Kathleen Bliss Goldfarb, ASID, owner of The Valley Design Team/Decorating Den Interiors thinks guest rooms work best with a choice of pillows and blankets, plus a bit of whimsy like the tic tac toe game here. Photograph courtesy of The Valley Design Team/Decorating Den Interiors.

A dresser in a guest room allows your visitors to unpack, and don’t forget to include an inviting place to sit. Items available at Wayside Furniture. Photograph courtesy of Wayside Furniture.

A guest room may be an after-thought and maybe you tossed some unwanted furniture in there with a plan to straighten it out at some future date. Well, that date has arrived. While a mattress on the floor and an old bookshelf can indeed provide someone a place to sleep, why not upgrade the space so your guests truly feel welcome in a room brimming with thoughtful touches to ensure a pleasant stay.
Lisa Lavy, an interior designer and sales representative at Wayside Furniture said, “When setting up your guest room, comfort and functionality should be a priority. Guest room colors should be soft and serene to create a peaceful retreat for your guests to enjoy.”
Laura Grygorcewicz, an interior decorator with Wayside, added, “Giving the room a home-away-from-home feel is pulled together with accessories. Mixing of modern and vintage styles offers a fresh look with depth and balance.”
Be sure you’ve included things like a clock and a mirror, and space to unpack their things, not to mention a place to sit. “Adding an inviting chair or chaise lounge creates a cozy spot for your guest to relax,” Lisa said. “A decorative wall clock is a fun accessory and helps your guests keep track of their day, and hanging a full-length mirror provides both a cosmetic function for your guest and an elegant embellishment to your guest room.”
To add to the list of must-have amenities for the properly equipped guest room, Kathleen Bliss Goldfarb, ASID, owner of The Valley Design Team/Decorating Den Interiors suggests keeping the guest room stocked with extra pillows with options for those who prefer theirs overstuffed as well as those who’ll choose a slimmer pillow. Kathleen also said to provide the “WiFi password shared in a creative way, plus include tissues, a pen and note paper, a local magazine, a couple paperbacks, an eye mask, nightlight, long-handled scrubber, toiletries, hair-care products, hair dryer and, depending on the climate, a ceiling fan.”
Laura likes mixing colors and tones to add interest. “Blush tones work well with natural wood accents, and creams, blues and black,” she said. Also, consider a hall tree which, “serves well for any space,” Laura said.
Kathleen agrees that some version of a Zen-inspired décor is “most welcoming and calming.” Following her rule to “keep it simple,” Kathleen says to include several lighter layers on the bed, and several types of blankets.
If your guest room is small, Lisa suggests a tall dress or chest of drawers, which she said provides more storage without taking up much floor space.  Lisa added, “Remember to leave a few drawers empty for your guest to utilize.  Keep with clean lines and uncluttered spaces so your guests feel welcome to set out their personal belongings.” She also likes the idea of a placing an upholstered bench at the end of the bed. “It offers your guest an extra seat as well as a logical place to set down a suitcase.”
When it comes to a guest bed, Lisa suggests an upholstered headboard that she said “gives your guest room a comfortable yet sophisticated feel and is a creative way to add color and texture to the room.” She added, “Consider lighter tones such as painted whites or driftwoods on the dressers and nightstands.”
Laura added, “Depending on the size of your room, an upholstered day bed will add texture and interest. Or, in a larger room, using a queen-size wrought-iron bed offers a timeless classic look, that goes well with any color of furniture.”
Kathleen’s suggestions for the perfect guest-room colors include ice blue, mint, sage, coral, cream/ivory/white, or mocha. “Nothing too dark or heavy, and keep it classic instead of trendy,” she said, as she added that natural medium wood finishes work best. Plus, she said she “loves a surprise of whimsy!”
Since so many people are currently working remotely, Lisa said, “a small writing desk can provide a pretty and practical solution for your guest room.  Be sure to include a decorative lamp to enhance task lighting.”
To ensure two thumbs up from your guests, use a large wooden tray to set up a single-serve coffee maker. Lisa said be sure to include a “selection of specialty coffees, teas, and cocoa, and add a few snacks in case your guests get the midnight munches.” She added, “Consider including a special treat from your local chocolatier.”
For another special touch, Laura suggested including lighting fixtures with sparkle because, “Everyone likes a little glam.”