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How to furnish a guest bedroom your friends and family will rave about

The guest room is a place for your loved ones to gather, and you want to make it as special as possible. Decorating a guest room is a little different than the rest of the house, however, because you want to show off your unique personality while creating a space that other people can enjoy.

It doesn’t have to be difficult to get your guest room up and running. Whether you’ve got some time or you have guests coming this weekend, we’ve got some tips and tricks to help you create a space that all your guests will rave about. Let’s get started.

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When guests arrive in a few days

If you’ve just discovered you’ve got some guests coming for last-minute plans, you can still create a guest room that wows. Once you’ve cleaned out your spare room, use these quick projects to help make your guest room something amazing at the last minute.

Bedside ledges

A significant design feature of excellent guest rooms is room to breathe. Getting rid of bulky furniture goes a long way to making even a small room feel more spacious.

Your guests need someplace to charge a phone and put a glass of water, however, so having a simple ledge next to the bed instead of a bulky bedside table is an affordable and quick way to make sure they have that little convenience.

Attach a short shelf to the wall at bed height or just a little bit higher. Make sure you leave a few inches of space for you to change sheets and to help them avoid bumping into it at night. It’s quick and stylish.

bedside table decoration
Charlota Blunarova/Unsplash

Add some greenery

Plants help make any room feel fresh. Adding potted plants helps the room feel more at home and promotes feelings of relaxation. Who doesn’t love a bit of nature?

Choose plants that are hardy and don’t need to be watered all the time to thrive. ZZ plants are the go-to hardy plants for indoors, as are snake plants. A pothos plant is an excellent, hardy trailing plant that looks good in hanging planters. They can all tolerate a bit of neglect and a range of lighting conditions.

DIY headboard

If you don’t have time to shop around for the perfect headboard, you can fake one. Use a giant mural painting positioned just above the bed to help focus it or create a gallery wall using a series of identical frames in a straight line.

Another simple fix — use a sturdy curtain rod to hang a colorful blanket. Attach the rod to the wall at your desired height and allow the blanket to fall below the mattress — instant, interchangeable headboard.

When guests arrive later in the year

If you’ve got some time before your guests arrive for the next holiday gathering, you can build a guest room that works. These projects can be completed with a little bit of time and some creativity.

Custom headboard

Creating a custom headboard creates the feeling of a high-end, hotel-style room. You can do this in a few different ways.

  • Reclaimed barn wood – If you love Chip and Joanna’s aesthetic, you can use reclaimed barn wood for an architectural-farmhouse feel.
  • Fabric headboard – Creating your own fabric headboard is easier than you think. All you need is your favorite fabric, some batting, and some gumption.
  • Painted headboard – If you’re creative, you can turn some leftover paint into a custom-painted mural on the wall. Mark off your headboard space and create your masterpiece.
drawers in guest bedroom
Minh Pham/Unsplash

Stash clutter

Use baskets underneath your ledges or in your bedside table to help guests hide clutter. An ottoman or bench at the end of the bed, if you have room, gives guests a place to sit luggage. Decorative trays help wrangle odds and ends so that everything has the appearance of organization.

Your guest room needs lots of empty spaces for guests to place their things and for you to store items your guests may need. If there’s a bathroom, consider putting extra toilet paper in a decorative jar instead of leaving it in the plastic. Place towels in a cute woven tote at the edge of the bed. Little touches like this are vital.

Plan ahead and get coordinating storage pieces so that nothing looks haphazard. And look at your bedroom for inspiration. What do you need to have at hand in your space to make it feel like home? Create a small storage space for those items.

Add a swing

A side chair is an almost essential part of a guest bedroom if you have space. Have fun with that idea with a swing. You can customize it with trendy pillows, a bit of texture, or even little lights.

Hang the swing somewhere secure and place a small, fuzzy rug underneath to delineate the space. Whether your guests use it to relax in the evening or they have an extra spot to put their clothes for the day, it’s an entertaining edition.

Clean out the closet

If the guest closet has become something where you throw things you don’t want to think about, it’s time to clean it out. Take the time to empty the closet so they have space to store luggage, leave shoes, and hang clothing.

Make sure there are at least five hangers in the space and at least one that can support the weight of a coat. Baskets can help wrangle extras like towels or extra toilet paper. And if you must use the closet for storage, make sure it’s organized and as empty as possible.

No guests coming… Yet

You have time to transform your guest room into something spectacular. Here are some things to consider if you’ve got plenty of time.

Use paint to your advantage

Your guest-room paint can convey a feeling. Crisp neutrals like beige or clean shades of white can help a small room feel open and uncluttered. Pastels can accomplish the same thing. Blue is calming, while green can highlight your plants.

On the opposite end, dark colors can be calming, as well. Dark blue creates a comforting sense of enclosure and may help your guests sleep. Dark greens or grays can give the room a luxe, high-design feeling.

Hide a low ceiling by painting it a lighter color or use different color tones from the wall base to the top to build the sense of a higher ceiling. You can also play with gloss and matte paints to create a pattern, such as vertical stripes, without it being overwhelming.

guest bedroom
Anna Sullivan/Unsplash

Add window dressings

Guests may appreciate blackout-style curtains, so take a cue from the hotel. Creating layers to the window treatments helps guests decide their level of darkness for sleeping. Use a blackout blind as your first layer with a set of simple, thicker curtains next. On the outside, use light, airy curtains to let in the afternoon sun while providing privacy. Country Living shows great ideas for a welcoming guest room.

Little touches

Once you’ve got your room setup, finish it off with small touches like a pretty little glass and pitcher for water. Other touches could be a variety of phone chargers and places to mount a phone for visibility. With these touches, your guest room will be ready to be the star of your home.

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Deb Goncalves
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Deb's work has appeared on Moms, Babygaga, and WorldAtlas. When she's not working (that's hard to say about a Capricorn), she…
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