Guest room makeover ideas

Let’s get real for a minute: Can you honestly say that you put the same effort and creativity into decorating your guest bedroom as you do for other rooms throughout your home?

Neutral guest room

Didn’t think so.

The truth is, most homeowners don’t. Too often, the guest bedroom becomes an afterthought –a place to store odds and ends that don’t seem to belong anywhere else. A space that’s only cleaned on the rare occasions that company is coming.

These scenarios may sound familiar, but not for long. Armed with the following tips, you’ll be able to quickly and affordably transform your guest bedroom from drab to fab.

1Paint the walls a neutral color

You never know who might come to stay at your house, so how can you possibly pick a paint color that will be pleasing to everyone?

Unfortunately, you can’t. For example, one of your future guests may love bright colors, while another despises them. Therefore, your best bet is to consider the advice of designer Daniel Friedman. He says, “To accommodate a range of guests and personalities, it’s essential that the guest room remain neutral in color, while mixing furniture from different styles in an organic but clutter-free arrangement.”

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2Use decorative accessories to add a pop of color

To breathe life into a calm color palette, designer Melissa Riche of Great Place suggests bringing in a trendy element. “Use décor pillows, new lampshades and even candle holders in a contemporary shade to create a current look,” she advises.

Revitalize your home décor with pillows >>

3Create a clever headboard

Designer April Force Pardoe of AFP Interiors, LLC, recommends switching out a traditional headboard with a decorative element others wouldn’t expect to find behind the bed. “For example, paint the shape of a headboard behind the bed in a contrasting color to the wall color. Use an interesting shape versus an expected rectangle or metallic paint to make it pop.”

Pardoe also notes that artwork and painted doors can be hung or propped behind the bed in place of common headboards. “Even woven round placemats can work to create the look of a headboard,” she adds.

Unique bedroom headboard ideas >>

4Stock the room with essentials

If you want to ensure your guest room is a welcoming and comfortable space, make sure it’s packed with a few key items. According to Janet Davidsen, principal interior designer of Details in Design, Inc., here are a few guest room must-haves:

  • A desk or table and a chair to add a surface for travel items
  • Plenty of lighting, including a good reading lamp
  • A basket of essentials, which should include candy, small packets of coffee or tea, pretzels or nuts, a map of the area, a favorite magazine or book, an alarm clock, and a small tube of toothpaste
  • Privacy shades that block out the light
  • Plenty of fresh towels and clean, plain sheets with no loud patterns
  • A ceiling fan
  • New pillows — not the ones from your bedroom that are already 10 years old
  • A good mattress

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5Invest in some little luxuries

To really wow the guests staying with you, add a few “extras” that will make them feel at home. Davidsen recommends a mini fridge for chilling bottled water or a coffeemaker so that your guests will have the freedom to wake up early without disturbing others.

Last, but not least, kick the clutter. It’s fine to store holiday decorations, seasonal clothing and various other mementos inside the guestroom, but make sure these items are out of sight. Friedman suggests using furniture that doubles as storage. You can also purchase some collapsible bins or decorative baskets to keep items neatly organized inside closets.

Furniture with storage >>

More advice on guest rooms

Making a spare bedroom an inviting guest room
Create a pretty guest room in five steps
Top 10 ways to prepare for a house guest


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