Christmas and New Year was really busy period for us, hosting family and friends for most of the festive period. It got me thinking about what makes a guest bedroom feel really welcoming and tips I could share. Here are my top five ideas for creating inviting and special guest bedrooms.
CREATE A DIFFERENT FEEL FROM YOUR OWN BEDROOM
Your own bedroom is a very personal space but you can be a little more experimental with your guest bedroom. I always think your master bedroom should be a sanctuary and a calm space for relaxation. A guest bedroom on the other hand is a little different. Although a calm feel for a guest bedroom could be your aim, you can have a little more fun with a guest bedroom.
As you don’t sleep in a guest room every night you can be a little more experimental with decoration. Bold pattern or colour can look wonderful but if you see it every day in your own bedroom you may tire of it. Guest bedrooms are a great place to have bolder wallpapers or statement headboards. Take this example from Babington House in Somerset. It may feel too much to have every day but for a weekend it is wonderful. I have put together another article on colour schemes for modern country homes here.
If you don’t feel brave enough for a statement wallpaper, then introduce bolder colour or pattern through large scale cushions. I’m a huge fan of big cushions in bedrooms. They look great and are also perfect for propping you up to read. And with just two cushions you don’t need to take too many off the bed at night! In this project I worked on for Justin Van Breda we simply introduced a splash of bright orange to bring interest to what is a very calm room overall.
MAKE IT FEEL INVITING
One way to make guests feel truly welcome is to try to replicate what they love about their own home. Imagine what they’d like to transport from their bedroom if they could. Soft bed linen, supple pillows and a good mattress are key elements. The best places for bedlinen are Tielle Bedding and the obvious choice of the White Company. Tielle Bedding is used by 5 star hotels such as the Ned and the Goring and modern country hotels such as the Pig and Limewood. My favourite bedlinen from the White Company is the Avignon range, which I just bought for my guest bedroom. It was a huge hit with my mother!
Add to these foundations with soft texture. One of the key ways to do this is with upholstered headboards. In both these bedrooms, for a project I worked on with Justin Van Breda, we designed high upholstered headboards to create cosiness. Add further softness through throws and cushions but don’t overdo the cushions, as they will just end up on the floor!
GET THE LIGHTING RIGHT
Getting the lighting right is also key. Layered lighting is key to making guests feel at home. Include a standard lamp to light a corner and bedside lights for late night reading. Consider having these on a 5amp circuit so all the side lights turn off at once from the bed. If you aren’t familiar with the lamps in a bedroom it can be headache working out how to switch each one off!
USE THE SPACE WISELY
Storage isn’t as much of an issue in guest bedrooms, so take the opportunity to add a statement chair (or even a chaise) rather than too many space encroaching wardrobes. It’s also useful to keep the floor space free to allow for families to bring their little ones into the same room.
Also consider an end of bed ottoman to put the bed cushions on. Guests will feel uncomfortable throwing cushions on the floor before they get into bed! So give them a place to put them.