Creating a Welcoming Guest Room

It’s fun to create a temporary environment for someone visiting your home. Even though the guest room may not be used often, it is a luxury to be able to offer people the opportunity to feel special, giving them a fun and different experience while sharing your world. In these hectic times, we often don’t take a break to visit with people we care about. So when they come to stay with us, it is a great excuse to have a joyous time. What can you do to make this special occasion as pleasing as possible?

Start by paying careful attention to how the personal space of your guests will fit into the room. Be aware of the choice to invite family or friends into your home so they can experience your lifestyle. It’s nice to have a space where people feel comfortable and have privacy, too. Be inspired by your decor as you begin designing their time with you.

Although it may be hard to do, look at your guest room through your guest’s eyes. Decorate the room as you would your own “getaway” room with attention to personal design and detail. The bed is the heart of any visit. Make sure it’s comfortable and big enough with beautiful sheets. The bedding tells the story of how much you care about your visitor. Be sure to have soft bedding with a variety of choices for pillow sizes and blanket weights. When the sleeping accommodation is comfortable, you will have happier guests knowing that they are important to you.

Not only should a guest room be attractive and stylish, but it should also be efficient. You can use some furniture you already have if it looks like it was intended for the room. Furniture that isn’t too delicate and is easy to handle makes the visitor feel more at ease. 

Using color is the easiest way to add personality to a space. Decide if you want the guest's experience to be soothing with calmer colors, exciting with bolder colors, or blend in with the rest of your home. Since the room isn’t used as much, consider giving it its own personality. One idea could be to introduce color with pillows on a beautiful neutral bedspread, which can be changed to fit with the seasons. This can also be achieved by draping a quilt or an afghan at the foot of the bed. 

Headboards are a great way to create a design detail and add color. If you choose an upholstered one, you can match the fabric to the bedspread or the dust ruffle and add those accent pillows. Consider a sheer canopy over the bed for the unexpected. Your guests would feel like they are sleeping in a fantasy setting.

Guests don’t often ask for something that they need, so anticipating their needs is thoughtful. Not only do we want to provide our guests with what they are used to, but it is also fun to think of new experiences you can offer them.

Here are some thoughtful touches:
  • Provide high-quality blankets and pillows; keep toiletries, towels, and washcloths available. 
  • Offer a mini library with a good selection of interesting books and current magazines. If you have an extra iPad leave it in the room. If you know your guests have special interests, surprise them, and be sure to have enough outlets to charge their electronics.
  • Provide fresh flowers, seasonal fruit, delicious snacks, or special chocolates.
  • Include an alarm clock and reading lamp and make sure there is enough space on the nightstand to put things on. 
  • Have a place to put away clothes in drawers and hang them in a closet. Also, take empty luggage out of sight. 
  • Consider window treatments and how light enters the room for individual sleep and temperature control needs.
  • Privacy is a thought too. Provide a lock on the door.

Have a large lightweight sheet to throw over the bed when not in use, because dust accumulates in rooms that aren’t used. This way, your bedding is always fresh and clean for your guests without you having to change anything. 

It’s not possible to decorate for the style of different guests, so keep the décor to your liking since it is in your home, and your guests will enjoy living in and feeling your environment. The human factor of comfort is universal no matter what the design is. 

As considerate as you may want to be, your guests will always be comfortable in your home if you are happy there. So, remember rooms have no feelings, you and your guests do!

Barbara Kaplan, creator of the Bajaro Method for personalized Interior Design, offers individual interior design consultations for guidance, ideas, and solutions to make your home truly yours. Contact her at