Essentials For The Ideal Guest Bedroom
If you're fortunate enough to have a spare bedroom in your home designated for guests, then this post is for you. Having a spare bedroom is such a luxury and one should always make the best of it, specially for incoming guests. We find a guest bedroom should at all times be presentable and hold the necessary essentials for a welcoming retreat. Often times, client projects include the designing of guest rooms, a great opportunity to showcase special hostess skills. Living in a small apartment here in New York City, I don't have a spare bedroom at home, but if I did, these are the things that I would immediately add to the space.
Guest Bedroom foundations
Architectural Features: Just before we select any furniture for any space, we will assess the bones of the room and determine which architectural features would work nicely with our intended design direction. These could be adding moulding, switching out flooring, moving the electrical for lighting purposes, or adding built-ins. Also, this is the step where one should think of paint and/or wallpaper options.
Bed: Naturally, we would start any bedroom design by selecting a beautiful and substantial bed such as an upholstered piece in the right size for the bedroom. Refer back to our Design Study on the Anatomy of a Bedroom, our Guide To Making A bed and our Guide To Styling A Bed to learn more.
- Nightstand: Since guest bedrooms will most likely not be inhabited for the majority of the year, there's no need to use nightstands with a lot of storage. You may get away with non conventional options, but we will usually always use substantial pieces with drawers and or doors because I find it very considerate of a host to think of the guest's storage needs, even if it is a place to store a rag before bed.
- Seating: If the room has space for seating, please, oh please don't hesitate to add a bench at the foot of the bed. Benches are our preferred pieces, but you could of course use a small backless sofa or settee here. A small upholstered side chair is a great addition to any guest bedroom, too.
- Lighting: Like with any room, guest bedrooms need loads of lighting options so that every section of the space has a light source. Add table lamps or wall sconces by the bed, a floor lamp by the side chair (if you've added one) and of course, you've got access to the ceiling light fixture, which is always great. No matter where your guest moves to, they should have a light source available to them, ready to aluminate their task.
- Rug: We've mentioned before that we are not big fans of carpet, so if we can, we would encourage hardwood floors throughout the entire house to our clients. The use of a rug is just as ideal because it grounds the space, delineates an area and offers comfort underfoot. A rug is imperative in any bedroom design. Refer back to our Design Study on Rug Sizes in Bedrooms to learn which size rug is right for your space.
Guest Bedroom Essentials
Textiles: These are super important because they will serve as the means to create your desired ambiance. Bed linens with a considerate thread count, throw pillows and curtains / window treatments should coordinate beautifully and be of great quality for a luxurious retreat. We've discussed How To Mix Patterns, a post we think an ideal compliment to this one.
Scents: Everyone loves a deliciously smelling home / room, right? Well, treat your guests to just that! Above a dresser or nightstand leave them a candle or diffuser so that their room smells heavenly. We love the Fresh Fig scent from The White Company.
Basket of Essentials: We think a lovely treat to any guest is to anticipate their needs from the start. Create a quick "welcoming basket" with all of the essentials you think they may need during their stay. These include towels, washcloths, cream, toothbrush + toothpaste, mouthwash, bandages, a note with the home's wifi name + password, a little notepad with a pen or pencil, book, magazine, etc. When putting together this basket, think of what you would like to have on hand if you were staying over at someone's home.
Greenery: We love a good flower arrangement and can't imagine not including one in every single space we design. We know at times it is difficult to keep plants and flowers alive, so don't stress out, go ahead and use the fake stuff. As much as we love the real thing, there's no shame in using a faux flower arrangement allowing you to keep it in the guest bedroom all year long. Here are just a few of our favorite faux arrangements, which may be purchased through us. Please contact us with a product inquiry if you're interested in any.
- Water: Simple as that - including drinkable water to your guest bedroom is such a sweet touch, saving your guest a trip to the kitchen in the middle of the night. Instead, we would put a carafe with stacking tumblers on the bedside table or any available surface like a side table or dresser. We love this option by The White Company, a narrower version from Crate and Barrel or one with handle from Pottery Barn.
- Laundry Basket: Guests will appreciate a spot to put their dirty clothes in - enough said 😏 Place a laundry basket in a corner or inside the room's closet. If there's no space left in the room, consider a pop-up hamper.
- Charging Station: We're in the 21st century and you know everyone is constantly on their phone. Make sure to leave your guests an easy way to charge their devices. If plugs are found behind furniture, leave them an extension cord for easy access (extension cords are real life changers, people).
We hope these proven tips help you create a lovely retreat for your guests this holiday season!