How to Decorate a Guest Room

Two Parts:Permanent Decorations and FurnishingsWhen Guests Arrive

Good guest room décor should make your guests feel relaxed and welcomed, as though your home is a "home away from home." Stick with a soothing color scheme and fill the room with decorative furnishings that have practical uses. Consider the amenities that a nice hotel room might offer and strive to provide the same level of comfort and convenience with a greater personal touch.

Part 1
Permanent Decorations and Furnishings

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    Paint the walls a soothing color. Neutrals, like beige or white, and cool tone pastels, like sky blue, usually make good choices. Avoid vibrant warm tones, like bright red, since these have an energizing effect and may make it difficult for your guests to feel relaxed.
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    Consider placing a glass top bedside table in the room. Bedside tables are a convenience your guests will likely appreciate, but your guests may worry if they leave a water ring from a drink on a wooden surface. If the nightstand has a glass top, the water can be wiped away and will not leave a permanent ring.
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    Place a light next to the bed. Ceiling lights are great, but the switch is often placed by the door and away from the bed. As a result, your guests may have to stumble back to the bed after switching the light off at night. Placing a bedside lamp in the room eliminates this problem.
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    Add a mirror. A full-length mirror may make it easier for your guests to get ready in the morning. Even smaller mirrors are useful decorations, however, especially in a smaller room. Mirrors add depth and dimension, creating the illusion of a wider space.
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    Squeeze in a vanity. Vanities have a classic quality to them, which may make the room seem more nostalgic and inviting. They also provide your guests with a place to spread out their toiletries.
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    Keep a dresser in the room. Leave the top few drawers empty so that guests making extended stays can unpack their clothes. Fill the bottom drawers with towels, spare blankets, and other amenities your guests may need during their stay.
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    Consider twin beds. Twin beds are more versatile than full, queen, or king size beds. Guests can sleep separately or push the beds together to form a larger sleeping area.
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    Provide multiple layers of sheets at night. If possible, include cotton sheets, a cotton coverlet, and a down comforter on the bed or beds. These layers give your guests more control over how hot or cold they feel at night.
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    Use decorative throw pillows. While they do not serve much practical purpose, throw pillows can make a bed appear even more comfortable. Throw pillows can also be used to introduce an accent color into the room, which can allow you to add a nice splash of color without making the room uncomfortably energetic.
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    Place a throw rug on the floor. If you have hardwood floors or other non-carpeted flooring, a plush throw rug creates a warm, comfortable ambiance and protects your guests' feet from getting cold on chilly mornings.
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    Set a chaise lounger at the foot of the bed if the guest room is large enough to fit one. A comfortable chair provides your guests with a space to read or unwind during the day, when they may not wish to curl up in bed yet.
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    Provide a clock. A digital alarm clock may offer the most convenience, but an analog clock has timeless appeal that may create a more welcoming environment.

Part 2
When Guests Arrive

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    Stock the room with amenities. Put out tissues, towels, a washcloth, soap, shampoo, hand cream or lotion, and toothpaste. Anticipate your guests needs so that they do not feel the constant need to make requests.
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    Remove personal items from the room. If you use your guest room to store your spare sheets or other excess items, remove them prior to the arrival of your guests. Otherwise, they may feel as though they are invading your personal space, which may make them feel less welcome.
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    Put empty hangers in the closet. Guests making an extended stay will appreciate the opportunity to unpack and organize their clothing.
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    Bring in some fresh cut flowers. A bouquet is a thoughtful gesture that invites color and life into the room while letting your guests know how much you value them. Avoid overly large bouquets that may overwhelm the space and stick with a few well-placed flowers in a simple vase.
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    Set out a few good books. If your guests plan on staying for quite some time, they may need to find ways to keep themselves entertained without you. Setting books out on the nightstand provides them with a possible source of entertainment while creating a classy, welcoming look.


  • Plug a power strip into one of the electrical outlets. In today’s technology-driven society, most guests will have multiple electronic devices that they may need to charge. A power strip with multiple outlets on it will give them all the space they need to charge whatever they might have.
  • The way a room smells can be just as important as the way a room looks. Spray your guest room with a light, non-overpowering air freshener or deodorizer. Choose a calming scent, like lavender, to make guests feel relaxed. Otherwise, choose a warm scent, like vanilla, to make guests feel more at home.


  • Find out if your guests have any allergies before they arrive. If they do, you may want to avoid placing flowers in the room or spraying it with certain air freshening sprays. Consider replacing real flowers with fake flowers that look as real as possible.
  • Avoid placing candles in the room. While candles have an appealing appearance and smell, they may also pose a fire hazard, especially if your guests have small children with them.

Things You'll Need

  • Paint
  • Bedside table
  • Lamp
  • Mirrors
  • Vanity
  • Dresser
  • Bed or beds
  • Sheets
  • Throw pillows
  • Throw rug
  • Chair
  • Clock
  • Towels and other amenities
  • Hangers
  • Flowers
  • Books

Article Info

Categories: Home Decorating | Bedroom Style