How to decorate a warm and welcoming guest room

Inspiring Interiors, Tips & Tricks

At The Inside, we’re always dreaming and decorating because we believe a thoughtful room is a soulful experience — it can lift your spirits, set you at ease, spark joy. This warm magic of “feeling at home” extends to all the loved ones and guests that you welcome into your space as well, so we’ve curated our favorite design ideas to create a guest room that feels like a sanctuary.

The key to a great guest room is to create an organized and uncluttered space that still feels like you. You want it to feel like a home, not a hotel (although there are certainly some hotel room design tips we think translate very well into a guest room!) so don’t be afraid to add your own flair. The dream is to create a guest room your guests don’t want to leave. 

This post will cover all of our guest bedroom decorating ideas, but keep in mind these styling tips can be applied to your formal living, family room, or really any other room in your house!

Incorporate lighting to create an ideal guest bedroom design

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The Inside’s Art Deco Bed in Talc Linen

You want your guest room to have natural light, but if that room doesn’t have that luxury, you can still create a serene and welcoming environment. Sconces on either side of the bed are a great way to add lighting without the need for table lamps, especially if you are tight on space. If you have room for a chandelier, we love a unique design – maybe even a family antique! This is a great way to add your personal touch to this room. 

The color palette you use is another way to trick the eye into thinking the room has more light. If the space is small, try bright paint colors. If you’re a neutral lover and minimalist at heart, bright doesn’t have to be colorful. White paint is clean, fresh, and most importantly, bright. 

Another design idea is the inclusion of big wall art or large mirrors. These can make small spaces feel much bigger. It sounds counterintuitive, but we encourage you to give it a try and let us know your thoughts. Looking for something less permanent? A decorative screen can serve as a large-scale piece of art, but also functions as a clothes hanger headboard, or chic way to hide unsightly clutter.

Experiment with playful furniture and decor

If your guest room is currently a blank slate and you’re looking to perform a complete makeover or if you just have some minor decor tweaks to make, the obvious first place to start is the bed. There are so many great options when it comes to a guest room because while it needs to be functional, there’s also room to experiment. Some fun and slightly different room ideas that you may not be able to incorporate in other rooms in your house include opting for two twin beds, a daybed, or even bunk beds. With a daybed there’s also the opportunity to add storage space by creating some DIY drawers underneath the bed itself. Perhaps you just need a quick refresh, in which case an upholstered headboard in a bold pattern will do the trick.

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Autumn Adeigbo‘s home | The Inside’s Upholstered Headboard in Fawn

Whatever bed option you go with, toss some throw pillows to add a decorative flare. Our favorite kind of pillow pairings are unexpected patterns that you wouldn’t necessarily assume go well together but end up looking perfectly curated.

Next, add some bedside tables and matching lamps. This will immediately make the room feel polished and put together. For a personal touch, add a photo or small painting and a couple of books. These can go on the tables or even below if there’s a small shelf. 

As long as your guest room is large enough to house both a bed and a side chair, we highly recommend the inclusion of a chair. The Petite Slipper Chair is a smaller version of a decorating classic that originally made its debut in the early 1700s and is still a favorite amongst interior decorators today. Given its versatile shape and size, it’s a must-have for any guest room.

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The Inside’s Cocktail Chair in Lapis Lanai by Scalamandré

Pick a theme and make it cozy

No matter your style, it can be helpful to pick a theme that blends well with the rest of your home and run with it. This is particularly useful if you’re in a bit of a rush to get the room ready for incoming guests. We find it can be easier to throw a room design in a pinch when you know exactly what you’re looking for. We also love to continually tweak our designs and add home decor pieces here and there over time. 

However, what’s even more important is that the space is cozy. A cozy room is inviting and makes guests feel at home. While the guest room might not get the same attention as every other room in your house, it certainly can make an impression on your guests. So let your guest room exude coziness and create a tranquil and restful environment.

Keep it clutter free

Many times a guest room does double duty and is also a home office. It can be hard to keep a home office clutter free, especially if your home office is your full time office. 

Try a Skirted Storage Ottoman, which offers sneaky storage for guests or office materials. Or if you are tight on space, get creative with a folding office desk that can be tucked in a closet when not in use. Pull up a chic Dining Chair that functions doubly as a desk and a corner chair for guests.

Don’t forget toiletries and fresh linens

Once your guests are on the calendar and the weekend is quickly approaching, the final touches are key. Don’t fret – we aren’t suggesting you go overboard. You won’t need to turn your home into the best B&B. Your guests are coming into your home, and that’s exactly what they expect. A home. 

That said, folding a coverlet or a duvet cover at the end of the bed instantly makes your guests want to cuddle up. Add an extra blanket in case your guests get cold at night. Simply hang it over a chair or put it on the desk. Don’t forget to put fresh bed linens on the bed, but we’re sure you’ve got that covered. If your guests are flying in, it’s also a nice gesture to make sure there are some extra toiletries in the bathroom. Always have the wi-fi password handy upon their arrival. Trust us, you will be asked for this. 

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The Inside’s Square Back Headboard in Cerulean Frida

The final touches we suggest are adding some fresh flowers and a small carafe on a bedside table or even your desk if it’s your home office. Trust us, these little additions will blow your guests away. 

Finally, remember, it’s all about seeing your friends and family. Don’t stress too much.

These guest bedroom ideas are just some of the many, many tips and tricks out there. If you have a master bedroom or kid’s bedroom decor ideas you love, that can be replicated in the guest room. Remember, you are the homeowner and have the ability to create the room and house that fits best with your lifestyle and interior design aesthetic. We hope that these tips will help you create a space that feels considered and welcoming — the perfect backdrop for creating new memories with loved ones.

About Us

The Inside is a home furnishings brand that believes in the joy of decorating. That is why we’re making furniture fun, with access to more design for more value. Think of us as your shortcut to a chic home, for every style and budget.


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