Creating a Guest Room Worthy of 5 Stars



When interviewed on the topic of guest rooms by House & Garden, London-based interior designer, Rita Konig once said, “when decorating houses, I find guest bedrooms are the most liberating to design. On one hand, there is less pressure for them to be fabulous; on the other, they don’t have to be something you will not tire of, so you can be more adventurous.” We couldn’t have put it better ourselves. It is for these exact reasons that we are particularly fond of guest room projects. By letting go of the standards that we hold ourselves to for other bedrooms in our homes, more often than not, guest rooms tend to be our most exciting design achievements. Here’s what we like to keep in mind when designing, in order to deliver a 5 star experience for our guests…

#1 Remember, The Requirements are Different 

The biggest and most liberating thing to remember when designing a guest room is that the requirements are different to that of any other bedroom in your home. Unlike your master bedroom, for example, the occupants (one hopes, at least!) will only stay for a short while. This means that the room need not be burdened with hulking pieces of furniture. Things like large chests of drawers are unnecessary. Instead, if the room has a closet, install a smart shelving system to get the most out of the space. In the absence of a closet, an armoire can serve as both a stylish and functional piece in the room that sets the tone. When considering bedside tables, the same rules apply. The large, multi-drawer bedside tables in your principal bedroom are likely unnecessary for your guests. This is the place to put those sculptural plastered end tables that you were eyeing but couldn’t justify for your own room. This freedom from long-term storage creates incredible design opportunities that you don’t necessarily  have in other rooms so embrace it and focus on form over function for once! 

Photo courtesy of AD.

#2 Splurge on Good- Quality Rest

When it comes to the bed in your guest room, it’s worth remembering that good rest makes for good houseguests! With that in mind, we suggest investing in a high-quality mattress and pillows for comfort. As for the sheets, think about the texture, fibre and thread count of the material first but then have some fun with it! A guest bedroom is a great place to experiment with bold patterns and of-the-moment hues. We generally aim for a, “Wow! I love it!” kind of reaction with unexpected, gutsy selections.

Photo courtesy of AD.

#3 Think About the Practical Little Things

Once you’ve covered the basics, it’s time to think about what else your guests might need. Where might they put their luggage for instance? Foldable luggage racks are a simple and easy-to-store addition. An armchair is always useful to fling one’s dress or clutch upon at the end of the evening and there also ought to be some sort of work surface, if space allows. This could be in the form of a dressing or makeup table or even a desk. An attractive little trash bin is something that is often forgotten yet essential and plenty of hooks are useful in addition to the aforementioned armoire or closet, as hanging storage is typically far more useful to travellers than folding storage. Window treatments with a blackout option will be greatly appreciated by guests traveling from a different time zone and for those who are still adjusting, an adequate source of light  both by the bedside and armchair are ideal for reading at odd hours in the morning. Finally, every guest room simply must have a mirror. Ideally, this is a full-length mirror that allows your guest to inspect their outfits but if space doesn’t allow, at the very least a mirror big enough to do makeup will suffice.

Photo courtesy of AD.

#4 Add the Little Touches from Your Favourite Hotel

Last, but certainly not least, it’s time to add in those small but appreciated details that are reminiscent of your most-loved luxury hotel. For one, there should always be a supply of water for your guests either in the form of bottled water on the bedside tables or, better yet, an elegant set of a carafe and glasses. A fluffy robe and slippers are always lovely for the morning or to travel to and from a bathroom. Speaking of bathrooms, little bottles of shampoo and bath gels with heavenly fragrances never go unappreciated. In our homes, if we’re being perfectly honest, these little vials usually consist of the ones we’ve nicked from our favourite hotels in our travels; Ortigia soaps from The Colony in Palm Beach, Byredo body lotions from the Four Seasons in Montreal… you get the idea. In fact, when it comes to toiletries in general, it’s worth thinking about the things you’ve had to ring down for in a hotel; tooth brushes, toothpaste and the like are commonly forgotten. An additional consideration might be a small sound system that your guests can wirelessly connect to for music, sleep sounds, podcasts or what have you. If, at the end of this process you’re still not entirely sure whether you’ve covered it all, do as the experts do. Kelly Wearstler is no stranger to creating fabulous hotel suites and as part of her design process, she makes a point of spending a night in each style of room in order to ensure that the layout makes sense and all the bases are covered. 

Photo Courtesy of AD