Part of how to decorate is decorating your guest room.I sleep in the guest bedroom in my house once a year. I do this to assess the room for comfort and to add whatever’s necessary before inviting guests to stay with me. You can have fun with a guest bedroom because it probably won’t be used as much as the other rooms. Therefore, you can get away with painting and decorating touches that aren’t entirely practical on an everyday basis. However, if you don’t have the luxury of an extra room, chances are your guests will be sleeping on a pull-out sleep sofa in the den or home office.
Creating a stylish room for dual purposes can present an interesting challenge.
Since I live in a resort area, I’m usually prepared for a few guests during the summer months. The room doesn’t get used much in the winter so I decorated it in a summery way. I can always add a down comforter and quilt to the bed for winter use if necessary. Friends of mine decorated a den/study for optimum use every day, and for their occasional weekend guests. While my guest room is outfitted in white eyelet, theirs is furnished in tweeds, leather, chrome and glass. One wall is a built-in bookcase, there is a small TV, and most of the time the room is a sleek but cozy den. The floor is carpeted, there are wood blinds on the windows, and the tailored sofa opens into a queen-size bed. Small glass-and-chrome tables function as coffee tables in front of the sofa and, when pulled to each side, become night tables for guests. Two occasional chairs complete the den, and are easily pushed out of the way when the sofa is opened up.
A friend who often has weekend guests suggests twin beds pushed together because this arrangement accommodates any situation. My guest bedroom has a double bed because the room would be too small for night tables on either side if the bed was larger. A double bed is a bit small for two, but most guests stay only two nights, so it isn’t too uncomfortable. It’s fine for one.
Where your guests sleep isn’t as important as how you accommodate them, whether with twin beds tucked under eaves in an attic space, a futon in a tiny space, a sleep sofa in your office or a sumptuous bed in a beauti-fully decorated bedroom. Wherever your guests sleep, the room should be attractive and function well. Most of all it should be inviting. When your guests close the door to their temporary home, they should feel at home.
No matter how small, a guest bedroom can be comfortable if you do the following:
1. Remove all of your personal items. A guest room shouldn’t be the catchall for last year’s Christmas wrapping paper with closets full of old clothes that you’ve probably forgotten.
2. Line dresser drawers with scented paper. Fill the closet with pretty hangers.
3. The bed, no matter how it evolves, must be comfortable. Try it out yourself before having guests use it. A quilted mattress pad, pretty sheets, a blanket and comforter make the bed inviting. A patchwork or applique quilt adds to the homey quality.
4. Lots of pillows, soft and firm, will be appreciated.
5. Keep the furnishings simple. This is not the place to store castoffs so your guests have to navigate through the room. A night table and reading lamps, a small dresser and a chair are enough. If there’s room, a bench at the end of the bed is good for sitting and holding a suitcase. I keep a wicker trunk at the end of my guest bed. It holds all the bed linens and towels, and guests use this for their suitcases.
6. Accessories that add to the comfort include a mirror (full-length if possible), clock and phone.
7. Fresh flowers, current magazines, a local newspaper and books make guests feel welcome. Pots of flowering plants on a shelf or windowsill add color and liveliness.
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