How to Furnish Your Guest Room


The latter half of the year is where it all happens. Holidays, BBQ’s, cross-country travel, parties, and Christmas festivities. It’s a time to spend with family and friends, and to enjoy the extra time together. Chances are, you will be called upon to accommodate a houseguest at some point, but that’s okay, right?

Well, yes! Having a houseguest stay for a short time must surely be one of the most pleasurable aspects of running your own household. It’s a chance to show off your interior design and stylistic prowess; a chance to dazzle and leave a stunning impression that will be talked about for…well okay, maybe not.

But the fact is, whether it’s for a weekend or a week, making sure that your houseguests feel as comfortable as possible is something of an art form. A comfortable guest room takes the stress out of a guest’s visit for all concerned. Fortunately, you only need some basic furnishings and a degree of empathy to create a room that any guest will appreciate.

To help you create a masterpiece, we have listed the furnishing must-haves that we think make all the difference when the time comes to step up and be the hostess with the most-ess.


arm in a comfy bed

Image: Elizabeth Lies

Anyone who’s ever stayed in unfamiliar surroundings –  whether it’s a hotel room, holiday home, or even a friend or family member’s home – can attest to the difficulty of getting a good night’s, restful sleep.

The most important thing you can provide for a guest is a cosy, comfortable place to rest, which means getting the bed right is paramount. It’s fair to say the guest bed is unlikely to get regular use (you’re not running a hotel, right?), so whether you invest in a new bed should depend on your circumstances. Where possible, provide the comfort and luxury of a double or king-sized bed – your guest will thank you for it.

Paying attention to the details is what makes all the difference – freshly washed and ironed (yes, ironed) bed linens are a must. Consider adding a few scatter cushions to create a beautifully distinctive aesthetic, one that you can change up to suit the room and your personality as often as you like.


Blenheim blue patterned high back chair

Brecon Damask Grey Woburn Highback Chair


If you hold ambitions of being the perfect host, do not underestimate the importance of a comfy place for your guest to sit. Some people don’t feel comfortable sitting on a bed – and your guests shouldn't have to –  because there’s something distinctly unwelcoming about having to perch on the end of the bed, whilst getting dressed, reading, or checking one’s phone.

Level-up your hosting with a perfectly upholstered fabric armchair with a table and lamp close by. Go for a high-backed chair so your guest can fully recline and relax. Our extensive range of armchairs come in lots of colours and fabrics, both patterned and plain, so it’s easy to pick the one that fits perfectly in your space.


blenheim blue jacquard storage footstool
Usk Duck Egg Blenheim Storage Stool

A luxurious footstool could well be the unexpected extra that turns you from good host to standout host. No guest bedroom should ever feature a lazy-boy recliner (it’s not the 90’s anymore), but the option to put your feet up and take the weight off is always welcome.

Footstools are just so versatile, with some featuring a hinged top allowing you to store a selection of magazines for your guest’s perusal. Our range of footstools come in a host of different shapes, sizes and colours, to coordinate perfectly with your cosy chair.


whitewashed wood bedside table with lamp and plant

Image: Cheryl Winn-Boujnida

A bedside table or drawer serves as the main station for your guest’s bits and bobs, and even a small one is better than nothing at all. This allows essentials such as a phone, purse, and other knick-knacks to be stored within easy reach. A good solid table with small shelves or a drawer, also provides some much-appreciated privacy.

Never present a completely empty bedside table – it’ll look stark and make your guest feel like they can’t use it without messing with your Feng Shui. Consider adorning the bedside table with a subtle clock and a stylish bedside lamp. For added ‘host-points’, why not leave a selection of toiletries in a small basket or beautiful box – toothpaste, deodorant, cotton buds, etc. – the things we all forget in the hullabaloo of packing.


Made-up bed with wooden wardrobe, mirror and bedside lamp

Image: Pexels

An “appropriately” lit guest room serves many different purposes. Functionally, it’s important your guest can turn on a light as they enter the room, to check out their new surroundings and fully appreciate your style and hard work – since they may be arriving during darkness. Provide a soothing nightlight so your guest can read and enjoy a tranquil and mellow end to the evening.

Use lighting to transform a small room by creating an airy, light-filled space, or to accentuate (or hide) areas of the room that you want to show off. Getting the lighting just right creates the perfect ambience for your guest to enjoy.


hanging wardrobe with floral decor

Image: Priscilla Du Preez

If your guest is staying longer than 24 hours, you must provide a clothing storage solution. Neither you nor they want to see their underwear or perfectly paired (and thus embargoed) outfits on display. Free up a chest of drawers or part of a wardrobe, ideally in the same room in which they are staying; it’s important your guest has independence and feels comfortable under your roof.


indoor log fire

Image: Olivia Henry

So often overlooked, an unwelcome temperature runs the risk of spoiling the impression of your interior design prowess. An uncomfortably hot or shivering guest is not what you want. The difficulty here, is that everyone is different, and reacts differently to varying temperatures – which means you have no hope of getting it right. Your best bet is to let your guest set the temperature themselves, by providing options, such as access to a heater or radiator, blankets, an open window, air conditioning – you get the idea. Modern homes can quickly become stuffy and uncomfortable, making it difficult to settle, relax and sleep. For one of our favourite heat-hacks, switch the bedding to cotton or linen, and avoid synthetic materials, because natural fibres can help to regulate body heat and wick away moisture from overheated skin.

Playing host should be an enjoyable experience for all concerned, and whilst a good job may not make you the talk-of-the-town, the sense of pride and delight at having provided a lovely home away from home will leave you with that warm and fuzzy feeling.


Just be sure that your hosting effort is consistent with how soon you would like to see your guest return, because there is such a thing as ‘too soon’!

Posted in Homemaking, Interior Design on 21st Jul 2017


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