A guest room is, foremost, a home away from home. No matter what your style, you'll want to create that special haven. But such spaces don't have to be off limits either. You can use that "extra" room as your sanctuary, too. Or make practical uses when the welcome sign is not hanging on the door.
|Nancy Lindemeyer was a groundbreaking editor for over twenty years with home magazines Better Homes & Gardens and Victoria. Today she is a consultant for leading home products companies, and is gifted with unique insight into the home-related aspirations of women of all ages.|
Know yourself. If your guest room is a reflection of you, your visitors will always be comfortable in your home. Guests will relish a comfy bed, a place to stash a few things, books and magazines to peruse, good bedside lighting, and of course radio, CDs, TV, and DVDs when they want to retreat. A mini fridge would be an added plus for keeping cool drinks and a bedtime snack.
Styles You and Your Guests Will Love
Friendly and Understated
|Albany Park bedroom|
The Albany Park bedroom furniture collection communicates a warm, casual welcome to your guests. Many styles and sizes of beds offer a fit for any room. A gracious choice is the queen sleigh bed. Other alternatives, with the same comfortable feeling, include a king headboard and twin panel beds - all with rogue cherry veneers in a deep brown distressed finish.
A Cozy Sanctuary
|Antique pewter bedroom|
Here is a guest room you might wish to use as your own getaway...to read, write, dream. Create a place to indulge your personal spirit - every piece chosen with a special magic in mind. Mix in family pieces or cherished antiques. Our decorator metal beds and bedroom sets, with their vintage pedigrees, are just the place to begin. Select antique pewter, with a complimentary round bedside table and bench, or cast antique brass in a commodious queen size.
|Antique brass queen bed|
Ideas to inspire you in decorating your room
Collections, from paperweights to figurines to American glass, will intrigue your guests. Keep treasures safe and secure in our bookcase curio. If you've been collecting picture frames at yard sales and flea markets, cluster them together on your wall - with pictures or not! For prints, look for florals or collect just a single flower - like roses (there are lots around).
- White linens, pillow covers, and comforters provide an oasis in a cozy room with lots going on. Fresh cottons, or French matelassé prints, are refreshing but not austere. Mix in a toile or a bold print here and there, but be sparing with lace or embroidery.
- Baskets, especially ones in dark stains, make great caches for fabrics, books, and even a few extra sweaters and scarves a guest might take on a chilly outing.
Reading and writing materials are accommodated in this domed-top writing desk. Your favorite antique or art books will be welcomed by guests, who might also like guide books to local museums and galleries. A few art postcards or notecards in the cubbyholes are nice touches, too. Two other charming choices are a mini-desk with room for a laptop and lots of other surprising storage, and a half-round writing desk with swing-out drawers and compartments.
|Domed top writing desk|
|Half-round writing desk|
Viewing and listening. Whether sneaking off to watch Casablanca one more time or picking out DVDs and CDs especially for your guests, you'll find these two entertainment centers an ideal part of a romantic retreat. Both have decorative features that conceal their true function.
baths are a true guest luxury. Have a couple of comfy robes available and lots and lots of towels, soaps, and the amenities you'd get in a lovely hotel. This traditional sink chest, with its satin nickel fixtures, is compact and blends beautifully into an intimate setting.
|Traditional sink chest|
Small, Fresh, and Inviting
Making much of little is the solution when your home is full up with regular residents. Using Swedish Accents from Smartkids, you can put up any grownup in European hospitality. Some of the prettiest and most inviting rooms have just a few wonderful things. Keeping the color palette simple and muted makes every bit of space restful and relaxing. A daybed takes on the feel and function of a sofa when a room isn't in nighttime service. If you have the space, twin poster beds are an elegant bedroom furniture choice.
|SmartKids day bed|
|SmartKids poster bed|
Ideas to inspire you in dressing your room
Fabric choices. Small-checked linens in blues and white are traditional yet never out of style. Or select solids in pastels, with a delicate print for accentuation. Finding an old fabric, even a piece of a worn old plaid blanket, you may make a nice accent piece for pillows. Old blanket pieces, stitched together with yarn, make a great wrap around the shoulders for reading in bed.
- Your own handwork, with just a touch of crewel embroidery on linen, or a piece of knitting you stretch across a pillow, are warmly welcoming. A narrow crocheted edge on bed sheeting is a memorable touch. A small button collection can be stitched on a decorative pillow for more personality.
- A few favorite things in the bookcase, like a collection of favorite children's stories with wonderful covers, or simple wooden boxes (perhaps covered in fabric) are all you need for a note of peace in your room. Balls of twine in a white ceramic bowl make another arresting accessory.
Photographs of the kids - just a few large ones, black and white, sepia-tone or solarized, in white frames - give a guest the reassuring feeling he?s among family.
- A pretty piece, like a vanity with bench and mirror, gives you a chance to show off a few crystal perfume bottles or a vase of fresh daises, to welcome visiting friends.
- Scrapbooks from family vacations, or a notebook of great nature walks in your area, may repose on shelves in the armoire. Or stock it with DVDs of your favorite nature shows or films.
- And of course books and magazines communicating the tastes you and your guests share.
|Albany Park armoire|