Welcoming Retreat for Winter Guests

Using a soft, wintry palette and welcoming touches, a catch-all room is transformed into a tailored guest suite for holiday visitors.

Chic Guest Getaway

Previously used as a catch-all space, this 16 x 14-foot second-story bedroom was reinvented as a cozy, wintry retreat for holiday guests. From the icy shade of blue used on the walls to the crisp white and shiny silver accents, the space is now sophisticated and soft.

Icy Palette

To keep the space feeling light and bright during the cold winter months, the vaulted ceiling was left white to help bounce light throughout the space, highlighting its soft hues and metallic touches.

Soothing Tones and Textures

When designing guest suites, it's smart to stick with textures and colors that evoke a feeling of tranquility. Here, a classic upholstered headboard in a neutral sand tone is paired with icy blue-gray bedding and a glossy, lacquered gray nightstand. For a tone-on-tone effect, a ceramic lamp slightly darker than the wall color was used.

Space-Saving Design

When space is at a premium, many designers use furniture and accents in unexpected ways. With the headboard wall measuring only 9 feet wide, there was not enough space to accommodate nightstands on each side. So, to keep the space properly lit, the bed is flanked with a nightstand and table lamp on one side, and a polished nickel floor lamp on the other.

Built-In Desk

Whether it's for checking email, reading books or sending out last-minute holiday cards and gifts, guests will likely need their own designated spot to get stuff done. To put otherwise dead space to good use, an awkward corner with a sloping ceiling was customized as a mini-office for winter guests, complete with open storage for books and a cork bulletin board for holiday cards, reminders and invitations.

Functional Corkboard

To outfit the space above the workstation as a bulletin board, 12 x 12-inch cork squares were adhered directly to the wall with glue. For a more finished look, the cork was framed out with molding and painted the same shade as the rest of the millwork seen throughout the space.

Corkboard Detail

Thanks to an assortment of pins and tacks, guests can easily keep their holiday correspondence or gift wrapping supplies clearly in view and within arm's reach by tacking them up onto the corkboard.

Local Artwork

Introduce guests to your local surroundings and culture with vernacular art subjects. Here, a local north Georgia barn was photographed in black and white, then printed and framed as the focal point from the bed.

Handy Hat Rack

Hat racks are great for entryways, but winter guests may also need their own spot to stash outerwear. Allow space for jackets, hats, sweaters and scarves with a hat rack designated for guest room use.

Style Underfoot

Guest rooms with wall-to-wall carpet can instantly be updated with color, texture and pattern with the introduction of area rugs. Here, a striped woolen rug featuring different shades of blue and gray delineates the bed from the rest of the room and helps layer the icy blue and gray tones.

Metallic Accents

Metallic touches can add a wintry effect to any space, large or small. For a classic touch of metallic, a ceiling fixture made of iron and crystal was installed in the center of the room.

Roman Shades

Proper light control is important for guests who prefer to sleep in. When windows are too short to accommodate drapery, an excellent alternative is a Roman shade. Made from embossed linen, the three Roman shades used here are lined with blackout liners, allowing guests to completely block out the sun during the early morning hours.

Window Seat

What was considered dead space now serves as a comfy spot for guests to lounge and look outside. To blend the window seat seamlessly with the rest of the room, it was painted the same shade of white used on the trim, and accented with pillows and cushions featuring the same shades of blue and gray seen throughout the space.

Comfy Desk Chair

Although it may seem like a small detail, a comfy chair makes a huge impact on the successful use of a space, especially one meant for rest and relaxation. Rather than a standard desk chair, a plush slipcovered armless Parsons chair was selected for the workstation. Should the guest room receive more than its fair share of use, the slipcover can simply be tossed in the washer.

Integrated Bookshelves

In addition to desk space and a corkboard, the built-in workstation is equipped with open storage cubbies to hold books, magazines, handbags or backpacks.

Muted Hues

Focused on a less-is-more effect, the entire room is layered in several shades of blue-gray, white, off-white and silver.

Wi-Fi Reminder

To make Wi-Fi access easy and breezy, why not incorporate the network and password in your guest room's decor? Here, basic pillowcases were dropped off with a local seamstress, who monogrammed the flanges with the name of the network and the homeowner's password. Should guests forget the login information, they can find it right on their pillow and avoid late-night inquiries to the host.

Sneaky Storage

As the saying goes, "There's a place for everything and everything in its place." So why not make that the case for your guest room? Help visitors keep their valuables tucked away but within arm's reach with integrated hooks in unexpected spots. Here, a simple coat hook was added just below the workstation to keep handbags easily accessible when credit cards are needed to order online items, yet also tucked away enough to remain hidden from view.