5 ways with pattern to create a guest room they'll never want to leave

Welcoming guests in the holidays? Here's how to infuse their bedroom with character and charm through pattern

Four poster bed in pink and white
(Image credit: Madeaux)

Holiday season is approaching again, and with it comes house guests. You may be asking yourself how to quickly transform that cluttered box room into a space that's welcoming and packed with charm rather than your paperwork overflow.

Guest room ideas for all of us tend to be non-committal. After all, it's likely if you are decorating a guest bedroom that you are looking for ways to make it multi-purpose. Perhaps your search for guest room office ideas have to coincide with a characterful space? 

The answer, says Richard Smith at luxury fabrics and wallcoverings brand Madeaux, lies in mixing patterns and prints in the interior design of the space. And, he adds, it's a good room to experiment with patterns if you haven't used them elsewhere before.

'For those who are fearful of how to combine and layer color and pattern, it can be daunting introducing these elements into a room that you use every day. However, a guest bedroom is a brilliant space to start,' says Richard.

'Why not have fun creating a truly unique bedroom that will surprise and delight your guests as the holiday season approaches? It may also potentially allow you to feel more confident about combining color and pattern elsewhere in your home.'

Here, Richard offers his top tips for using pattern within a guest room.

Richard Smith
Richard Smith

Richard Smith has designed beautiful fabrics for famed brands such as Rubelli and Osborne & Little. He created his fabric house Madeaux in 2011, for which he creates covetable printed, embroidered and woven fabrics, producing seasonal capsule collections that are inspired as much by the wildlife found right on his doorstep as by the ancient documents or vintage tapestries unearthed during his travels.

1. Use the hero pattern as your starting point

Bed with coronet and patterned wallpaper and bedding in a bedroom

(Image credit: Madeaux)

'When looking to add differing elements, it may seem obvious but start with a pattern that you love; people often choose plainer, more neutral designs in fear, but the result is likely to be an uninspiring space that won’t hold your interest in the long term,' says Richard. 

'Once you have found that a pattern or print that makes you smile, look to introducing other motifs in a similar color palette. If you refine your palette to two or shades it will ultimately be easier to layer additional patterns that will build the combination of colors and pattern in harmony.'

2. Work in contrasting patterns for a curated look

Bed with intricate headboard in traditional bedroom

(Image credit: Madeaux)

Choosing floral room decor doesn't mean you can't decorate with stripes, too. In fact, it's recommended. 

'It is a good idea to mix and contrast different types of pattern within the scheme. For example, a stripe or floral with a geometric; the more linear design works well with the exuberance and unpredictable relief of a floral, adding a framework and structure,' says Richard. 

'This can also be said of scale, a mix of larger patterns with smaller scale will provide a sense of balance within the overall look.'

Learn how to style a bed with pattern like this and you will have created a welcoming focal point for the space, effortlessly.

3. Give the pattern room to breathe 

Bed with intricate headboard in traditional bedroom

(Image credit: Madeaux)

'Choosing patterns that hold a lot of white or black within the repeat is also a good way to allow the motif a little space to breathe, grounding brighter hues of color and allowing the eye to detect and enjoy each pattern individually,' says Richard.

This is a particularly good idea for small guest bedrooms and guest bathrooms.

4. Pick florals for a beautiful finish

Bed with intricate headboard in traditional bedroom

(Image credit: Madeaux)

'Choosing floral wallpapers that fill the walls with the beauty of the garden are timeless and can create a real sense of escapism with their immediate connection to nature,' says Richard.

'Paper across all four walls to create a really exuberant display that will cocoon and envelop your guests. The bed can be layered with bedlinen, a mix of cushions and perhaps a soft quilt or chunky throw, welcoming your guests and inviting them to relax and unwind.'

Lighting schemes for guest bedrooms can be equally exuberant, or restrained for a pleasing contrast. 

5. Dress the bed to impress

Four poster bed in bedroom with bedside table

(Image credit: Madeaux)

Styling a four poster bed with fabric adds a layer of luxury to a guest space.

'If you have a four poster bed, why not bring the pattern into the fabric overhead for the most opulent finish allowing your guests to feel very spoilt, creating an indulgent hotel escape feel?' says Richard.

'Don’t forget the personal touches such as a robe behind the door, a vase of favorite flowers and a selection of books and the latest magazines. The only issue is they may never want to leave!'

Lucy Searle
Content Director

Lucy Searle has written about interiors, property and gardens since 1990, working her way around the interiors departments of women's magazines before switching to interiors-only titles in the mid-nineties. She was Associate Editor on Ideal Home, and Launch Editor of 4Homes magazine, before moving into digital in 2007, launching Channel 4's flagship website, Channel4.com/4homes. In 2018, Lucy took on the role of Global Editor in Chief for Realhomes.com, taking the site from a small magazine add-on to a global success. She was asked to repeat that success at Homes & Gardens, where she also took on the editorship of the magazine. Today, Lucy works as Content Director across Homes & Gardens, Woman & Home, Ideal Home and Real Homes.