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Interiors 101: Creating the perfect guest room

From corner sofa beds to picking the right flowers, we look at the ins and outs of creating the perfect guest bedroom.
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What is it that’s so effortlessly lovely about a proper, dedicated guest room? Is it the fact that it’s just that bit more peaceful than the rest of the house, with only a handful of visitors passing through? It has to be said, there’s something quite serene about the absence of clothes strewn over the laundry basket or clutter in the bedside drawer. Guest rooms are a place for gorgeous bedding and dustless dressing tables rather than overflowing wardrobes and day-to-day mess. And that’s why so many of us dream of having our very own – a tranquil sanctuary that we may even creep into ourselves from time to time, just to enjoy some peace and quiet away from the rest of the house.

Designing a guest room is one of the most enjoyable interior design tasks we can think of, because it can be done with luxury and sumptuous comfort in mind. If there was ever a time to invest in a pure silk throw and goose feather bedding set, now is it. Your guests deserve the best, and so do you – it can be a real mental relief to ditch the clutter in your current spare room and turn it into a beautiful space that’s both useful and aesthetically rewarding.

To get you started, here are some top tips for designing a beautiful guest room that you’ll be proud to have people stay in.

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Don’t do things by halves

It’s easy to use a half-heartedly designed guest room as a dumping ground for last season’s clothes, kids’ toys and other ‘storage’ items. Don’t do this. Instead, do your guest room justice by creating a space so beautiful you simply can’t bring yourself to cram it with clutter. In short – don’t shove a cheap futon in there, then watch as it slowly gets piled high with winter coats, old electricals, and other rejects from the main rooms of the house. Go all out. Get new-wallpaper, upgrade the curtains and – if you’re not up for replacing the carpet – get it cleaned and invest in a tasteful new rug.

We love this distinctive Arne Rug, with its muted colours and geometric design. Pair it with mustard throw cushions and plain grey bedding, plus lots of white accents to lift the room. In fact, choosing a single accessory that you love can be a great way of coming up with a design scheme for the entire space. This could be a throw cushion with colours that you love, or a rustic dressing table that conjures visions of bohemian Parisian boudoirs.

Finally, ditch the decades-old mattress and invest in a spectacularly comfy one like the Vi-Spring Aspire. Not only will your guests thank you for it, it’ll come in handy when you need to escape your partner’s snoring.

Go multifunctional, if you must

While it’s nice to have a guest room dedicated specially to the visitors of your home, for some that’s just not practical. And even though you might lose some of the idyllic, ‘just-for-guests’ peacefulness, creating a multi-purpose guest room can help you in the long run if you’re house is a little short on space. For a guest room that doubles up as an extra living room or den, explore corner sofa beds as an option. These not only provide lots of seating but will offer a spacious bed for guests too. Or, for those who need a little extra space to work, choose a table that can be used as both a dressing table and a desk like this simple but tasteful Willis and Gambier Tuscan Hills Dressing Table.

Pick a theme, any theme

We’re big believers in picking a specific theme and colour scheme for your guest room, even if it’s not the way you traditionally approach decorating. Choosing a set theme can be a lot of fun and will help you really define the room’s purpose, which will make you less likely to use it as storage space. But what to go for? Well, there’s something quintessentially British about a guest room adorned with floral patterns and traditional wooden furniture, but that’s only scratching the surface of the themes you can opt for.

Flex your creative muscles by exploring a range of unusual styles using mood-boards, glossy magazines and even films for inspiration. Once you start thinking outside the box, giving yourself the freedom to explore styles outside of your usual repertoire, you’ll be bursting with ideas. You could, for example, go for a cool Japanese theme made up of straight lines, dark wood screens and pretty paper lightshades. Or perhaps a chic Brooklyn loft vibe is more you, with exposed brick (we dare you) and pendant lighting.

Choose your flowers wisely

The devil’s in the detail, so don’t hold back when it comes to all those lovely finishing touches that will make your guests’ stay at your home all the more special. For flowers, choose something that doesn’t overpower the room but looks tasteful and distinctive. In winter months, we love bunches of berries and deep green leaves – but don’t go overboard. Think a small bouquet of twigs, red and white berries and waxy leaves to give the room a gorgeous winter edge. Or go for something more unusual (and perfect for that Japanese theme we mentioned), such as delicate orchids in pale blues and pink.

Decorating a guest room is all about making a space that feels homely a little bit glamorous too. Think comfort paired with effortless style, and personality paired with tasteful design. Now there’s nothing left to do but put your interior design skills to the test and impress those guests!

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Bedroom

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