15 fabulous guest room ideas to make your guests feel welcome

Create a guest room that you’d love to stay in

 Next bed with bold art
(Image credit: Next)

The key to creating a fabulous guest room that your friends and family won’t want to leave, is to treat it as if you were going to stay in it, so give it all the comforts of home: the deep cozy duvet, the tactile throws and plenty of plush towels. Extras are uber important, a stylish bedside lamp, a good sized mirror and a lovely vase full of fresh flowers, the small details do matter and go all out with storage! Read our top 15 must-haves below.

  • Keep reading: 51 bedroom ideas, trends and styling tips to create the perfect space

1. Choose bold bedding

dark floral bedding

(Image credit: MM Dita Linen)

Go all out with your bedding to make an impact - the guest bedroom is the place to treat your friends and family to a blousy duvet set and painterly style florals are a big trend right now. 

Pick out a couple of key colors and add in some plain cushions to balance the look out and add in some texture with sumptuous velvets and cable knit styles. 

2. If you can, pop in a desk

jewel toned bedroom

(Image credit: Dulux)

If you have space along a wall or alcove it’s worth fitting in a desk, with us still working from home it’s almost become essential to create a small home office, and it can double as a dressing table too. 

Make a feature of it by painting it in a different color to the rest of the scheme -  a darker shade will recede whereas a lighter color will pop.

3. Be clever with lighting

pink bedroom with white bedding

(Image credit: Habitat )

Often, a guest bedroom will be made up of spares and extras - that duvet set you weren’t too keen on, or the hand-me-down bed - and that’s okay, especially if on a budget. That’s not to say these pieces aren’t beautiful, but they’re usually not always your first choice. So, in terms of lighting, think outside the box - for example, a floor lamp that doesn’t work in the rest of your home can be used next to a bedside instead of the usual table lamp - we love this idea and it gives height to the light. 

4. A hanging rail goes a long way

yellow wallpapered wall

(Image credit: MissPrint)

Guest rooms can often be on the small side, so wardrobes might not be something that fits in. Instead, a simple hanging rail can suffice, choosing a slimline design that can be placed alongside a wall. A shelf underneath can be a godsend for tops and accessories and room for shoes to be placed underneath.

5. Opt for an eye-catching bed

Havwoods bedroom with white walls and wood beams

(Image credit: Havwoods)

When space is tight, choose a double bed over a king and pick a design that will create a statement. This eye-catching bed has a beautiful decorative feel which gives it pride of place in a small bedroom. As the walls are left white, it allows the bed to stand out and the pop of cerise in the form of the throw gives the whole scheme a fresh burst of color.

6. Give plant life a whirl

neutral bedroom with blue bedspread

(Image credit: Scooms)

Plants add life and as we know, are a great health benefit as well as looking lovely and lush. 

Add some into your guest bedroom scheme, they will give the space color and texture. Invest in a variety of plants - trailing ones look great on shelves or hanging from a macramé pot, and look into wispy ferns and a cacti or two for balance. 

7. Put mirrors at the top of your list

dark green bedroom

(Image credit: Dwell)

We’re not talking about a small wall-hung mirror either, it needs to be a full-length mirror so your guests have somewhere to stand back and see any outfits they want to wear - just as we do in our bedrooms. 

Another bonus of a mirror is that it will bounce light around the room which will make the room feel more spacious and brighter. 

8. Don't forget the essentials

Graham & Greene taupe bedroom

(Image credit: Graham & Greene)

It’s easy to get carried away with the best duvet covers and bed sheets, but a bedside table is an essential piece of furniture. Choose a design that has as much storage as possible, a drawer and shelving will do the trick and if you can source a pretty decorative design then all the better. 

Size wise - it needs to be large enough to fit a table lamp, a book or two and a glass of water. 

9. Shutters add style

bedroom with plantation shutters

(Image credit: California Shutters)

Super stylish and practical, if you have the budget, shutters are a great investment. They’re great for managing light and temperature - during the summer you can close them to keep the room cool and in the winter they are fabulous for creating a cozy feel. They also help to reduce noise which your guests will love! 

10. Double up with twin beds

twin beds in neutral room

(Image credit: Havwoods)

If you have the space, it’s worth considering twin beds, because you may have two guests that won’t want to share - your aunt and her niece for example. 

You can have fun with twin beds and give them a matching feel or go against the grain and give them individual bedding, pop a wider bedside table or small chest of drawers in between them instead of one each side. Incorporating twin beds is the perfect opportunity to embrace symmetry too, and if you have a couple to stay you can push the beds together. 

11. Put in a fake wall

wood paneled bedroom wall with white bed

(Image credit: Bensons for Beds))

If your guest room is large enough and you have frequent guests, it’s worth investing a little into the design and layout. For example, you could put in a fake wall that splits up the space and allows you to hide an ensuite bathroom behind it - a huge bonus for your guests and you. 

Turn the wall into a feature. Wall paneling or wooden slats will look fabulous and add a decorative element to the scheme. 

12. Don't forget art

Next bed with bold art

(Image credit: Next)

Finishing touches are key, and popping up a gallery wall or investing in one beautiful piece of art is all a room needs to complete it. 

Not only does it give character to a space, it also adds color and a decorative quality. Match bedding and accessories to the artwork to create a cohesive look - in this bedroom you can see the key colors from the painting are used throughout the bedroom to great effect. 

13. Provide a little library

John Lewis modern bedroom

(Image credit: John Lewis)

This sounds simple, but it’s a lovely welcoming idea to gather together a combination of fiction and non-fiction books for your guest to peruse. 

Personal touches go a long way and if you have the space, a small armchair by the window will create a lovely reading nook so your guest can have some peaceful time. 

14. Get creative with the walls

bedroom with painted headboard

(Image credit: Crown)

Budgets can be tight when it comes to decorating a spare room but you can be creative. All you need is some leftover paint and a steady hand. A simple yet very effective design like this can take the place of a headboard. It brightens up an otherwise white scheme and can be done in an afternoon. Tie in your chosen color by investing in a pillow, vase and mug to match. 

15. Add a final flourish

green bedroom with traditional wallpaper

(Image credit: Woodchip & Magnolia)

This sounds simple, but a beautiful bunch of fresh flowers placed in the guest room before they arrive is a detail that says you care. 

Flowers also bring life, color and texture to a space - try to incorporate a couple of scented stems too depending on the time of year. There’s nothing lovelier than walking into a room that’s naturally scented with seasonal blooms. 

What should you have in your guest room? 

If you can, and you have the budget, go all out in your guest room. This means extra towels, pillows and blankets - ideally a choice of thicknesses for those cooler evenings and a couple of different pillows - a hard and soft option for example. 

Storage is key - a bedside table is essential and if you have the space a wardrobe and somewhere to store a suitcase. Door hooks are a great idea for dressing gowns and don’t forget a waste bin - dull but necessary!

Sophie Warren-Smith
Sophie Warren-Smith

Sophie has been an interior stylist and journalist for over 18 years and has worked for many of the main interior magazines during that time. On the side, as well as being the News Editor of indie magazine, 91, Sophie has a passion for flowers and colour and has recently launched an online styling course, Style with Blooms.