We’ve pulled together 24 stunning – and welcoming – guest bedroom ideas to help you create a space that’s both stylish and practical.
After the year we’ve all had, chances are that the guest bedroom hasn’t had much use – it might be serving as a play room, home office or storage room at the moment. But even during normal times a guest bedroom is often one of the most overlooked rooms in the home in terms of decor.
There’s never been a better time to completely revamp your guest space, ahead of welcoming visitors. The modern bedroom ideas below range from statement looks like dark colour schemes, mural wallpaper and clever headboard designs, to timeless and neutral looks.
But the most important guest bedroom ideas to take away here are the finishing touches – because when it comes to welcoming visitors to stay, it’s the little things that make all the difference. Whatever decor scheme you decide to go for, make sure the room has a wastepaper basket, some bottled water (or even a mini fridge for hotel-style comfort or if the room is in a separate guest house), fluffy towels and a bath robe. You could take things up a level by also providing a phone charger, some reading material, and a box of toiletries to help themselves to. A potted plant or vase of fresh flowers will instantly refresh and revive a space that hasn’t seen much use in a while.
But be warned, with ideas so cosy and welcoming, you may end up with guests that never want to leave…
1. Make your guest room multi-purpose
Not everyone will have space at home for a dedicated guest bedroom, but if you’re planning to host on a regular basis then it’s a good idea to have a room that can be easily converted to accommodate guests.
By making a room multi-functional, you’re ensuring that you are making the most of that room, giving it use all year round.
One of the most popular dual-functional rooms in the home is the home office, which can usually easily accommodate a day bed that’s set up like a sofa during the day, but can be pulled out into a double bed when guests come to stay.
Another dual-functional room could be a playroom, which – if it has enough toy storage to clear away clutter – could also be the perfect spot for a day bed or sofa which pulls out as a double bed.
The elegant guest bedroom design above by Beata Heuman makes the most of a home office. During the day it acts as a home office and reading room, but it doubles up as a guest room for when the owners have visitors.
Meanwhile in this family home in Highgate, a music room features a day bed which doubles as a guest bed for visitors.
The room features useful built-in storage which the owners use daily, and it’s an inviting space to just escape to during the day, but it also doubles as a guest bedroom.
Similarly, a music room in this colourful Edwardian house in Melbourne also doubles as a guest bedroom – or the other way around.
The room is set up as an elegant guest bedroom complete with double bed, bedside tables and table lamps, but it’s also home to the grand piano which gets played and practiced on daily.
2. Transform the attic
If all the rooms in your house are already in use, consider a loft conversion. Transform a dark, cluttered attic space into an occasional guest room.
Lofts are the perfect place to create a guest or spare bedroom. By their very nature, they tend to only be used occasionally, so sloping ceilings and a confined space is less likely to be an issue for the user.
If the ceilings are low or sloped, keep everything low to the ground and use wall lights instead of pendants.
In this small house in Brixton, a home office was extended up to the roof, giving it more ceiling height as well as the opportunity to incorporate a guest bed at mezzanine level. The plywood-clad staircase cleverly incorporates storage and wardrobe space.
For those lucky enough with a larger attic, give it some windows and a white bedroom colour palette to turn it into a bright and airy space.
3. Consider eaves and alcoves
Casey Keasler transformed an awkward nook with a sloped ceiling into a cosy guest room space in this modern attic re-design. Trundle storage under the bed provides easy access to towels and linens, and also act as pull-out steps so small guests can reach the bed. A small, wall-mounted reading light is a space-saver too, while the wood bed frame makes this space feel elegant, well designed and cosy.
For grown-up vibes, place a low double bed under a sloped ceiling (as long as there’s enough space to stand up next to it). The below attic guest room even incorporates a statement Seventies Italian chandeliers that drips sensuously from the ceiling.
4. Use curtains to divide when guests are visiting
Most people tend to have guests only on occasion, so it makes sense that those guest room spaces end up having other uses. Hanging curtains is a quick and clever way to divide a private sleeping zone from a space that is set up as an office, play room, or other.
The top floor of this broken plan house features a multi-purpose room that can be used as a home office, relaxing space or as an extra guest bedroom.
Bedroom curtains are used to close off private spaces.
The home achieves the same on a middle floor, where green curtains are used to separate an occasional sleeping zone from a matching green coloured bathroom. The bedroom is only accessed through the bathroom.
5. Or use curtains to inject some texture
In this blue apartment in South Kensington, the owner used velvety bedroom curtains to wrap around the basement guest bedroom, enveloping the space in cosy texture and turning a previously dark and drab basement bedroom into something that feels cosy and decadent.
The made-to-measure sofa bed was inspired by John Galliano’s love of the bias cut. The diagonal lines elongate its perfectly square two-metre dimensions.
Explore more of this South Kensington apartment here…
6. Upgrade a garden building into a guest house or ‘granny flat’
This clever garden guest house design by London-based architects De Rosee Sa incorporates an open-plan living and kitchenette area, and can accommodate guests too. It even has its own shower room.
It’s the kind of design we expect will become increasingly popular in the current climate, where people are working from home more often, and entertain kids at home too, so having an additional space to escape to is hugely beneficial – not to mention being able to offer grandparents and other guests their own space.
The garden room design features sanded floors, wood panelled walls with gorgeous built-in shelves and storage, and an inky blue palette.
It’s an inviting escape from the chaos of family life, and gets used as a quiet space during the day. It also doubles as a ‘granny flat’ for when grandparents come to visit for extended periods of time.
7. Dive in with a daring theme or colour
When it comes to rooms that are used occasionally, and are not a main entertaining space (take powder rooms / cloakrooms for example), it offers the opportunity to experiment with a decorating style that might be too bold for communal areas.
Alexandra Laird, Interior Design Manager of Burbeck Interiors, said: ‘When decorating your guest bedroom, you can afford to take some risks and push the boundaries. Use this as a chance to experiment and explore your design personality. The best boutique hotels don’t have cookie-cutter bedrooms, they are all a bit different, so apply this thinking to your guest bedroom and have some fun.’
We love the green velvet headboard below, which not only stretches right up to the ceiling but even wraps around fitted shelves, adding colour, glamour and drama. Low hanging pendant lamps on either side offer an out-of-the-box approach to bedside reading lights.
The guest bedroom also features a map mural, depicting the local area. The enlarged map on the wall below is of the house’s area from 1892 (as that’s when the house was built). It’s fascinating to really look at what London was like then.
Explore more of photographer Paul Crag’s Victorian villa
8. Experiment with a bold colour
A bedroom should have a clear overall theme and colour palette, rather than a melting pot for different styles.
Just because you don’t use it as your own bedroom doesn’t mean the guest bedroom shouldn’t be up to scratch design-wise. Go for a statement scheme, and pull the room together in a way that complements the chosen style.
The guest space in this Georgian townhouse in north London features a bold, blue bedroom colour scheme.
The strength of the deep blue headboard and amber cushions are wrapped up in the softest of fabrics, giving the guest bedroom a traditional yet luxurious feel. The old-fashioned finishing touches mean the overall look is serene but far from bland.
9. Choose white for a timeless, neutral scheme
When in doubt, or if bold looks aren’t your thing, then a neutral bedroom scheme is the way to go. A calm bedroom with natural colours and plenty of light will create a fresh and timeless look that won’t date. Weave in lots of texture and natural materials to add interest, but stick to a pared back colour scheme.
Going for a white bedroom scheme with natural materials will often result in a more rustic, country-inspired look – perfect for country homes and cottages. Keeping a bedroom calm and un-fussy will create a welcoming, informal space in which to unwind.
This beach house in Australia gives guest bedrooms the same muted colour scheme as the rest of the home, plus added texture with tongue and groove wall panelling.
10. Use clever space-saving designs in smaller guest rooms
Dealing with cramped quarters? Affix a small shelf next to the bed in lieu of a table – it’s all the space you need for a reading light, book, and small bud vase. Opt for wall-mounted lights instead of clunky table lamps, and if you want to incorporate a desk area or vanity table then consider designs that pop-up like a shelf, but can fold down again to be flush against the wall.
For a more luxurious look, why not commission a built-in statement headboard with recessed shelving, and hidden wiring and electrics for hotel-style, easy access, bedside lighting?
11. Add a reading light
Reading lights are inexpensive but are a thoughtful touch and are space-efficient too.
12. Choose wall lights for a clean and modern look
Aside from bedding, lighting is another sure-fire way to update the look of the guest room. Wall lights offer a cleaner, more modern look than table lamps as they are less clunky, take up less space, free up bedside table space and are free from tangled wires.
Wall lights look smart but can be a real faff to wire in, but there are plenty of smart-looking alternatives out there, that can still be wall-mounted but plug in like a regular table lamp. Cox & Cox have some lovely options like the wall light below, and made.com have some modern alternatives too.
Chic wall lights add to the hotel-inspired scheme in the bedroom below. Simply beautiful.
For a more eclectic look or to add a pop of colour, update table lamps or wall lights with one of Matilda Goad‘s iconic scalloped shades.
13. Hang bedside pendant lights for a fresh alternative
Forego classic bedside lamps for a fresh approach; hanging bedside lamps from the ceiling. This creates a cleaner, less messy look and is space-saving too as it frees up space on the bedside table.
In the modern bedroom scheme below, Alison Berger’s Moon Pendant lights hang either side of the bed, creating a chic, modern look.
Meeanwhile this modern home in New York’s Hamptons features a raw and industrial interior, with unfussy guest bedrooms that incorporate pendant lights dangling down on either side of the bed.
The effect is clean, unfussy and uncluttered.
Pendant lights are also used in the more glamorous guest bedroom below.
14. Don’t forget the little things
We think that the most important features a guest bedroom should have are the little details.
It’s these additional touches that make your guests feel at home. Interior designer, Georgina Wood, said: “Guests will remember the little things, so it’s a good idea to provide your guest with creature comforts like a dressing gown, fresh linen, an eye mask and toiletries, and including a bottle of water and fresh flowers in an elegant vase will really welcome them into your home.”
For example, including furniture, such as a sofa or armchair, will allow your guest to be able to relax without getting into bed. A full-length mirror will always be appreciated, as are reading lamps and reading materials.
Other things to consider include calming bedside lights rather than a glaring bright overhead light, a towel on the end of the bed, storage if guests are staying for longer than one night, and a box / basket of toiletries for forgotten essentials.
Often overlooked, a wastepaper basket is absolutely essential in a guest bedroom so they can discard their rubbish. To go the extra mile, leave a carafe of water with glasses on the bedside table.
15. Often hosting the grandparents? Choose a low bed
When decorating a guest bedroom, it’s important to think about who may be staying in it, as this can have a significant impact on your design.
Cater for older relatives by investing in a comfortable and accessible bed. A low bed doesn’t have to remind you of student digs – this colourful family home in Tulsa features a strikingly stylish low bed design.
16. Opt for a pull-out day bed
Of course, a guest bed can take up quite a bit of room, and with many homes adapting in a world post Covid-19, homeowners are starting to view their guest rooms as multi functional spaces.
A day bed (that pulls out as a guest bed) is the perfect option for rooms that serve other purposes the rest of the time.
Investing in good quality bed linen will make a fold-out bed feel much more comfortable and luxurious. Make it cosy and comfortable with accent pillows and throws.
The below home office in this Victorian terrace in south west London doubles as a spare bedroom, so this divan was placed in the corner as it pulls out as a double bed.
IKEA’s Hemnes day bed is one of the best IKEA sofa beds. There’s a reason it’s such a popular choice in modern homes. It may look simple, but it works (we speak from experience). It frees up floor space so that the room can be used as a playroom, reading room or home office, as the guest bed can be set up as a daybed / sofa. Three large drawers underneath offer plenty of storage for guest bedding, freeing up space in the linen cupboard, and keeping guest linens separate.
17. Make it family-friendly
Make a guest bedroom extra family-friendly by incorporating a clever armchair or ottoman that can fold out as a kids’ bed.
You can find upholstered designs on Sofa.com, like the Isla loveseat sofabed which pulls out as a single bed, or the Henry ‘bed in a box’, which pulls out from an ottoman. This way friends can come to stay, even with a child or two in tow.
We think dogs are part of the family, so for guests bringing their pooch it would be a thoughtful touch to place a spare dog bed in the room.
A phone charger is one of the most common thing that guests forget to bring, and you might not have the exact charger they need. We recommend getting a universal wireless charger plate in the guest bedroom, so guests can simply place their phone (whatever make, whatever model) on the plate to charge their phones. The SanDisk iXpand Wireless Charger promises to charge phones at lightning speed.
19. Playful and personal touches
To prevent the space from lacking in character, give it a fun framed poster, photograph or artwork.
We love the gallery wall in the eclectic style guest bedroom below, designed by Turner Pocock.
20. Don’t skimp on the bedding
One thing that guests will hate is a bad night’s sleep in an uncomfortable bed, so it’s important to invest in a good quality bed and mattress or mattress topper.
The bedding and sheets should be nice and fresh for your guest and it’s important to allow guests to regulate their temperature when they sleep, so try including multiple layers, such as a quilt and a blanket.
You should always include at least two pillows (or four on a double bed), while a headboard will allow guests to sit up and read if they choose.
For something super pretty, Peter Reed‘s charming and colourful bed linen trims are coveted by everyone including Her Majesty The Queen (they hold a royal warrant). Each bedding set is bespoke and made to order, so you can pick from any trim, colour cord, or embroidery design you like. Fun for a personalised touch, and lovely as a gift too.
Meanwhile Sarah K‘s pretty scalloped edged bedding gives guest beds a gorgeous, summery boutique hotel vibe.
21. Consider incorporating an ensuite bathroom
For large guest bedrooms – or loft-based ones – consider installing a partition wall with an en-suite bathroom on the other side. This will offer guests privacy, and prevent awkward run-ins or queues outside the main family bathroom.
22. Or to save space, incorporate bathroom features within the room itself
A freestanding bath in the bedroom adds a note of decadent luxe. This bedroom was designed with pared-back furnishings and subdued colours to add to the relaxed feel of the space.
23. Offer seating
Creating a lounge area in the guest room will give off a luxe, hotel-style vibe, and give guests a private space to retreat to when they need to.
No space to add a sofa, chaise or armchair to a guest bedroom? Consider a bench at the bottom of the bed, or a window seat instead.
A window seat doesn’t just make the most of the view, it’s an opportunity to hide built-in storage too. This window seat area below is used for storing linens.
Similarly, this built-in window seat below offers trundle drawers for things like linens, plus it’s the perfect cosy spot for reading, or people watching.
24. Offer upstairs guest bedrooms private outdoor space
And finally, for guest bedrooms that are a little out of the way – like this top floor guest bedroom below – consider creating access to a private outdoor space. This not only keeps the room looking and smelling fresh, but will also give an accessible area for smokers.