In an ideal world, the guest bedroom is not the door-closed, catchall extra room at the end of the hall. It is inviting and comfortable, a retreat for your visitors, and a space that you can enjoy escaping to yourself.
It’s easy to make the guest suite as welcoming and refreshing as a hotel’s. You only need to think like a guest, use your senses and pay a little extra attention to detail.
Here are a few tips and inspiration pieces to surround your guests with the kind of hospitality and luxury that rivals any five-star hotel or sumptuous B&B.
First impressions are everything and your houseguest’s first glance at their personal sanctuary should feel like they’ve been let in to their own private cottage (even if it is smaller!)
One way to go is a sweet and simple approach with French country charm. In this scenario, the bed linens are a focal point and we have a gorgeous assortment to choose from.
Our Normandy Ensemble is a mix of textures and textiles all in soothing, sun-washed tones. Rustic linen grain sack stripes are paired with French toile print, cotton matelassé, embroidery and eyelet trim. The patchwork look will instantly put your visitors at ease. And the crowning touch: top off this guest bed with our vintage-inspired, embroidered Amour Pillow. It’s the perfect way to tell your guests how much they mean to you.
Another approach is a bit more vibrant, a little more exotic. We’re talking about our Deux Maries Bedding Collection. This rich blue indigo quilt and matching shams are a wonderful fusion of compatible prints: batik from Indonesia, floral woodblock from India, and tribal ikat design. The interspersed solid blue chambray squares are as soft as your favorite jeans. We love setting off this deep-hued bed with the contrast of our bright Citrus Pillow made of 100% Belgian linen.
Soft Surroundings has many, many more bedding looks to browse through online. All of them are created from the softest, most inviting materials. We even have our own softness rating system! And we always source goods with the finest quality craftsmanship.
Once you have a beautiful bed taken care of, add a vase of flowers or better yet, a few cut stems of pale pink quince or zesty yellow forsythia in season. Our large French Engraved Vase would be the ideal vessel.
Your guests have practical needs too, so their bedroom needs to be functional as well as beautiful. If you have the space, consider adding a small seating area, especially if you think your guests will want to read, snack or relax in their room.
There are several ways to create this seating space without taking away too much of the room’s footprint. An obvious and comfortable choice is an upholstered armchair beside a pedestal table like our St. Kitts. The pineapple at the base of the table is the symbol of “welcome” in many cultures, perfect for a guest room.
Another option is to combine the sleeping space with sitting space by placing a bench at the foot of the bed. Our deeply tufted Louis Curve Bench is a nice choice because the shape allows the traffic pattern to flow gracefully around the room. Add accent pillows and a luxurious throw and it will be as irresistible as the bed.
Dress up the guest room’s sitting area with elegant, understated lighting like our Eleonore Crystal Chandelier. Hang it adjacent to or across from an oversized wall or floor mirror and the room will expand and sparkle. Our heirloom quality Lyons Mirror or our clever Mirrored Jewel Safe are both great choices.
And don’t forget the amenities if you want your visitors to feel like they’re staying in a fine hotel. Stack some current magazines in a basket next to the bed. Fill another with packaged dried fruit, exquisite chocolates, and exotic teas. Plug in a clock, phone charger, and a small teakettle. Hang our cheery Painterly Robe behind the door. And fluff those extra pillows and towels in the Fantine Linen Cabinet.
One more practicality to consider is the matter of nightstands and chests for your guest’s clothes and personal items. Multi-purpose nightstands are the best bet in a guest room. And the two nightstands on either side of the bed definitely don’t have to match. On one side, consider a writing table instead. On the other side, try nesting tables like our Riviera, to be pulled out and used around the room as needed. And a small chest of drawers or cabinet can easily double as a nightstand. For example, we love our Aya Commode with its Louis XV charm.
Once you have arranged the perfect nightstands, top them with table lamps that are proportionally appropriate. Even though our Fiesole Artichaut Lamp is petite, it packs plenty of pop with its gilt finish. So does our Iron Scroll Lamp. The metalwork resembles an antique gate and the space-saving rectangular shade is braid-trimmed burlap. These lamps are unique pieces that add character.
The guest room is one place in the house that can stand a little whimsy and escapism. Your houseguest will appreciate the change of pace from their usual and you get to have fun creating a fanciful oasis.
Instead of starting from a color palette, think about a theme for the room. For example, a few well-placed Asian design elements can create a worldly vibe without a lot of effort. Our Tropical Wall Hanging is certainly that. It is a gorgeously printed botanical bookplate applied to canvas through a process used by the leading museums and art galleries around the world. And our St. Tromphime Cabinet is a wonderful and unconventional storage option for blankets, pillows, and amenities. The hand-painted gilt embellishments add the richness and glamour of the Orient to a room.
If your guest’s quarters are in the attic or up a winding staircase, accentuate the privacy of this writer’s garret with our multi-use Selma Secretary or Bruges Secretary. Who wouldn’t want to spend the day or night in a comfortable little hideaway with furnishings like this?
Our last tip….
Spend a night yourself in the guest bedroom to see if it works. Do you have everything you need? Is the mattress comfortable and are the towels soft? Is it a refreshing space? The best gift you can give a visitor in your home is a simple, restful retreat. (And it might become your favorite get-away spot too!)