30 expert-approved guest bedroom ideas, from furniture to decor | CNN Underscored


Anyone can have guests stay in their home, but making them feel so welcome that they want to return? Well, that involves a lot more than just picking them up at the airport. We asked a slew of interior design pros and they all agree that it comes down to one thing: the accommodations. To help you improve your hosting game, consider these expert-approved guest bedroom ideas.

“The ultimate goal of designing a guest room is to make the space welcoming and comfortable,” says Marie Flanigan, principal designer of Marie Flanigan Interiors. “Giving your guests a home away from home or boutique hotel-like experience is paramount to their enjoyment and stay.”

And like all good things in life, the devil is in the details. Interior designer Amie Freling, owner of Meme Hill Studios, says, “When designing a guest room, I like to make sure not only is the bed comfortable, but the entire stay is like a special trip away with all the extras — things like drinks, snacks, plenty of towels, Wi-Fi passwords, extra blankets and sample-size toiletries.”

How do you maximize space in a small guest room?

Let’s face it: Most of us are working with small spaces that might double as something else (say, an office, a playroom or a home gym) when not being used as a guest room. As such, we need to get creative when designing these compact areas.

“Consider furniture pieces that serve dual purposes,” says Melanie Coddington, founder and CEO of Coddington Design. “For example, a sleeper sofa can provide seating during the day and transform into a comfortable bed for guests at night. A bench at the end of a bed can be a place to take off your shoes, place your luggage and, if you select a storage bench, a place to store extra blankets. Also, select lighter colors for walls, furniture and bedding, it will make the space feel airier.”

If the room is lacking a closet — or the closet is storing your out-of-season clothing — Freling says, “I am a huge fan of standing clothes racks with shelves to stack towels, magazines, extra bedding and even snacks on. I also like having nightstands and bedside lamps with charging ports built in.”

Cory Conor, founder of Cory Conor Designs, has some more advice on maximizing space in a guest room: “Choose bedside tables with deep drawers that can work for clothing storage. Consider a small desk that can also serve as a vanity and opt for a Murphy bed when the room is really tight. Also, leverage vertical space for shelving and hooks.”

How should you decorate a guest room?

While you might want to run wild with your decor in the guest room, all of the designers we spoke with agreed that this is a space to show some restraint. “Since all guests are different, I think sticking to a transitional style will appeal to a wider variety of guests,” says Conor. “Keeping a neutral, calming environment for broad appeal is my recommendation. That said, you can always add personal touches through accessories that can be changed seasonally, or depending on the guest that is staying.”

Freling loves colors and patterns, but ops for a monochromatic color scheme for guest rooms “to create that 5-star spa resort experience.” To get there, she recommends neutral linens and furnishings, layered on top of a plush rug and complementary furnishings.

What does a guest bedroom need?

Julie Soefer/Marie Flanagan Interiors

We’ve harped on how the details of a guest room will leave a lasting impression on your guests — but a good night’s rest is pretty important, too. “The goal is for the guest to have a peaceful sleep and the right mattress and sheets are top priority,” Conor says.

Once those have been tackled, however, Coddington reiterates the importance of, well, everything else. “You want to provide them with things they need to feel relaxed, rested and cared for during their stay — fluffy duvets and quality pillows, extra blankets and a bedside reading light. Make sure there is an accessible outlet for chargers; in fact, supply a charger, because people always forget to pack those!”

In this article, we’ve lined up everything you need for a luxurious guest bedroom that will have visitors feeling completely at home. From bedding to blankets to a chic humidifier, these products will help you create the best guest room ever.

Guest bedroom bedding essentials

Cozy Earth Bamboo Sheet Set

Cozy Earth

Per the advice of every interior designer we spoke with, luxury bedding is a guest room must-have… and Cozy Earth is a great choice. The brand’s cult-favorite Bamboo Sheet Set is a splurge, but it’s one that is well worth the expense. They have a silky smooth finish and are breathable enough for hot sleepers. Available in 15 colors, the set includes a fitted sheet, a flat sheet and two pillowcases.

$339 From $271 at Cozy Earth

Parachute Organic Cloud Cotton Duvet Cover Set


Truly cloud-like in softness and texture, this gauzy, organic cotton duvet cover is the ultimate way to pamper your guests. “This duvet set has a beautiful texture that gives a neutral setting something extra,” says Coddington. “We’d pair it with an oversized lumbar pillow and cozy end-of-the-bed blanket, and you are good to go.”

From $299 at Parachute Best Tested

Brooklinen Down Comforter


For a sumptuous comforter, opt for this one from Brooklinen, which earned the top spot in our testing due to its softness and fluffiness. It comes in three weight options: lightweight, all-season and ultra-warm. The only downside? It’s so comfortable that your guests might want to stay in bed all day.

Read our review

From $199 at Brooklinen

The Citizenry Lirio Alpaca Throw

The Citizenry

Whether your guests need an extra layer of bedding at night or just want to get cozy with a book, having a beautiful throw on hand is imperative. “Drape it across the foot of the bed or on a reading nook chair,” says Coddington. “They add another cozy layer to the space and are always appreciated. We like this blanket’s subtle diamond pattern, deep blue color and the fact that it is made in a fair-trade environment.” Also available in a reddish-orange hue, the fringed Lirio is handwoven in Peru by artisans.

$189 at The Citizenry

Purple Rejuvenate Mattress

The Purple Rejuvenate Mattress in a fancy bedroom. — Purple

I’ve been using Purple mattresses since they launched nearly a decade ago, and they definitely deliver an incredible night’s sleep. While there are 10 mattresses on offer, if you’re going to splurge, I love the Rejuvenate Mattress, which encompasses the brand’s GelFlex Grid and edge-to-edge coils that provide incredible support, in addition to a luxe quilted pillow-top layer that is sure to be the cherry on top of your guests’ sleeping experiences. The brand also has more affordable mattresses worth considering.

From $4,495 at Purple

Guest bedroom furniture essentials

Zinus Brock 64-Inch Brown 4-Shelf Etagere Bookcase

The Home Depot

A generous host offers guests ample room to hang and store their clothing, and Freling says this bookcase from Zinus is the perfect option. “It gives your guests a space to keep all their belongings in one compact spot,” she says. “I also like to add a basket for dirty linens, towels and clothing.” Mixing acacia wood alongside a steel frame, this piece combines four shelves with room to hang more than a few pieces of clothing.

$284 at The Home Depot $252 at Walmart

Threshold Designed With Studio McGee Wing Arm Accent Chair Velvet Beige


“If you want to make this room a retreat, consider other complementary seating options,” advises Flanigan. “I love to include a chaise or armchair to elevate the space.” Studio McGee’s Target collab has churned out some excellent chairs in recent years, the latest of which is this stately wing arm option. Big enough to be a reading spot and cozy thanks to its velvet fabric, the chair is a steal at under $400.

$360 at Target

Rovaurx Rattan Storage Cabinet With Doors

Rovaurx Rattan Storage Cabinet on a white background. — Amazon

“I love using bedside accent cabinets rather than smaller nightstands,” says Freling. “The tops give ample space for laptops, phones and nighttime essentials. And then I stock the inside with teas, drinks, snacks, travel-sized toiletries and towels.” Blending natural wood with rattan detailing, this wood cabinet will meld nicely with pretty much every design aesthetic — and it’s large enough to double as a year-round storage vestibule.

$147 at Amazon

Arhaus Kipton Sleeper Sofa


If your space is supremely small, a sleeper sofa is the way to go — and it means the room can function as an office or playroom when it’s not in use. “Sleeper sofas serve a dual purpose by providing a comfortable seating arrangement during the day and easily transforming into a bed at night, optimizing the use of space in guest rooms without needing more furniture,” says Coddington, who also loves the Ashby Sleeper by Arhaus. “This sofa can seamlessly fit into many different design styles.” Available in 27 fabrics, the sofa is deep and cozy by day and can easily turn into a queen-sized bed by night.

From $3,889 at Arhaus

Four Hands Aiden Slipcovered Bed

Four Hands

A proper bedroom requires a proper bed, and this one ranks among Flanigan’s favorites. “I love the whimsical nature of a slipcovered bed, like Aidan. These pieces are so easy to dress up or down and complement with beautiful bedding and accent furniture.” Durable and soft all at once, the slipcovered bed uses a sustainably made linen that can be removed and machine-washed when needed.

From $2,299 at Marie Flanigan

The Inside Cambelback Headboard

The Inside

Much more affordable than an entire new bed, a headboard is a great way to anchor the room, while also (potentially) adding color, texture and pattern. Look no further than custom furniture brand The Inside, which has a slew of headboard options. Among our favorites is the delicately shaped Camelback that can be outfitted in nearly a hundred fabric options — from a minimalist cream linen to a maximalist Scalamandre cheetah print.

$569 at The Inside

Design Within Reach Nordic II Bedside Table, Standing

Design Within Reach

There are endless options when it comes to bedside table sizes and designs, but Coddington prefers this option from Design Within Reach. “We like the simplicity of this design,” she says. “There is ample space on top for a reading lamp, glass of water, and book. Plus, the lower storage is another area where your guests can store their items and an opportunity for you to share your favorite books with them.” Made of solid oak, the Nordic II comes in two versions, hanging and standing.

$739 at Design Within Reach

Williams Sonoma Truman Round Bar Cart

Williams Sonoma

A bar cart might not be the most obvious choice for a guest room, but we love how malleable this Williams Sonoma roving table actually is. A splurge for sure, this gorgeous fixture — which can, by the way, be pushed right into your dining room for a dinner party — mixes brass and leather details and is perfect for setting down a book or a cell phone. We love that it has two tiers for storage and that it also comes in a polished nickel finish.

$1,395 at Williams Sonoma

Guest room lighting essentials

Portres 24-Inch Farmhouse 3-Way Dimmable Touch Ceramic Table Lamp, Set of 2


A pair of stately lamps is a great way to define your guest bedroom, and this set from Amazon is not only super affordable, but it’s also functional. “Nothing is more annoying than having to squish behind the bed or nightstand to get to an electrical outlet,” says Freling. “I love bedside lamps that have built-in charging ports. They are so convenient and keep all your electronics close at hand. These lamps are also three-way lights giving you the option for full light (for reading) and lower light (for surfing on their phone).”

$90 at Amazon

Ikea Nävlinge LED Clamp Spotlight


Hands down, this is one of our favorite clamp reading lights… and we’ve tested a lot. Super durable, the light has a gooseneck that is both easy to maneuver and stays put, and the clamp itself is ultra-strong — it’s not going to budge once your guests attach it to the headboard or their book.

$20 at Ikea

Mitzi Amalia Table Lamp


Every guest room needs a showstopping piece of décor, and the Amalia lamp is just that. Combining a surrealist shape and crackle glaze texture, the lamp’s bubble-like spheres are whimsical and architectural all at once. We love its neutral color palette and that crisp white linen shade.

$300 at Lumens $300 at Mitzi

Marie Flanigan Wimberley Single Library Wall Light

Marie Flanigan

“When short on bedside table space, opt for a wall light,” says Flanigan, who designed this one in collaboration with Visual Comfort & Co. “I love the delicate rattan of the Wimberley wall light and think it adds a beautiful texture to a space.” Available in both brass and polished nickel finishes and two wicker hues (white or natural), the Wimberley also comes in a double-arm wall light and a floor lamp.

$699 at Lumens $699 at Marie Flanigan

Guest room decor essentials

Threshold Designed With Studio McGee Metal Wavy Bowl Gold


You’ll always find a place for this chic bowl, and that includes atop your guest room bedside table. Whether you opt to fill it with mints, sleep aids (from eye masks to ear plugs) or leave it empty, the wavy bowl is an eye-catching piece that looks way more expensive it than it really is.

$25 at Target

Karina Valley Boutique Wi-Fi Sign Printable Template

Karina Valley Boutique/Etsy

Set your guests up for browsing and streaming success with this custom Wi-Fi sign that includes your network name and password. Perfect for hanging bedside or placing atop a desk in your guest room, the template is a Word doc that is editable (meaning you can reprint it if your password changes in the future!). Simply find a pretty frame to encase the sign and you’ll be good to go.

$5 $4 at Etsy

Crate & Barrel Clear Glass Carafe

Crate & Barrel

You don’t want your guests wandering the halls at night looking for a water refill. Instead, have this handy carafe and accompanying glass filled and ready to go when they rest their head at night. Simple and chic, the set is thoughtful and functional all at once.

$25 at Crate & Barrel

Sonos Era 100


Keep the music flowing in your guest room with the Sonos Era 100, which is a bookshelf speaker that plugs into a wall outlet and connects wirelessly to your other Sonos speakers, creating a surround-sound vibe throughout the house. We love that it comes in two colors and produces great, room-filling sound.

$249 at Sonos $236 at Amazon $249 at Best Buy

Everhem Drapery & Hardware


Ensure a good night’s sleep is achieved in your guest room with some blackout shades from Everhem, the direct-to-consumer drapery brand that is disrupting the market. Ultra-customizable, the drapes can be tailored to your liking. Case in point: They can come with or without hardware, are available in 14 fabrics, can have a box, tailored or pinch pleat, can come with or without under-layered sheers and can come unlined, with a privacy liner or a blackout liner. The best part is that Everhem has consultants that will help you measure and pick the best options for your space, free of charge.

From $300 at Everhem

Winsome Luggage Rack

Winsome Luggage Rack Amazon

Luggage is so awkward to haul and unpack — make the process less cumbersome for your guests by providing this luggage rack that can be tucked away under a bed or in a closet when it’s not in use.

$33 at Amazon

The Container Store White Seagrass Hamper With Lid

The Container Store

While the hampers of yore might have been eyesores, this woven seagrass option from The Container Store is pretty enough to display 24/7. Textural and full of neutral hues, the hamper comes with a removable cotton liner and a lid, and we love the side handles that make for easy carrying.

$90 at The Container Store

ABC Carpet & Home Custom Quick Ship Carpet

ABC Carpet & Home

Long-known for their worldly rugs, ABC Carpet & Home just recently launched a quick-ship carpet program that lets you customize the exact rug dimensions you need — from petite to sprawling. The collection includes 48 colors and 16 styles, allowing you to pick everything from the shape and size to finishing (machine or hand serging) and rug pad (which can be attached or unattached). Pricing starts at $15 a square foot and the finished product arrives in just two to three weeks. More to know: The brand recommends ordering swatches ahead of time, which are priced at $5 each.

From $15/sq ft. at ABC Carpet & Home

Self-care essentials for your guests

Best Tested

Frontgate Resort Cotton Bath Towel


Don’t make your guests rummage through your linen closet to find an extra towel. Instead, stock up on these plush bath towels that were a favorite in our testing.

Read our review

$30 From $26 at Frontgate

Coyuchi Unisex Organic Waffle Robe


A true hotel-quality stay comes with a complimentary robe, and we wholeheartedly endorse this unisex option from Coyuchi.

$98 at Coyuchi $98 at Amazon

Canopy Humidifier


Another totally luxurious perk to offer your guests? A humidifier — especially one as chic as this Canopy Bedside option. Plus, all Canopy humidifiers have dishwasher-safe parts that make cleaning a breeze.

$150 $125 at Canopy

Sprig Breathe Linen Mist


There’s nothing better than a fantastic-smelling room, and this delicious scent from Kohler’s Sprig brand will turn your guest bed into a spa, thanks to its eucalyptus and mint mist that can be sprayed directly onto linens or into the air.

$28 $18 at Amazon $28 at Sprig

Colgate Toothbrushes Premier Extra Clean, Set of 12


It’s sort of a golden rule that everyone forgets to bring a toothbrush when traveling, right? Right. Be prepared for the request (before they even ask) with a bulk supply at the ready.

$10 $5 at Amazon