Although a guest room might not see a ton of foot traffic, it is an extension of your home and should underscore the overall aesthetic while serving as an inviting respite for visitors. After all, hosting houseguests is a gesture of love and kindness, and you want them to feel welcome. One of the best ways to accomplish this goal is by setting up a guest room full of thoughtful details with a cozy ambiance.
"When I'm designing a guest room, I think about the amenities I appreciate most when I go to a hotel — luxe linens, sinkable pillows, and, of course, a comfortable mattress. I like to create a warm and inviting space with comfort being at the forefront. Layering cozy textiles, like woven blankets and throws, adds dimension and texture while making the room feel more welcoming. Extra pillows in a combination of firmnesses are also nice," offers Daleet Spector, owner and principal designer at Daleet Spector Design.
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Aside from the bed, there are so many things that go into making a guest room feel cozy and inviting, from the lighting to the color palette to the thoughtful little details. "But it's not just about the bed for me. Make a spare bedroom look as considered and polished as the rest of your home by hanging artwork on [the] walls, using a rug to anchor the space, and including a thoughtful lighting plan with various light sources," suggests Spector. "However, even if you don't have a dedicated bedroom and a guest is sleeping on a sofa in your living room, don't worry; you can still create a welcoming home away from home with thoughtful extras — freshly cut flowers, a carafe of water, and a new candle with matches."
Another way to ensure that your guest suite feels warm and not sterile is with a comprehensive lighting plan that includes various fixtures. For example, install reading lights next to the bed, a pendant overhead, and perhaps a floor lamp to illuminate a dark corner. And if there is room for a desk, don't forget to throw in a task light. Next, determine the mood you're trying to achieve. For instance, if you want your guest bedroom to feel cheery and vibrant, you'll want to include pops of color. However, if you're going for hygge vibes, a darker color palette with layers of texture might be more appropriate. Regardless of the direction you choose, extra features, such as plenty of storage, blackout curtains, and greenery, go a long way to ensuring your guest room is prime for visitors.
Now that you have a few tips to keep in mind, scroll on for some eye-catching design ideas that will undoubtedly inspire a guest room makeover.
25 Dreamy Guest Bedroom Decorating Ideas
1. Set out fresh flowers or greenery.
There are few things that say "welcome" more than a vase brimming with fresh flowers or green foliage. It's a small accent, but it shows that you took the time to add a personal touch to the space just for your guests. This farmhouse-inspired room belonging to Ashley of Little Glass Jar flaunts an organic note thanks to the pale green eucalyptus next to the bed and the dark wood features throughout.
2. Make use of an empty corner.
Before going to bed, or first thing in the morning, your visitor may want to spend some quiet time reading ... or playing Candy Crush. So, fill a corner in your guest bedroom with a comfy chair and soft textiles. And if space allows, include a reading light as well, like Anne Sage did in this picture-perfect reading nook.
3. Decorate with one-of-a-kind, personal pieces.
Even though this isn't your personal sanctuary, don't be afraid to introduce a little personality. One easy way to do that is with vintage pieces of home decor, which are impeccably displayed in this guest bedroom designed by Emily Henderson. The end result is a completely unique and original stay — one that your guests won't get anywhere else.
4. Include plenty of storage.
Another way to show houseguests that you're thinking about them is by providing plenty of storage space. If the room isn't equipped with a standalone closet, be sure to include an armoire for hanging coats and clothes, like the one in this setup. You can also offer luggage racks, closet space, and storage benches, too. If space is at a premium or your guest room isn't quite finished, a couple of baskets can serve as a spot to place clothing in a pinch.
5. Create a mini library stocked with beloved books.
If you want to add a small, thoughtful touch to the guest bedroom, display a few of your most treasured books so visitors can peruse them during their stay. Tuck your favorite tomes into a nightstand, place them on a bureau, or stack them next to a comfy lounge chair like Melbourne-based designer Beci Orpin did in this bedroom makeover. Complete the setup with a pink duvet cover and sapphire blue curtains.
6. Offer breakfast in bed.
Maybe you're feeling ambitious enough to serve your guests a gourmet breakfast in bed, like this buckwheat pancake spread by Laura and Nora from the blog Our Food Stories. (Or just throw a few frozen waffles in the toaster — they'll be appreciated, too.) All while surrounded by soft, luxurious bedding ... your guest bedroom couldn't get any cozier.
7. Bring in candles and soft lighting.
Regardless of the room, ambiance is key, and the guest bedroom is no exception. Make your space feel inviting and cozy with the help of soft lighting and candles (don't forget the matches) to inspire relaxation. That's what Elizabeth Lawson did in this bedroom design, with articulating wall sconces and artisan candles right next to the bed.
8. Let the outside in.
To avoid having your guest bedroom feel like a dark dungeon, be sure to open the windows by pulling back the curtains to let natural light flood the space. If you can, install French doors like the pair spotted in this bright bedroom designed by Amber Lewis. They'll give your guests a better view of the great outdoors and will also provide them with a private entrance and exit.
9. Embrace dark hues.
Turn your guest room into a dark cocoon by painting the walls in a moody shade that will have them sleeping like a baby. Jillian Guyette opted for a dramatic jet-black hue with a coverlet in a coordinating color. To keep the look from feeling somber, add brightness and warmth with crisp white bed linens, aged brass lighting, and wood furniture.
10. Or keep it mostly white.
While many experts advise using neutrals and steering clear of overly busy patterns and high-contrast palettes for a restful retreat, you don't need to settle for boring. Peppering in soft pops of color, like the blush accent pillow, mint green swing arm sconce, and baby blue artwork in this well-appointed bedroom by Daleet Spector, will make a bedroom feel thoughtful and cheery without distraction.
11. Install a television.
Okay. We know televisions in bedrooms are a bit controversial, but let's face it: When you're traveling, it's nice to lay in bed and chill out watching a good flick or two. If you don't want a screen to be the focal point in your guest bedroom, install it off to the side, as demonstrated in this refuge.
12. Select practical bedside tables.
A bedside table with ample surface area, such as shelving or a couple of drawers, is a hardworking addition that will help keep your guests' nighttime essentials (phone, reading glasses, and a book) within arm's reach. It's also an ideal spot to rest considered additions, like an alarm clock, carafe of water, and greenery.
13. Make towels and amenities readily available.
Make it easy on houseguests who might have forgotten an amenity or two by stocking the guest room with toiletries and other travel necessities, like towels, a clean bathrobe, and slippers. Even if your setup doesn't have its own bathroom, installing hooks, a basket, or a designated place where these items can be stashed is a nice touch. Hooks on the back of the closet door will save space, and it's a practical spot for hanging used towels or clothes.
14. Pile on the pillows.
When you stay at a hotel, you'll probably agree that it's all about the luxurious linens and sumptuous pillows, right? (Okay, and maybe the minibar, too.) Create that same dreamy vibe in your guest bedroom by splurging on good sheets, blankets, and pillows — the more the merrier.
15. Install a mirror.
While a mirror might not be the first thing you think of when it comes to cozy guest room ideas, it's actually an essential item that will enable your guests to get ready in the privacy of their own room. Mirrors are also a practical design tool since they reflect light, making dark interiors feel brighter and small spaces feel a bit bigger. If you don't have a full-length mirror, something like the round, industrial-inspired beauty in this space will do the trick.
16. Combine the guest bedroom and home office.
If your houseguest is planning to combine business with pleasure, they'll be grateful for a quiet, dedicated spot where they can tackle work. Including a personal workstation in your guest room will make the space multifunctional by giving it a purpose even when you don't have company. Plus, desks come in all different shapes, styles, and sizes so that your desk will blend into your space beautifully.
17. Keep clutter at bay.
Not only does a tidy bedroom improve sleep quality and increase productivity but a clutter-free zone also ensures that your guests will be able to put their things away during their stay. Inject warmth into the space with wood tones and a welcoming color palette, like the sage green, white, and ebony scheme used in this minimalist bedroom.
18. Layer a rug (or two).
Rugs create coziness and literal warmth, serving as a barrier between bare feet and the floor below. They're also equal parts functional and stylish, introducing pattern, color, and texture while minimizing noise. Place a large area rug beneath the bed for an extra dose of softness.
19. Consider doubling up on beds.
Give your guest room the flexibility to accommodate all sorts of sleeping arrangements by including two beds. Keep them separated for singles and kids or push them together when couples visit. Heidi Caillier outfitted this bespoke bedroom with a pair of Jenny Lind beds, a Moroccan rug, and plenty of florals for a look that's full of old-world charm.
20. Add extra blankets.
Fold extra blankets at the foot of a bed, place them in baskets, or drape them on the arm of a chair so they can be easily found if needed. Additional blankets provide texture and visual interest, upping the cozy factor. This bedroom flaunts vibrant teal and lime accessories and is proof that you don't need a lot of real estate to create a functional and welcoming spare bedroom.
21. Showcase unique architecture.
There's something about a nook, whether carved out as an intimate dining area or as a secluded spot under a staircase, that makes people feel safe and like they're getting a big hug. If your guest bedroom is blessed with unique architectural features, consider yourself lucky and take advantage of them by including them in your design, as seen in this woodsy retreat.
22. Layer window treatments.
It's hard to dispute the importance of blackout curtains for maximizing restful zzzs since they stop natural and artificial light from entering. But some people like to wake up with the sun, and layering window treatments, as is done in this pared-down bedroom, gives guests control of how much light they want in the room at any given time. They also add depth and hard-to-resist coziness.
Introducing texture to a bedroom design scheme, whether through leather pieces, natural fiber rugs, or chunky blankets, is a surefire way to add visual interest. Take notes from this glam setup by Black Lacquer Design, which combines a faux fur throw at the foot of the bed, velvet throw pillows, and a plush rug for softness.
24. Upholster the walls.
When it comes to adding irresistible, cocoonlike vibes, it's hard to beat the softness and beauty of upholstered walls. This decorating idea has been around for centuries and is having a resurgence, imbuing style and a feeling of luxury to studies, dining rooms, and, of course, bedrooms. Additionally, upholstered walls add enviable depth and texture, but there's also a functional aspect to their good looks: soundproofing. If the idea is intimidating, take notes from Elizabeth Roberts and opt for a singular accent wall.
25. Make the most of your allotted space.
The most important thing to remember is to just make the most of your allotted space. If that means transforming a couch into a daybed like the channel-tufted beauty in this color-blocked space by DahliasDay Interiors, then that's okay. Small bedrooms are innately cozy and are often the perfect opportunity to try a more daring color scheme or pattern without being visually overwhelming.