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For some, the holidays mean a ton of travel. For others, it’s prime time for entertaining out-of-towners. Unfortunately we can’t offer tips for navigating congested highways and overstuffed airports but we can help you create an incredibly gracious guest room. We’ve collected eight rooms that showcase the must-have elements of a good guest bedroom.
First, there should be good lighting on both sides of the bed, so invest in new bedroom lamps if need be. Avoid spindly or fussy designs that tip too easily, and if they’re on a dimmer, even better. Bedside tables should be sturdy and uncluttered. (Nobody needs to stare at snapshots of your long dead gerbil.) While a display of beautiful objects is lovely to look at, it’s more thoughtful to leave enough clear space for guests’ reading materials, cell phones, and such. Fresh flowers are almost always welcome (assuming an absence of allergies), so use one or two small decorative vases to dress up the area.
If you have the luxury of having dedicated guest accommodations, decorate with a subtle scheme. Fun colors and playful details are certainly fine, but refrain from jarring combo, overly feminine or fussy designs, and in-your-face art that might make friends or family uncomfortable. Interior designers Michael Bechara (right) and Maria Lladro (left) used neutral palettes in these rooms but they’re not at all boring. Maps, abstract artwork, and landscapes are safe bets. Hang them up rather than leaning them on the nightstand or dresser where they’re a hindrance. If the floors are bare, add a throw rug by the bedside, especially in winter. Not everyone remembers to pack slippers!
A bench, ottoman, or luggage stand placed at the foot of the bed is useful and keeps things clean. A suitcase that’s just been thrown around a tarmac doesn’t belong atop pristine sheets. Like the previous pair of rooms, designer Nicole Hollis went neutral. The minimalist aesthetic has a spa-like feel. Incorporating wall mounted light fixtures keeps things clean and clear, and a candle adds ambience.
The bedside tables here are perfect because guests can see how everything you stocked them with. A bar cart is a fun idea too. Notice the cozy throw blankets on the bottom shelf. Carafe and drinking glass sets are a considerate touch so your houseguests needn’t wander through the house at night. And while most folks use their phones to tell time, a clock might help them achieve a holiday unplugged.
This bedroom designed by Palmer Weiss is perfection. The elegant bedroom lamps are a matched pair, the bedding is crisp and fluffy, and there’s even a loveseat in the bay window. Note the heavy draperies—don’t make your guests get up with the sun.
Be a considerate host - provide your weary houseguests with a few guest room essentials to ensure a pleasant visit for all involved! For more guest bedroom accessory ideas, click on over to StyleCarrot.
Shopping guide: 1. Purple Lines Clear Glass Vase Table Lamp 2. Large Diana Matte White Ceramic Vase 3. Lola Collection Mirror Accent Chest 4. Light Precipitation IV 40" Square Wall Art 5. Maple Brown Indoor Outdoor Rug 6. Brushed Brass Holtkoetter Pharmacy Desk Lamp 7. Dimmable Espresso Bronze Swing Arm Wall Lamp 8. Zuo Heywood Triple Natural Wood Bench 9. Chesapeake Bay 8 Oz. Thyme Verbena Candle 10. Connaught Polished Nickel Bar Cart 11. Beveled Glass and Metal Serving Tray 12. Pick-Me-Up Chartreuse Alarm Clock 13. Trace Lagoon Armless Loveseat 14. Chesterfield Teal Ocean Decorative Throw Blanket
Image credits: Rachel Reider / Rue Magazine, Chris Barrett Design, Michael Bechara, Maria Llado, Nicole Hollis, Better Homes and Gardens, Elle Decor, and Palmer Weiss.
Marni Elyse Katz is a Boston-based writer and editor, and the blogger behind StyleCarrot. She began her career in the fashion closet of Rolling Stone before moving into the digital space, where she worked for both indie startups and biggies, like AOL. Today, Marni writes regularly for Boston Globe Magazine and other local publications, and is Features Editor at Design Milk. In addition to cultivating a serious Pinterest habit and Instagram addiction, Marni masquerades as an interior designer. She also collects art with her husband, including many nude drawings and paintings, to the dismay of their two easily embarrassed sons. Follow Marni on Google+
Love the drinks cart idea.
great ideas and photos
When I travel to friends, and they have a welcoming place for me to stay, I feel so special! I am still working on getting that kind of space set up in my own house! A beautiful lamp, YES!
planning a redo and now i'm charged up to get a move on. thanks ms katz!
Lovely. Need to "Guest Room" my whole house.!
Very tasteful and serene.
An interior designers perspective: very much love the last bedroom -- especially the gorgeous fabric on that small sofa in the window. Fun!
Very nice article Marni!
Great ideas, thank you!
Beautiful and diverse bedroom styles! You're right that a great bedroom doesn't end there. The right bedside lamps, a fragrant candle, a cozy blanket, a bench at the foot of the bed....it's the creature comforts that separate the good from the great!
These are so pretty! I'm inspired.