How to Create a Great Guest Room

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Whether during holidays, for a weekend, or just over night, entertaining guests can be an overwhelming task.

From deciding what meals to prepare to arranging fun activities, hosts need to consider a lot when entertaining guests. One of the most daunting tasks for many people is creating a welcoming guest room for visitors without too much inconvenience or expense.

When designing a guest room, rather than concentrating on creating a room that fits your unique style or resembles your bedroom, it is best to think about the needs of the guests who will be staying in the room. “Guest rooms are meant to provide a sanctuary for your guests. It’s not about you,” said Cynthia Klein, managing director and design lead of Room 2 Room, a commercial and residential interior design firm. “When guests come to your home, they are in an unfamiliar space, so making them comfortable is first priority. Consider what will provide guests with a good night’s sleep in a soothing environment.”

Designing a haven for guests can be accomplished in a few easy steps.

Choose the Right Room.

If possible, the guest room should be the room with the most privacy. Additionally, selecting a room that is near a bathroom is ideal, so it is easy to locate during the night, and guests can feel comfortable making a short trip to and from the bathroom between showering and dressing.

Select Proportional Furniture.

“People think they have to decorate a room with lots of items, but it’s more about comfort,” Klein said. Proportional furniture helps create an inviting space. Decorate sparingly.

Create a Soothing Environment.

`“Neutral tones are soothing and create a relaxed environment,” Klein said. Grays, blues, sage, and beige, among other colors, all make ideal wall colors for guest rooms. Klein also suggested providing guests with a table lamp for reading and a designated space to store personal items, such as a trunk. If extra funds are available, purchase window treatments with a blackout feature. An additional chair or chaise longue is a sound investment and will help create a relaxing environment for your guests.

Avoid Clutter.

Clutter is commonplace in many homes, especially in rooms that are not used often, such as guest rooms. Guest rooms that serve multiple purposes also tend to be more cluttered than others. Hosts should remove any clutter or excessive personal items before guests arrive. “If someone has a lot of professional awards displayed in an office that will also serve as a guest room, they may want to consider reducing the amount of awards displayed or placing the awards in a special location during guests’ stays that is out of view,” Klein said.

Multifunctional Guest Rooms

Many people do not have a room that can be designated solely as a guest room; however, spare rooms, such as offices, can be converted into guest rooms on an as-needed basis. “When converting an office space, a day bed, sleeper sofa, or chaise longue can be used as seating by day and a bed by night,” Klein said. “A lot of people may have reservations about using a sleeper sofa, but they have come a long way and are much more comfortable than they used to be.”

One of the most common mistakes people make when designing a guest room is slashing the room in half, according to Klein. “Think of a hotel versus a resort experience,” Klein said. “At a hotel, the desk and bed are usually placed against the wall. In a resort setting, many items are multifunctional, such as a sleeper sofa. Placing multifunctional items throughout the entire space, rather than placing guest items on one side, helps create flow throughout the room.”

Essential Guest Room Items

Hosts should strive to provide guests with all necessary items so that guests will not have to request them. Some essential items that are musts for all guest rooms are as follows:

Extra pillows;
Heavy and light blankets, regardless of season;
Throw blankets;
Water bottles and glasses; and
Toiletries such as fresh towels and wash cloths, extra toothbrushes, and tooth paste.

“I like to give guests a resort-like experience,” Klein said. “It’s not about fancy furniture. It’s about how your guests feel.”

J. Mariah Brown

J. Mariah Brown is a technical research writer and the owner of Writings by Design, a comprehensive business writing service company that specializes in business development, promotion, and client outreach. She has worked in a variety of technical and non-technical industries including, but not limited to, Government, Non-Profit, Engineering, Translation and Interpretation, Christian and Women’s Publications, and Fashion and Beauty. She is a graduate of the prestigious E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University and is currently pursuing a master's degree from Gonzaga University in Communication and Organizational Leadership.

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