How to decorate a welcoming guest room

How to decorate a welcoming guest room

If you enjoy the role as host or hostess in your home, the guest room should be designed to bring instant pleasure and comfort to your guests. With some thoughtful planning, it can also serve as a functional room for its owners. 

Between visitors, consider the guest room a quiet place for contemplation. A guest room is a wonderful place to pamper and encourage the healing process of a sick spouse, child or relative. Guest rooms provide options for the occasional restless night when working late, or when differing sleep schedules arise.

Guest rooms that double as office, den or hobby room are usually not ideal, but workable. No guest wishes to feel as though they are an intrusion on your space or a mere afterthought. 

Unsightly office equipment, papers or projects do not lend to an appealing guest room. Providing a floor screen to camouflage, placing fresh flowers or a potted plant and defining a temporary sleep area in the room improve the comfort for your guest in a multi-functional space.

The guest room can be found in all shapes and sizes. What all these spaces should have in common is the sense of privacy, comfort and the promise of pleasure. Once the door is closed, your guests need to feel at home. If you do not have a designated guest suite with a private bathroom, a spare room in close proximity to a common bathroom is a good alternative.

Ideally, there are several essentials a guest room should not be without. It is paramount to provide the highest quality and most comfortable mattress you can afford. Use either a pair of single beds or a queen size bed. These sizes can best accommodate most needs. 

Allocate separate sheets and towels for guest use only. This will ensure linens remain fresh and crisp. One of the worst offenses to any guest is to be given dingy towels or sleep upon dull, worn or stained sheets. 

When shopping for bed linens or towels, you do get what you pay for. While polyester or blended sheets and lower grade cotton towels appear affordable, they do not perform nor wash well. When properly cared for, quality constructed sheets and towels will be the wiser choice and best investment for longevity. 

More importantly, they communicate to your guests that they are special and worthy of your generosity. Coordinate all bath and bed linens with guest room decor, especially when the towels will be used in a common bathroom.

Other preferred components for a guest room might include a small writing desk with side chair, luggage racks, a good reading light and a lounge chair. Upholstered headboards and night tables featuring a lower shelf are great for storing magazines or books. 

This style headboard serves as padded headrest for those who enjoy retiring with a good book. A chest of drawers provides additional storage for longer visits and a stylish lounge chair can be used to sit or drape a robe or clothing not formally hung.

The guest room closet should always have a section free from clutter. If you are storing items in the closet, do so in a neat and organized manner. Provide a variety of hangers designed for differing garment styles. 

The guest closet should include two quality blankets - one wool or insulated and another in natural breathable cotton. You may wish to offer standard bed pillow choices in firm, soft, down feather and foam. 

Decorative bed pillows or bolsters can be used for propping-up while in bed for extra back and neck support. A night-light with a switch should always be kept in the guest room and bathroom. 

True hospitality is tangible and abstract. A welcoming kitchen includes a generously stocked refrigerator. A specially prepared favorite meal, soup, dessert or gourmet coffee which strikes your guests' fancy is just another way to express, "Welcome, we are very glad you are here."

About this Angie’s List Expert: Adelene Keeler Smith is an interior designer and decorator in West Palm Beach, Fla. Since 1990, Smith has specialized in pre-construction planning, space planning, lighting specifications, furniture floor plans, custom millwork and other interior design services.

As of November 19, 2013, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angie's List for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List.

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