Designing a guest room - How to make visitors feel welcome

Have you ever hosted friends or family from out of town? If you have, then you know how important it is to make your guests feel right at home. A warm and inviting guest room can leave a lasting impression and make their stay memorable.

So, in this blog post, we’ll be diving into how to design a guest room that’s comfortable and functional, making sure your visitors feel as welcome as can be.

What you’ll find here

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Hi, I’m Nadine

Interior design expert, globetrotter and the creative mind behind this blog and NH.DESIGN.

I’m originally from Germany but have been living abroad for over 10 years, from Canada and the UK to Sweden.

So I ask myself the question what “home” means every day.
I have made it my mission to help as many people as possible to find their own answer to this.

Join my creative world on Instagram @nhdotdesign or find out more about me

Prioritize comfort

The first rule of thumb when designing a guest room is to prioritize comfort. After a long journey, your guests will want to unwind and recharge in a cozy space.

Start by investing in a quality mattress and comfortable bedding. Go for soft, breathable sheets, plump pillows, and a warm duvet to create a sleep haven. Adding extra blankets and pillows of varying firmness can also cater to individual preferences.

Also read my post on how to style a bed to give your guests that hotel-like feeling!

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    The right colour palette to relax

    When designing a guest room, choosing the right colour palette is essential to create a relaxing and inviting atmosphere. Colours have a huge impact on our emotions and mood, so opting for soothing shades can make all the difference in making sure your guests feel welcome during their stay.

    Here are some of my favourite colours to design with to create a relaxing and welcoming vibe.

    Relaxing earth tones - calming blues, soothing greens and subtle neutrals

    Earth tones, like warm browns, beiges and soft terracotta, are my favourite base to infuse a guest room with a grounded and cozy feel. These colours evoke a connection to nature and bring a sense of warmth and comfort to the space. Earthy colours can easily be incorporated through wooden furniture, decorative elements, or even a textured rug.

    Shades of blue, especially soft and muted ones, have a calming effect that gives a sense of serenity and peace. Light blues reminiscent of the sky or gentle ocean tones can create a refreshing and tranquil atmosphere in your guest room. Consider using blue for the walls, bedding, or decorative elements like curtains and throw pillows.

    Green is another colour associated with relaxation and nature. Soft greens or muted sage tones can bring a sense of harmony and balance to the space. Green is also known to reduce stress and promote a feeling of renewal. Incorporate green through accent pieces, artwork, or even potted plants to introduce a touch of nature into the guest room.

    Neutral colours like soft beige, warm greys, and gentle whites are a great base for the guest room. Neutrals are versatile and can complement various design styles, making it easy to add colour through accessories or artwork.

    Also read my colour guide to create a cohesive colour scheme for your guest room (and the rest of your home, too)!

    Struggling to coordinate colours, or choosing materials and finishes?
    Ask a Designer!

    During my 1 hour virtual Design Consultation you get my expert advice, recommendations and solutions for your specific interior challenge.

    From colour consultation and optimizing your layout to styling tips, you can ask my professional advice on anything!

    The White Guide by NH.DESIGN is a helpful resource to choose the right white paint colour.

    The White Guide

    Not every white is the same, and choosing the right one isn’t easy.

    Learn everything about undertones and how to pick the perfect white paint colour for any room in your home with my White Guide.

    Keep it clutter-free

    A cluttered space can be overwhelming and uncomfortable for anyone. For that reason, keep the design of the guest room clean and uncluttered.

    Consider multi-functional furniture like a storage ottoman or a bed with built-in drawers to maximize space and keep belongings neatly stored away.

    Also read my posts on how to organise your home, and how to design small spaces!

    Styling Secrets guide by NH.DESIGN

    Styling Secrets

    Learn how to style any room in your home like a pro with my Styling Secrets guide.


    Lighting can significantly impact the mood and atmosphere of a room.

    Avoid harsh overhead lighting and choose softer, ambient lighting options, like bedside lamps with warm-toned bulbs, to create a cozy and inviting atmosphere.

    Add blackout curtains to help guests get a good night’s sleep, especially if the room gets plenty of natural light.

    Also read my post on lighting to balance the different types for your guest room!

    line art illustration lightbulb

    Pro tip:

    Every room should have 3 different types of lighting: General, functional and mood lighting.

    Privacy and a space to unwind

    Your guest room can go beyond just being a place to sleep. If you have the space, create a cozy corner with a comfortable chair or a small desk where your guests can unwind, read a book, or catch up on work.
    This thoughtful addition gives guests their personal space, making them feel right at home.

    Also make sure your guests have privacy during their stay.
    Give them storage space like a closet or a chest of drawers so they can unpack and keep their stuff organized.
    Also consider installing a full-length mirror to make it easy for them to get ready without intruding on other areas of the house.

    Pro Tip: Combining the guest room with your office space

    If you’re short on space, you might have to combine the guest room with another room in your house.

    With a little creativity and smart furniture choices, you can create a space that’s both functional and inviting. Go for a daybed or a pull-out sofa that can double as a guest bed, allowing you to maximize functionality. Choose a desk that complements the room’s decor and provides a comfortable workspace for your guests during the day. Adding shelves and storage solutions can help keep the office area organized and create a welcoming environment for guests who need to work during their stay.

    You can also hide the entire desk area inside a tall wardrobe or cabinet, so it’s easily tucked away when guests stay over.

    Also read my post about how to maximize small spaces!

    Need help designing a multi-functional space that works for you and your guests?

    With my virtual and in-person design services we make your vision a reality, together.

    From design concepts and floor plans to 3D renderings and shopping lists,
    you get everything you need to implement your dream home at your own pace.

    Book a free Discovery Call with me and let’s chat!

    Ready for a space
    that feels like home?

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