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A ten-step guide to giving your guest room an overhaul

Finally give your guest room that much-needed overhaul with our step-by-step guide to an easy room redecoration.
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“One day”, you tell yourself, “I’ll redecorate the guest room.”

As you hear yourself utter the words, you remember the many (many) times you’ve promised this to yourself before. Whether life has got in the way, or the sheer size of the task ahead has left you at a loss about where to start, you’ve probably been putting off redecorating your guest room for some time now.

Truth be told, your guest room really does need an overhaul, but it’s been far too easy to put it off (and off, and off) for ‘when you have some time’. Now, after months (or even years) of sorrowful neglect, your guest room is looking dated, boring and dull. So, with your interior decorating project at a standstill, maybe what you need is a game plan to help you spring to action.

We’ve put together a step-by-step guide to completely revamping your guest room, from the bed to the curtains; the walls to the finishing touches.

1. Test it out

If you want to give your guests the best overnight experience possible, their stay needs to be comfortable and stress-free. Find out just what you’re offering your overnighters by giving your guest room – in its current form – a test run.

Spending the night in your guest room means you’ll experience first-hand how the bed and pillows feel, and it’ll give you the chance to discover whether or not the bedside lamp is too far away, the room too cold or the bedding uncomfortable. Do everything your guest might do during their stay (including using the wardrobe, finding a place to put things and turning the heating on and off) and make notes on what works and what doesn’t.

When you finish your overhaul project, we suggest you come back to this step and check everything all over again to make doubly sure your new guest room ticks all the boxes.

2. Clean and declutter

The guest room can sometimes become an all-too-easy dumping ground for the household’s ‘pending organisation’ items, particularly if a certain someone (i.e. you) hasn’t invited anyone over for a while out of sheer shame at the outdated décor.

So, before you start revamping your guest room, move out everything that doesn’t specifically belong in there. Hopefully, you’ll be left with tons of space to work with, and you can then give the room a thorough clean and vacuum before you start the next step.

3. Change up the colour scheme

The simplest yet most effective way to transform a room is by changing its colour scheme. To make your guest room look unrecognisable from its former form, choose a colour scheme that’s miles removed from the current one.

Whether you go for a classic neutral backdrop with bursts of colour, choose a bold colour for an accent wall, or get a bit adventurous with pastel shades, choosing your colour scheme carefully can make all the difference to the mood of the room.

When you’re selecting your colours, keep in mind that this is a room for guests. While you can’t please everyone, a restrained, understated colour palette is more likely to have universal appeal.

4. Get a new bed

The whole point of a guest room is to have guests sleeping over, so you’ll want to make sure the actual sleeping bit gets their hearty approval. That’s why we won’t begrudge you for splurging a little on the best-quality, most comfortable bed possible (in fact, we positively encourage it), and we’re betting your guests will thank you for it too.

If you want to go further than just getting a scrumptiously comfy bed, go for one that provides extra storage options without crowding up the room. This is where a divan bed comes in so handy. Divan beds have sturdy, high bases often with drawers or storage space built in – perfect for stashing extra bedding or towels. We love The Handmade Bed Company’s Boutique 2500 Pocket Sprung Divan Set for this: luxurious, spacious, and beautifully designed.

5. Provide lighting options

With an oh-so-comfortable bed, who would want to get up to turn off the lights? Give your guests permission to laze with the help of a bedside lamp or floor light near the bed. In fact, relying solely on your ceiling lamp can make the room feel stark, so provide plenty of options for lighting (both near and away from the bed) to create a cosy, inviting atmosphere. Just what your guests need when they’re spending the night away from home.

6. Give furnishings a new look

A quick way to give your guest room a refresh is by changing up the upholstery and finish of the bigger furnishings in your room. From reupholstering chairs and end-of-bed benches, to re-staining wooden furniture and repainting metallics a different colour, these little touches can transform the look of your room. Giving your furniture a spruce up could also lead to changing the window dressing (perhaps some new curtains to complement your new colour scheme), and changing the flooring (you could go from carpet to wood, for example, or simply get some new rugs).

7. Add a bedside table

A bedside table is the perfect spot for that lamp we were so passionately advocating for in Step 5. A bedside table is a safe and handy place for guests to keep their essentials. The timeless Furnitureland Annecy 3 Drawer Nightstand goes beautifully with the silver-grey versions of the divan bed mentioned in Step 4, and its bow front and ball feet give it tons of personality.

8. Sort out the wardrobe

If your guests are staying longer than one night, they might not want to live out of their suitcases. Give them plenty of space to unpack into by providing an empty (or close to) wardrobe with extra hangers, as well as a place to put their shoes, overnight bags and toiletries. Leaving the wardrobe just for your guests (i.e. not a place for the rest of the household to use as ‘storage’) will make them feel more at home, putting them at ease during their stay.

9. Fashion a luggage rack

Still on the subject of out-of-town guests, having a luggage rack in the guest room could be invaluable for longer-term guests or those who are stopping off at yours on the way to the airport. Whether you buy an actual luggage rack, use a sturdy dresser or coffee table, or just make sure there’s space on the floor, your guests will appreciate the extra effort you’ve gone to.

10. Think of home comforts

No guest room is truly complete without some home comforts to make your guests feel, well, at home. To that end, make sure you’ve covered all the essentials by providing clean bedding, extra blankets and pillows, freshly-washed towels, extra toiletries including toothbrushes and the WiFi password (yes, that too). A lined bin and a laundry basket can also come in handy.

Finish off with some scented candles (or the safer oil diffusers), fresh flowers and some bedside reading material. And for extra brownie points, why not provide an in-room hot drink spot with an electric kettle, tea and coffee supplies and a couple of mugs? Winner of the Best Host Ever Awards? Yup, that’s you!

The prospect of redecorating a guest room can feel daunting if we don’t have a plan of action to guide us. Hopefully, the steps above have given you a handy guide on where to start and what needs to be covered in your guest room revamp. By the end of your redesign project, you’ll be the proud owner of a beautiful new guest room that’s sure to impress your overnighters.

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