Whether you're preparing for holiday arrivals or just a long-awaited visit from family or friends, when designing a spare room and thinking about guest bedroom ideas, always put comfort first - whether bright, soothing, spacious or cosy.
A trick often missed when revamping a spare room is to make it feel as comfortable as other rooms in the house. Be daring and use patterns, or snug dark tones, and add cushions and layer fabrics.Susie Watson, founder of Susie Watson Designs, says: 'A guest bedroom should feel like a home from home, and during the winter months warmth is key. I create a cosy space by layering colours and textures, using cushions, quilts, throws and lamps.'
Irene Gunter, founder of Gunter & Co, suggests to ensure you use proper curtains or Roman blinds, and also to be punchier with pattern or colour, adding: 'You can risk it in here.'
In small spaces, decorative options include choosing a neutral backdrop and then adding pattern and colour, or taking a bolder step. Interior designer Penny Morrison says: 'Dark lacquered walls are smart in a study and pictures stand out well against them. When the room turns into a guest bedroom, bright lampshades can be introduced to add colour accents, alongside boldly patterned cushions and throws for extra cosiness.'
Inspiring guest bedroom ideas
1. FIVE STAR
For the ultimate guest room, put together a scheme that resembles a first-class hotel suite. Keep the hospitality element front of mind, and don't be tempted to create a space that's personal or idiosyncratic. Leave surfaces clutter-free, as guests will bring their own possessions.
2. ACTION STATIONS
When considering guest bedroom ideas, remember that no one enjoys living out of a suitcase, so guests will welcome somewhere convenient to hang clothes alongside plenty of shelf space. A built-in wardrobe and dressing table can neatly make use of space under a pitched roof, and mirrored doors have the effect of extending the space.
3. IT TAKES TWO
Simple design decisions can make a guest room work hard when two people are sharing. In the picture below, the bedside table has two drawers, one for each guest, and the lamp divides the table top to mark a space for each person's bedtime reading, while the checks and stripes suit most tastes.
4. WELL DRESSED
'A guest bedroom provides the perfect opportunity to step a little outside of your comfort zone,' says Tiffany Duggan, director, Studio Duggan. 'Guests are likely to only be visiting for a relatively short time, and so we like to approach a space just as we would an eccentric boutique hotel; a patterned wallpaper with a feature headboard in a bold colour always works particularly well.'
5. THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS
If you're hosting guests for Christmas, be sure to add a festive touch to the room. Keep decorations more subtle and sophisticated than elsewhere in the house - it is, after all, a place to sleep - by maintaining a tight colour scheme, such as green and silver.
6.IT'S ALL IN THE DETAILS
Make sure your guest room doesn’t have a neglected ambience, and remember to hang pictures and mirrors, and add fresh or faux flowers to the room. Leaving reading material, like magazines or books, is also a lovely cosy gesture.
7. SINGLE OUT
A daybed is a good way to make rooms of limited dimensions seem bigger and ensure that they are working harder. Use a welcoming bright colour, and finish with ambient accessories, like throws, books, flowers and art.
See more: Green room ideas - discover the colours to always be seen