15 Tips for Turning Your Guest Bedroom Into a Retreat

Expecting overnight guests? Steal style from boutique hotels to turn your spare bedroom into a five-star getaway.

  • Fresh and Simple

    Fresh flowers are a must but creating an arrangement doesn't have to be a chore. Pick up a few bunches at the grocery store or local florist, snip the ends then plop them in a vase. Tulips are a natural choice because they're available year-round and their droopy shape lends itself to fuss-free arrangements.

  • Thibaut traditional guest bedroom with twin beds

    Make It Plush

    Create an environment that promotes a great night's sleep. Start with high-thread-count, 100 percent cotton sheets then add a thick duvet and pile on lots of fluffy pillows.

  • Invite Them to Relax With a Good Read

    Stock bedside tables with current magazines or books that are a quick read. Literary-minded guests will appreciate the chance to wind down after a long day of activities. Design by Sarah Richardson

  • Simple Nightstand Complements Contemporary Bed

    On the Clock

    Ensure that guests don't miss any planned activities (or an early morning flight) by placing a small clock in their room. If the clock is a new purchase, test its noise level first by holding it close to your ear — no one wants to lie awake all night listening to tick-tock.

  • Wicker Basket with Linens

    Help Them Feel at Home

    Use a deep basket to stash guest towels, a robe and extra blankets. Place it visibly in the room so guests have everything they need to freshen up on arrival.

  • Traditional Master Bedroom

    Add a Mirror

    Hang a small mirror in the guest room to provide a spot for touching up makeup or putting on jewelry. If space allows, a long dressing mirror is an even better addition.

  • Let Them Help Themselves

    Take a cue from five-star hotels and stock the guest room with mugs, a teapot and small packets of coffee and tea so guests can help themselves to a warm cup whenever they'd like. Design by Sarah Richardson

  • Mirror Wall Art

    Put Even the Smallest Spaces to Work

    Designer Layla Palmer turned an underused bathroom into this sunny (and super cute!) guest room. Just 6'x6', the former bathroom was too small for a full-size bed but just right for a daybed and nightstand, perfect for a visiting child or single adult.

  • Valencich Bedroom Nighstand

    No Nightstand, No Problem

    Don't rush out to buy new furniture if your guest bedroom is missing a few pieces — just improvise. Designer Erinn Valencich brought in a weathered garden step to serve as a bedside table. Its rustic patina adds charm while the steps create display space.

  • Wood Dresser Drawers

    Stock the Necessities

    Everyone forgets to pack at least one thing when they travel. Cover their bases by stocking dresser drawers with a few travel-size essentials.

  • Add Bedside Lighting

    Task lighting, like this adjustable desk lamp, allows night owls to enjoy a good book or catch up on email without disturbing the rest of the house. Design by Sarah Richardson

  • Healthy Snacks

    A low dish of apples not only adds a pop of color; it also puts healthful snacks within guests' easy reach. Best of all, this light snack won't ruin their appetite for dinner.

  • Valencich Blue Bedroom Floral Bedspread

    Dress the Windows

    Add inexpensive blinds, roller shades or ready-made draperies to any windows that aren't covered. A guest in your home is on vacation and will appreciate a dark room for sleeping in. If late nights are part of your plans, consider purchasing blackout drapes, which will more efficiently block out early morning sunlight.

  • LaylaPalmer bedside table

    Make It Personal

    If your overnight guests are family or close friends, it's always a nice touch to display photos of happy times spent together; everyone enjoys a trip down memory lane. Photo courtesy of Erin Southwell

  • Create a Dressing Area

    Shop the house to find items like a small table or desk and chair that can function as a vanity. Don't worry if they don't match; mismatched styles and finishes lend a collected-over-time look. Design by Sarah Richardson

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