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How to Style a Guest Bedroom Your Visitors Will Love

Guest bedroom
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Decorating and styling a guest bedroom is a fun interior design project. But make no mistake — it also presents an entirely new set of decor challenges. Unlike master bedrooms, spare rooms are much smaller and usually lack ample storage space. That’s why it’s essential to come up with creative guest bedroom ideas that are both functional and stylish. The result is not only a beautiful guest suite but ultimately, the comfort of your closest friends and family members.

Below, we’ve rounded up 21 tips to help transform a spare room into a stylish guest bedroom where your visitors will love spending time. We’ve even tossed in a couple of office guest room ideas for good measure.

Add a Bed Bench

Cozy guest bedrooms usually don’t have a walk-in closet where your visitors can leave a suitcase or another travel bag. Placing a bed bench at the foot of the bed can solve that issue, and boost the room’s storage capacity. Benches are excellent furniture multitaskers that can serve as extra seating or shelving for extra bedlinens. In a pinch, they also create extra surface area for your guests’ belongings.

Consider Guest Room Wall Decor

When it comes to guest room design, function matters, but it’s not everything. Art plays an essential role in transforming a spare room into a comfortable and welcoming space. You don’t have to break the bank by filling the walls with museum-worthy pieces. A collage of black-and-white photographs, a macrame wall hanging or a painting hung above the bed will create a focal point and add a dose of character. This is one of the easiest spare room ideas for homeowners with extra artwork or photos.

A Cozy Rug Is a Guest Room Must

Decorating a guest bedroom with rugs has several benefits. It anchors the furniture, ties the look together and ups the coziness factor too. Small guest bedrooms can look more expansive when  you place a light-colored area rug on the floor. Just make sure it stretches at least a foot from all sides of the bed.

Add Plenty of Greenery

Plants lend an organic vibe to any room. If you’re looking for guest room ideas to create that effortless boho chic aesthetic, greenery is your best bet. To add visual variety, the key is to choose plants of different heights and textures. Avoid trees unless the guest bedroom has high ceilings. Otherwise, a potted tree can make a room look small and cavernous.

Style the Guest Room Bed Like a Pro

Making the bed is an art form, but it’s not reserved for pros. A comfortable and beautiful bed can transform a spare room into a luxury guest bedroom. Mastering this idea starts with quality sheets. There are rules for layering sheets, blankets, duvet covers and pillows, but they’re not hard to master. See our guide to How to Layer and Style Your Bed Like a Stylist in 2021.

Maximize Wall Space

If you’re looking for creative small guest bedroom ideas, consider using all your wall space in a different way. Install shelves or open-faced cabinets to add style and storage in one step. Would you like to have a guest room with a desk, but you don’t quite have the space? A floating shelf will do the trick, while using up less space than a regular full-sized office desk.

Neutral Palettes Guest Room Ideas

When in doubt, go for neutral. You’ll probably host a lot of friends in your spare bedroom, and everyone has their own unique taste and style preferences. But you can’t change up the decor and repaint each time a new guest comes to visit, so a neutral color scheme can save the day. Earthy shades like beige, grey, white and brown are easy on the eye and effortlessly chic. If you’d like to read more tips on styling a white room, read our article on How to Design and Style a White Bedroom.

Add a Ladder

Decorative ladders offer so much more than just good looks. They can serve as vertical storage for extra blankets, throws and even towels (you can move one into the guest bathroom at any time). You can hang a potted plant on a stepladder to bring the outdoors in. Or create even more storage by hanging wire baskets that your guests can use for their belongings.

Keep It Classic and Minimal

Stay away from furnishings that are too opulent or bold. Not all guests appreciate a flamboyant aesthetic. Sometimes less is more, and that’s even more important when you decorate a guest bedroom. Minimalist furniture and bedding are easier to style, and add a timeless and attractive look.

Install Curtains for Privacy

Adding curtains is one of the best guest bedroom ideas for those with limited square-footage. If you’re converting part of a large space (like a loft) and need spare bedroom ideas on a budget, make some time to think about privacy. You can opt for blackout curtains or a beautiful vintage folding screen. If you want to add a guest bedroom to your home, but you don’t have a room to spare, you can convert a large office. Transform part of the office into a guest room by adding separation between your workspace and the bed.

Add a Floor Mirror

You want your guests to have as many essential amenities as possible, and a floor mirror adds a welcome dose of convenience. This creates more privacy when getting dressed in the morning or preparing to go out. Oversized mirrors are a great small spare bedroom idea too, because they instantly create a more visually expansive space.

Create Storage Space

One of the thorniest issues when designing a guest bedroom is the lack of storage space. Extra rooms often don’t have a walk-in closet like master bedrooms do. But instead of investing in furniture like a bulky dresser, consider using baskets to store extras such as blankets or linens. They’ll lend your guest bedroom a cozy, rustic charm, and do the trick of adding storage space in an understated way. Need more extra room ideas for styling and storing with baskets? See these 15 Ideas for Decorating With Baskets

Invest in Soft Bedding

A guest bedroom’s purpose is to give your visitors a comfortable place to stay and sleep. That’s why soft and cozy bedlinen crafted from 100% cotton should be at the top of your shopping list. And since there are so many types of cotton sheeting, Parachute’s handy Guide to Bed Sheets: Choose the Right Fabric & Style for Your Bed can help you sift the options. This is an inventive guest bedroom idea that goes beyond the visual.

Create a Zen Guest Bathroom

What better way to treat your house guests than to designate a bathroom just for them? And you don’t have to break the bank to create a relaxing sanctuary, either. Decor accents such as a beautiful and plush bath rug or mat, plants or a fragrant candle or an oil diffuser can create a homelike feel. Learn more about how oil diffusers are beneficial in any bedroom in our How Oil Diffusing Helps You Sleep Guide.

Install Floating Shelves and Hooks

Another way to freshen up the decor of a guest bedroom (while you add to its storage capacity) is to install floating shelves and hooks. Your visitors can use them for belongings such as tote bags, coats or accessories, to keep from cluttering the bed or floor. The idea is to create — in a stylish and visually appealing way — as much storage space as possible. With this touch, your guests won’t feel like they have to live out of a suitcase for the duration of their stay.

Invest in a Bold Headboard

Don’t want to spend a lot of money on a fancy bed for your spare bedroom, but still want that 5-star luxury hotel vibe? Opt for a glamorous headboard that will instantly elevate the decor aesthetic of a modern bedroom well-suited for any guest. Materials like velvet and leather look high-end, and are easy to find in color options that will match the style of any room.

Give Your Spare Bedroom Texture

Don’t be afraid to layer materials and fabrics to create visual interest. Layering is a great way to break up a monochrome palette that might be giving the room a flat and dull look. Adding texture to a room may sound a bit abstract, but it’s actually easy to accomplish. Plants, unfinished wood, jute baskets, a quilt or a braided wool rug — these can all add depth to your guest room decor.

Treat Your Guests to Top Quality Towels

Just like sheets are important for the comfort of your guests, so are towels. The towel offerings you’ll find at Parachute are crafted from premium Turkish cotton that offers the right balance between fluffiness and absorption.

And if you’d like to go above and beyond to make your guests’ stay pleasant, welcome them with a luxurious robe and a pair of soft slippers. This guest bedroom idea can make your home feel like so much more inviting

Create a Sitting Area

Take your decor cues from five-star hotel suites and add a sitting area to your guest room. You can make this idea work by placing a beautiful coffee table and a couple of armchairs in a corner. If the room is on the small side, you can skip the nightstand and instead place a small desk next to the bed together with a chair. This furniture grouping can also double as working space when the room isn’t in use.

Yes, Pullout Sofas are Fair Game

Pullout sofas sometimes get a bad rap for not being stylish enough for a chic guest bedroom, but that idea is a bit unfair. Case in point? Take a look at this inviting and beautiful guest room, featuring a classic sleeper sofa. The key to making this controversial spare room idea work (and keeping your guests happy) is comfort. Sofa mattresses aren’t super-comfy, but if you cover yours with a down mattress topper, you’ve completely changed the game.

Seasonal Updates Matter

Once you settle on a final guest room setup, you may want to update it occasionally according to the seasons. Your update could be something small, like simply adding a few fall decor accents on the shelves. Or it could be something more substantial, such as swapping out a thicker winter area rug for a thinner one in the spring and summer. The same extra room idea applies to bedding. Breezy linen is a cozy choice for warmer months, while percale’s tight weave makes it ideal for when the temperatures drop.

Need more styling guest room ideas?

Make sure you book a complimentary styling consultation with one of Parachute’s expert decorators. They can help with everything from choosing the right color scheme for your spare room to picking out towels for your guest bathroom. You’ll enjoy a completely personalized experience, and after the consultation, the stylist will send you a custom lookbook with even more beautiful guest bedroom tips.  

If you're considering making your spare room a dual purpose space for guests to sleep and for you to work from home, explore the Home Office / Guest Bedroom Decor Ideas guide.