The secret to decorating a great guest bedroom is finding a way to create comfort that will align to the needs and preferences of anyone who might be staying there. It requires you to step outside of the familiar sense of your own decorative preferences and anticipate what will make your guests feel most at home. It’s really more an exercise in empathy than anything else. If you can imagine yourself as a stranger in your own house, for even just a few moments, then you’ll be on the path to creating a great guest space.
Often it is best to begin with functionality, incorporating decorative elements only after you have ensured that the room has everything that a potential visitor will need. You’ll want to start with a bed, choosing a piece that fits reasonably into the room without overwhelming it. At the same time you want your guest to feel comfortable in the mattress, so err towards the middle sizes of full or queen, rather than opting for a king that may swallow them or a twin that may stifle them.
Storage is another important part of any guest room decorating strategy. You need to have places where you can put useful items such a towels, and toiletries, and other needful things that travelers often don’t bring along with them. You’ll also want to leave lots of open spaces, so that they will have room to unpack and store their clothes and personal possessions. That’s especially important for helping to make long term guests feel more at ease.
When adding decorative elements to a guest bedroom, try to be somewhat innocuous. Opt for general items rather than bold or specific statements of taste. Artwork should be simple, and unassuming, with mild colors that don’t overwhelm. The balance is to add just enough visual interest so that the space doesn’t feel barren, while leaving room for your guest to spread out, and make the environment personal to them for the duration of their stay.
In some cases you may want to add elements to a guest bedroom that are specific for children. This can include a chest with old toys, or even a pair of novelty sheats written large with super heroes, cartoon characters, or other whimsical images. Often these will be transitory pieces, things that can be highlighted and set in place when younger guests arrive, but which can be stored away if your visitor is full grown.
Another way to expand the purpose of a guest room is to make it multi functional. A home office can be fitted with a futon that will pull out into a ready made bed. Storage beds can also be used, marrying the convenience of shelves and drawers to the sleeping space needed to accommodate friends and family for the night. In these situations it is important to compartmentalize, making it easy to quickly switch from one purpose to another whenever the need arises.