7 genius guest bedroom ideas to make anyone feel at home

I’ve always thought of the guest bedroom as an invitation to home – somewhere where you can welcome guests with warmth and kindness. And while I was searching for guest bedroom ideas for designing the space, I wanted the end result to support that spirit. This line of thought led me to a famous quote by Maya Angelou: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” I aim to live by the words of the prolific writer – and that includes how I envision my home.

Businesses that touch the heart endure. From smiling on the subway to remembering Christmas – there are plenty of ways to make an impact in the lives of others. And when it comes to our homes, simply opening them is the greatest start. From there, we can create a place for someone to feel warm and loved—and these guest bedroom ideas do just that.

Featured image of Sanetra Nere Longno’s bedroom by Michelle Nash.

Photo of Megan Robb’s bedroom by Michelle Nash

Before we begin, it’s worth noting the snag. Guest bedrooms, if we’re lucky to have one, tend to be on the smaller side. (The same goes for a guest’s sofa or corners.) But when space is short, interior design creativity prevails. I benefited from seeing three interior designers, Jennifer Walter, owner and principal designer of Folding Chair Design Co. Amy Youngblood from Amy Youngblood Interiors; and Susan Spath, Principal Designer for Susan Spath Interior Design and President of Kern & Company, for their insightful vision. With each guest bedroom idea, these designers prove how fun it can be to design this room—and how enduring the impression it can make on how your guests feel.

7 guest bedroom ideas to create a warm and welcoming space

Kate Zimmerman Turpin’s photo from her simple Sunday House

1: Treat the guest bedroom as if it were your own room

Just because it’s a “backup” room of some kind doesn’t mean she gets the extra treatment. Think of your room, then think of your favorite hotel, and combine the two. Splurge on the plush pillows and extra blankets. And Jennifer Walter believes that luxurious bedding is always key. “We always order with comfort in mind,” she says.

#2: Prioritize bed

“I feel like a guest room should really be a comfortable sleeping place for your guests,” says Amy Youngblood, who focuses on the bed. If a king suits you, go for it. They will always remember when they slept at your place. Susan Spaath likes to include the built-in headboard that extends behind the small side tables, “which makes the room extra tactile and adds a sense of comfort.”

Melissa Gedney’s photo of Jenny Kane at Folded Hills Winery and Ranch

#3: Stock up on the essentials

How many times have you forgotten to pack your toothpaste? Keep a bag of hygiene items on the bed stand, from cotton balls to mouthwash, to accommodate anything your guests might miss. This says, i got you And it gets rid of any embarrassing moments of having to order another tube of toothpaste, again.

#4: Provide creature comforts

In addition to forgotten toiletries, Walter likes to include a basket with extra towels and slippers. “This is so that the first guest can wear and use them during their stay,” she says. Most people forget to pack slippers, but tile and laminate floors can get cold. Even when you’re hanging out in other rooms, it’s nice to wear something else during your visit.” Spath says he goes above and beyond by providing guests with plush bathrobes and a favorite book on the counter.

Image of Chanel Tarlow Guest House by Molly Culver

#5: Keep it light

“I usually go for a more neutral and lighter color palette,” Youngblood says. Think cool light blues, creamy whites, and warm beiges. In general, lighter tones attract more people, she says, “and also give a sense of more space” if the room is on the smaller side.

#6: Pay Attention to Space

If you dedicate most of the room to the bed, be aware of the size of the other pieces of furniture. Walter says getting smaller at nightstands. “As a guest, you usually don’t stock much at the side tables,” she says. “We often make a side table on one side and a small round ottoman on the other. This way, the ottoman serves as a landing point and seat if space is tight.” Spath agrees, adding that pendant lighting above nightstands is a great way to avoid taking up the entire space of a lamp. Youngblood says a taller table should be considered because it’s smaller.

Camille Styles’ basic bedroom photo by Michelle Nash

#7: Make it soothing

There is just something about a magical scent that stays with you, even long after your visit. Walter and Spaath say they incorporate candles in a guest bedroom, and they’re the perfect soothing and body lotion. What’s better than candles? Fresh bouquet.

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