The guest bedroom can be the most fun to decorate, but it's also a very tricky one. I want to make sure my guests are comfortable and feel like the room they are staying in is very nice, however, it's hard to justify spending a lot of money on the guest room since (for most of us) it isn't used as much as the other rooms. I thought I would make it easy for you to decipher what is needed by going over the guestroom essentials.
The mattress + frame: If you have the room, a queen size bed is perfect. Two can share, or one can be very comfortable without feeling lonely in an over-sized bed. My mattress is an affordable latex mattress with a removable pillow-top from Ikea. It was less than $500 and I've had rave reviews on the comfort. Our bed frame is also from Ikea and is great because it sits off the floor allowing room underneath for my guests to store their bags.
The bedding: Comfortable, easy to clean sheets are a must. I am a huge fan of white sheets - you can bleach them and it's easy to have an extra set that will match that you can store in the closet just in case. A blanket at the foot of the bed or as a bedspread is a great idea so your guests can use the blanket if they are a little chilly or take it off if they are too warm. You don't want them to feel like they have to "bother" you for extra blankets, so having it as part of the decor is a good idea.
Making the bed with the sheets "turned down" will make it easy for your guests to climb into bed. And a simple decorative pillow will do. One time when I was a guest, the bedroom I slept in had 9 decorative pillows! Trying to remember how the homeowner assembled them made making the bed extra complicated. Make your guests' stay as stress-free as possible and keep it simple.
Seating: Having an accent chair in the guest room is a must. A chair for them to sit and read, or to use as a place to set their bags/coats/whatever on is nice to have. This chair was inherited from my grandma and it's really comfortable and perfectly sized.
Nightstands: Of course, having nightstands is also a must. It is best if you have nightstands with drawers for your guests to store things, but in my case I didn't have a lot of room for nightstands and I had this great asian side table I also inherited from my grandma that fit just right in room.
Accent tables/benches: The more places for your guests to place things like their electronics, phones, books, toiletries, bags, etc, the better. I had this (inherited) asian side table that worked perfectly to place next to the accent chair to complete the little reading spot. I would love to one day have a small desk and chair for my guests to sit and use their computer. I think that's always a nice thing to have in a guestroom.
I also love a bench or something at the end of the bed for guests to set their suitcase when they arrive. It's a great place for them to unpack their bags and then it becomes a place to sit and put your shoes on. In my guestroom I have a vintage trunk that we put at the end of the bed. It also has extra blankets stored inside since our guestroom is in the basement and gets pretty cold.
LIGHTING + MY WHITE BOX CHALLENGE
Let's talk about how important lamp lighting is in a guestroom. You have to have lamps in the guestroom so your guests have the option of reading in bed without having to get out of bed to turn the light off, because remember, your guest's comfort is your number one concern. And this brings me to my "white box challenge" from my good friend Chelsea Horsley.
Chelsea is a Style Maven on the fabulous online decor shop, Joy & Revelry. She sent me and 2 other design bloggers a secret item from her shop and asked us to share how we would use/style them in a room. I was so excited when my box came and I discovered they were these cool black + lucite lamps. I actually only own 2 lamps and this was a reminder to me how much I a) need more lamps and b) love the look and function of lamps in any room.
I instantly thought of my guestroom for the reason I just explained - every guestroom needs lamp lighting!
Here is a photo of the Kate Mini Ball Lamp Set (2 for $379) in black.
They are 16" tall, which is great for the bedroom since you usually don't want a large lamp that will take up all the space on the nighstand, but these lamps are substantial enough that they provide a lot of style and light.
And here they are on my nightstand and accent table. Both places where my guests will need the perfect reading light.
As you can see, just the right amount of light! And how fantastic is the lucite base? LOVE. And even better, if you use the code YT_WHITEBOX_10 you get 10% off your purchase! You can sign up to access Joy & Revelry here to see these wonderful lamps and so many other great things! Also, check out how 2 other design bloggers styled their lamps!
1. A glass (or 2) and bottled water. Make sure to cover the top of the glass with a napkin or even plastic wrap (like the covers you see on glasses at hotels) so dust doesn't settle in the glass.
2. A lamp for reading.
3. Reading material (just in case they didn't bring their own). I like to have a magazine and a book. This little book is a vintage book that was my grandma's titled "A Man who Loves His Wife". Isn't that the cutest title? It's a fun little read. I also love quote books, or special interest books to have on the nightstand.
4. A tray with toiletries, shampoos, lotions, etc. Any samples I get from the salon, other hotels, cosmetic counters, I save and pull out when I have a guest come. I put the samples in a tray next to the bed, but of course these can also be put in the bathroom (our guest bath doesn't have counter space). I think it's nice for them to have just-in-case.
Other accessories that are great in the guestroom are travel guides/local city magazines, snacks, and a place for them to charge their electronic devices and/or play their devices (like an iHome).
I would love to hear what you put in your guestroom to make your guests feel at home! Happy travels to you all this summer, and I hope you all get to enjoy the company of guests.