12 Guest Bedroom Ideas for a Cozy, Inviting Space

Your guests should feel like a priority when they visit—and the room they stay in plays a big part in that.

Simply having a guest bedroom in your home can be somewhat of an accomplishment. Many of us go through years of making our guests sleep on the sofa or forfeiting our own beds to our visitors before we can offer them a room of their own. So, when you are able to offer guests the luxury of their own bedroom, the space should feel like exactly that—luxurious. That means not only providing a comfortable bed to sleep in behind a closed door, but also designing the room to show that time, effort, and intention went into it.

To make your guests feel like a priority, not an afterthought, use these design expert-approved tips to create a cozy guest bedroom that is so much more than just a spare.

01 of 12

Add a small seating area

decorilla guest bedroom

If you have a bit of extra room to work with in your guest bedroom, adding some extra seating can make a big difference. "The most important thing to creating a 'home away from home' and 'home away from host' vibe, is to provide a small seating area," Devin Shaffer, lead interior designer at Decorilla says. "That way your guests have a sense of ownership to their room and don't question if they're intruding on your space by staying in the common areas."

02 of 12

Take design risks

orange bedroom
Getty Images

Your guest bedroom is for your guests, but it's going to be in your home all the time, so you might as well design it in a way that makes you happy. Think of the additional room as an extra opportunity to take design risks, whether that means painting the room a bright color, adding bold patterns, or using the space to incorporate unique decor items you've gotten while traveling. Sure, the end result might not fit each of your guest's styles, but it will create a fun and memorable stay. "Make your guests feel like they are on vacation," Corban De La Vega, chief marketing officer at DecorMatters says.

03 of 12

Prioritize cozy details

Luxury concrete bedroom at night

No matter what design route you take, De La Vega also emphasizes the importance of making the room restful. "When people are visiting, they are often on vacation and traveling and sightseeing," he says. "This means they may spend the day out exploring, making coming back home to a cozy and calm bedroom all the more important." So, invest in hotel-quality bedding and don't skimp on the extra pillows.

04 of 12

Add plants or fresh flowers

Real photo of a botanical bedroom interior with wooden shelves, tables, double bed, plants and empty wall next to a window with blinds. Place your painting

One of the easiest ways to make a space feel more lively is to add things that are, well, living. "When you have guests visiting, make sure you remember to place some fresh flowers and plants within the room to boost the environment and help your visitors feel connected with the outdoors," De La Vega says. Whether you keep the plants there year-round or just bring them in when guests come, it's a thoughtful touch to add to your visitor's stay.

05 of 12

Provide practical bedside tables

bedside table

When designing a room that you won't actually be living out of, it's easy to forget some of those small practical details. "Besides being attractive, I believe a guest bedroom should be functional for your guest by providing them with enough surfaces and storage, as transient as the nature of their visit might be," interior designer Jonathan Rachman. Functional bedside tables can play a big role in allowing your guest to settle in and get comfortable, giving them a place to keep a glass of water, set down a book or their phone, and turn on a lamp at night. Bonus points if you keep a phone charger at the ready for forgetful guests.

06 of 12

Provide blankets and cozy throws

blankets and throw pillows on bed
Getty Images

It can be awkward as a guest to ask your host to turn down the AC or crank up the heat. So, making sure that a guest bedroom is stocked with cozy blankets is a great way to ensure your guests are always comfortable. "These details say that not only do you welcome them, but you have thought out every single detail prior to their arrival to make them feel they are at their home away from home," Rachman says. Not to mention, a beautifully designed throw, or a blanket basket at the end of a bed can add an extra element of design that can benefit the entire room.

07 of 12

Invest in light-blocking shades

Space of the Week, Guest Room Reading Nook with window
Design by Linda Hayslett / Photography by Lauren Pressey

Ensuring your guests can sleep comfortably during their stay is a crucial part of hosting—and nothing quite says "sleep well" like blackout curtains. These can be especially helpful for guests who are visiting from different time zones or just need to take mid-day naps to break up their activity-filled days. Linda Hayslett of LH.Designs added these light-blocking shades to an L.A. guest suite along with a cozy reading nook.

08 of 12

Give guests lighting options

guest bedroom

Guest bedroom lighting should accomplish functional needs, while also making the space warm and comforting, says Sheva Knopfler, decor expert and co-founder of Lights.com. To accomplish this, make sure to have a bright primary light—so that guests don't feel like they're staying in the dim, forgotten spare room—and table or floor lamps to allow guests lower-light options when they want them. Just make sure to pay attention to the color temperature of each light around the room, Knopfler says, so you don't end up with a mismatched lighting environment.

09 of 12

Add playful wallpaper

Space of Week, Wallpaper Guest Room
Courtesy of Erin Wheeler

Decorating an accent wall (or multiple) with a playful wallpaper is a fast way to make a guest bedroom look well thought-out. We love this gallery-wall inspired wallpaper used by Erin Wheeler, designer and stylist behind the website Sunny Circle Studio, in her North Carolina home. The addition of vintage artwork on top gives even more depth and personality to the space.

10 of 12

Choose a calming, all-over color

One Room Challenge, Pink Bedroom
Fariha Nasir

As with wallpaper, a cohesive paint job can quickly transform a guest bedroom into a dreamy destination. Along with beadboard and box molding, Houston-based design blogger Fariha Nasir of Pennies for a Fortune revamped her guest bedroom with an all-over shade of warm, rosy pink.

11 of 12

Create a multi-purpose hangout space

Space of the Week, Guest Room

While a guest bedroom should be a cozy place for visitors, it's better yet if you can get use out of it for all time when it's unoccupied throughout the year. That was the goal for architect Amanda Gunawan, the founding principal at OWIU (The Only Way Is Up), when she redesigned this Los Angeles loft. The design features a hidden futon that can be pulled out when visitors come, and stored away when guests aren't around to make room to use the space as a hangout spot.

12 of 12

Work with what you've got

Bed with green duvet and bedside light
Design by Sarah Sherman Samuel / Photography by Nicole Franzen

The basement is a common location for guest bedrooms, and it's easy to feel uninspired when trying to imagine the space as warm and inviting. Interior designer Sarah Sherman Samuel accomplished this tricky feat when she revamped her outdated, faux-wood paneled basement room into a cozy space for guests. Rather than abandoning the concept altogether, she modernized it, by installing new wood floors and bringing the wood up three-fourths of the wall behind the bed, using natural attributes as an inviting design element.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles