Guest Bedroom Ideas:
How to Create the Perfect Retreat

By Adrienne O'Docharty

Guest bedrooms tend to become the everything room, a makeshift office and a place to store miscellaneous belongings that multiply over time. Near the bottom of the never-ending home to-do list, this room receives little attention and is often left to be a drab and uncomfortable place for company. It’s important to focus on the ambiance of your guest room and to anticipate your guest’s needs.

Foster the ambiance of your guest room and provide a delightful experience for your family, friends, and guests. It wont take an overhaul—incorporating one or two simple touches will boost the appeal of the room and ensure that your guest is able to relax, retreat, and recharge. Here are a few ideas for your guest bedroom.

1. Create ambience with color

Guests should feel instantly at ease when introduced to their room, taking in the light, clean, and airy vibe. Use serene neutrals such as a dusty blues, creams, and sage along with occasional pops of color to achieve a balanced palette. All-white bedding makes a room feel tranquil, clean, and soothing.

Color Use gentle, muted colors like sand, sage, and blonde oak

Textures Mixing soft textures creates a comfortable and relaxing environment

Monochrome White and gray monochrome for serenity

Color balance Pops of blue against cool whites create nice balance

Simple A few colorful prints paired with a rich color palette

Symmerty This balanced bedroom is a perfect guest oasis

Minimalist A minimalist guest bedroom in white and blue thread

2. Dress the bed for peace and comfort

All-white bedding and a clean, cloud-like divan welcome deep sleep. Break up the blank canvas with an extra soft throw and playful pillows in your choice accent color. Choose hotel-style bed sets in bright white for an ultra-clean look. And a duvet cover (rather than a comforter) will make laundry between visits quick and easy.

A quality mattress and down-alternative pillows are a solid investment when putting together the perfect guest bedroom, and dont forget the base—a mattress on the floor produces a second-hand or dorm room look, so make sure you have a proper bed frame and headboard.

Pay attention to the nighttime temperature forecasts during your guests stay and dress the bed accordingly. Use a down comforter for cold nights, or a breathable linen set for hot summer nights. Just make sure the bed has different layers so your guests can adjust accordingly. You can also opt for a mattress designed to sleep cool, like the Tuft & Needle mattress.

3. Use natural fragrances

One great guest bedroom idea is to soothe travel stress and jet lag with calming fragrancesgentle-smelling candles or an oil diffusor with French lavender or Japanese Cypress oils. Crisp, cut flowers will also add a garden-fresh fragrance and are a beautiful accent.

4. Use gentle lighting, avoid the overhead

Avoid overhead lighting when possible. Instead, create ambient light with floor and table lamps or wall fixtures. Wall-mounted reading lights are ideal, but be careful of stark, blinding light bulbs. If you would prefer to use table lamps on the nightstands, use soft white or soft yellow bulbs and lamp shades that are slightly transparent to transmit an even, gentle glow.

Gear Patrol recommends the LIFX A19 LED Smart Bulb, which uses a solar scheduling function to gradually dim in the evening and brighten slowly when turned on in the morning for an easy transition.

5. Add character for a unique experience

Don’t feel confined to using conventional nightstands. Search antique stores or walk through your local flea market to find a pair of quirky or mismatched tables.

6. Keep it uncluttered, provide space

Cleanliness should go without saying, however, its easy to muddle the ambiance with a cluttered room. Devote 30 minutes to removing clutter and organizing, especially if your guest room doubles as an office when youre not hosting company.

To make settling in effortless, create plenty of space in the closet or with a garment rack with wooden hangers. Unfold a suitcase stand for your guests to unpack their suitcases.

7. Anticipate your guests’ needs

Anticipating the needs of your guests is a special touch that never goes unappreciated. Create a small guest goodie basket with toiletries like makeup wipes, ibuprofen, toothpaste, a lint roller (especially if you have pets), your favorite travel-sized hair products, razors, and other accoutrement often forgotten while packing.

Ever awoken parched but not comfortable enough to stumble around your host’s kitchen for a glass of water? Glass-bottled waters set on the nightstand are a wonderful touch.

When it comes to entertainment, keep it simple. Don’t worry about having a TV. Simply add a few magazines or a favorite book in case your guests need something to help them drift to sleep.

If you want to take the comfort a step further, provide your guests with robes they can slip into when the smell of freshly brewed coffee lingers into their room. For guests really looking to unwind, provide a sheet mask in the toiletry basket and a decanter of scotch with two rocks glasses on the dresser for the perfect nightcap.

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