Guest bedroom ideas

Don’t let your guest bedroom become an afterthought – create a retreat for friends and family with these expert tips.

Many of us would be lying if we said our guest bedrooms were anything more than an afterthought in the decorating process.

When moving into any home, interior design priorities appear somewhat like: Lounge room, kitchen, master bedroom, kids’ rooms, bathroom, dining room, entryway, outdoor space, kennel, laundry, vacuum cupboard, pantry, fridge… and then, finally, the guest bedroom.

Here to help us transform the guest bedroom from a neglected space filled with miscellaneous keepsakes to a fabulous and functional room is Mia Lake, interior design director at Vic Lake Architects.

Turn your guest room into a retreat for family and friends. Picture: Annette O’Brien

What makes a beautiful guest bedroom?

According to Mia, a mediocre spare room is transformed by little comforts and thoughtful details.

“Artwork, two-pillow types (dense and soft) and gorgeous, layered bed linen will all make a guest bed a truly beautiful home away from home,” she says.

Creating a guest bedroom in a small space

Inner-city dwellers don’t always have tons of extra space to accommodate for visitors. If this sounds like your home, rest assured Mia has a few expert tricks to help your guests feel at home, even in a cosier space.

“With a pull-down or sofa bed, even the smallest spaces can be made into a successful guest bedroom.”

Alternatively, Mia invites homemakers to humour the idea of a permanent king single. “It’s the same size as half a king, and for one adult this would be ample temporary space.”

The best part? During the day, your king single can be made into a lavish daybed with the addition of a lush throw and statement cushions, perfect for lolling around with a good book.

A king single can double as a daybed. Picture: Jessica Bellef / Temple and Webster

Guest room layout ideas

Bed… check. Now it’s time to fit out your guest bedroom with the necessities.

“A side table with some small surface area to keep personal items, such as phone, jewellery and keys, won’t go astray,” says Mia, adding that a bedside lamp is also crucial.

While Mia says one bedside table is more than enough, a side chair or stool to sit on or drape clothes over can prove useful and is not imposing in smaller spaces.

“I also can’t stress enough the importance of block-out window treatments. Not many can sleep with natural light in the room and the last thing you want is a grumpy guest come morning time.”

“If in doubt, try and imagine the staples of a hotel room (with the exception of a mini bar and room service, of course).”

A side table will make guests feel well looked after. Picture: Jessica Bellef / Temple and Webster

The finer details

You’re letting your pals stay for free – you’re not expected to provide them with a king size bed and turndown service! In saying that, there are a few simple ways to make your guests feel truly looked after.

“Perhaps a small concealed TV or some reading material: These are sure to keep your guests entertained after hours,” says Mia.

Thoughtful details like a water jug and spare blankets will ensure your visitors have what they need to get through the night, but for that little something special, she suggests: “Freshly folded towels – and if you really want to impress, a bathrobe.”

Originally published as Guest bedroom ideas by Katie Skelly. Author at