bedroom with comfort and style.

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Create a Home Away from Home

home blue white bedroom
Jim Franco

Make guests feel truly welcome by trying to replicate what they love about their own homes. Comfortable linens, supple pillows, and a good mattress lay the foundation. Then layer on specialized comforts tailored to each guest. For example, give guests who like to read extra pillows for leaning against, a throw to wrap around their shoulders, and a stack of reading material. If visitors have work to do, include a desk or lap desk, plus a charging station for their devices.

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Private Guest Room Accommodations

rattan chair with blue cushion in corner of blue/white bedroom
Kim Cornelison

Make sure your guest bedroom is a place visitors can feel comfortable retreating to at any time of the day. Some guests might wish to take a mid-afternoon nap, for example, and curtains or shades will help them cover the windows adequately. Guests who want to check in with work might need a small desk. A cozy chair and footstool for reading or resting can also be useful. Provide a small table so guests can take a snack or a cup of coffee with them and offer reading material, such as a guidebook about local interests.

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Guest Room Comforts

modern guest bedroom murphy bed neutral linens plants
Edmund Barr

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. You can also include a few extra throw blankets in case guests get cold.

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Guest Room Beds

Twin canopy beds in bedroom
Richard Leo Johnson

Twin beds are a flexible option for guest rooms if you sometimes host several people who might not all want to share a bed. You can even incorporate trundle beds or bunks to squeeze in a crowd. Separate the beds with a nightstand that has ample space for 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.

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Guest Bedroom Nightstand Essentials

metal-framed bed wooden side table
Nathan Schroder

Ensure your guests have everything they need to wake up refreshed, recharged, and on time. Equip the bedside table with an alarm clock, a glass for water, and a reading lamp. Make sure there's an electrical outlet nearby for a place to charge phones overnight.

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Guest Bedroom Toiletries

white wainscoting trim bedroom
Annie Schlechter

Anticipate your guests' needs and stock your guest bedroom accordingly so they don't have to ask you where everything is located. Supply a basket filled with extra toiletries, such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, hand lotions, shampoo, and conditioner, in case guests forgot anything. Include a box of tissues and a wastebasket for easy access.

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Guest Bedroom Linens

Folded towels sitting on bed
Jay Wilde

Provide your guests with clean towels and linens. It's best to leave these necessities in an easily accessible spot so guests aren't rummaging through your linen closet. If you have a designated guest bathroom, stack fresh towels and washcloths on the countertop or a shelf.

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Technology Tips for Guest Rooms

work desk with gold accents in bedroom
David A. Land

Be sure to let your guests know the Wi-Fi password upon arrival. Leave a note on the guest room desk or nightstand so they can reference it at their convenience. For an extra special touch, print out your Wi-Fi information and display it in a frame. If needed, place TV remotes in a handy location, along with any special instructions for accessing streaming services or other features.

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Guest Room Luggage Storage

bedroom with bench
Kat Teutsch

To really go the extra mile, create a place for your guests to properly store luggage. Provide a bench at the foot of the bed or a bookshelf with deep, large compartments. Your guests will be thankful they don't have to set their belongings on the floor.

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Tips for Getting a Guest Bedroom Ready

guest bedroom blue wallpaper collected artwork
Erin Kunkel

A neat, tidy space will help make your overnight guests feel happy and comfortable at your home. Clear away any unnecessary clutter from the room and closet, and complete a thorough cleaning before guests arrive. Consider setting out fresh flowers in a vase to make guests feel like they're checking into a boutique hotel.

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Welcoming Guest Bedroom Ideas

bedroom white bedding dark blue accents
Edward Gohlich

Rather than stock a guest room with unique mementos and family photos, take cues from the slightly impersonal but genuinely welcoming feel of a hotel. Dress the bed with freshly pressed white linens for a crisp, clean look. Warm the floor and hush ambient noises from the household with soft carpeting or area rugs. Provide a bench to hold suitcases 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.

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Guest Bedroom Clothing Storage

simple dresses hanger
Alise O'Brien

Provide plenty of space for guests to hang items like dresses and coats. If closet space is tight, add a coat rack in the guest room to hold outerwear and bags. If the forecast predicts inclement weather, provide your guests with an umbrella and a waterproof shoe tray.

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Guest Bedroom Reading Material

books night stand bedroom
John Merkl

Store books you've finished reading in the guest room. Not only does this help minimize clutter on your own nightstand or shelves, but it encourages your guests to kick back and relax with a good read. If guests will be staying for several nights, include a bookmark so they can pick up where they left off the previous evening.

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Guest Bedroom Decorating Ideas

bedroom colors patterns
David Land

Decorating a guest bedroom doesn't have to entail buying all new bedding and sheets. Mix and match gently used sheets of different colors and patterns for an eclectic guest room. This green, blue, and orange set adds quirky personality to these guest quarters.

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