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Spare room ideas for every kind of home

Spare room ideas to help you host your guests like a hotelier, whether you have a whole spare bedroom or a guest room that doubles as an office

By House & Garden | April 30, 2021 | Category

Spare room ideas for every kind of home

Spare room ideas to help you host your guests like a hotelier, whether you have a whole spare bedroom or a guest room that doubles as an office

Different kinds of home warrant different kinds of spare room. Decorating a spare bedroom that is a little nook in a city flat requires a different approach to guest room ideas for large houses. If the spare room you're decorating is on the diminutive side, perhaps it's a good chance to be bold with colour and pattern? As Rita Konig says, "when decorating houses, I find guest bedrooms are the most liberating to design. On one hand, there is less pressure for them to be fabulous; on the other, they don't have to be something you will not tire of, so you can be more adventurous."

The interior designers on our pages are no strangers to creating a beautiful place for guests to relax. For them, it's all about creating a sanctuary where they can feel at home, even if the room has to accommodate another function (acting as a home office, for example), at other times. Essentially, the key is to make sure that the spare bedroom feels as much like your own bedroom as possible. What do you need in your own room, and how can you replicate that on a smaller scale for your guests? Space is very often a problem in spare rooms, so our designers have come up with clever solutions, including built-in beds with storage, curtains to divide off a section of a larger space, and open clothes storage such as hooks or hanging rails instead of bulky wardrobes.

Below we've gathered a checklist for putting together a spare room.

What to include

1. First things first, make sure the bed is comfortable. 'Very few people sleep in their guest bed and so they have no idea how comfortable it is,' says designer Nina Campbell. 'Everyone should spend one night in their own spare room.'

2. 'A good armchair for guests to curl up in is a lovely idea if you have the space,' says House & Garden decoration editor Gabby Deeming.

3. Hanging space is more use­ful to friends staying with you than a chest of drawers. Make sure there are plenty of coat hooks and if you don't have room for a wardrobe, consider a clothes rail. A clothes rail with a shelf, like the 'Antwerp' model from Swoon is ideal for folded items, shoes and bags. Alternatively, fill it with wicker baskets for a neater look.

4. Make sure that there is a supply of water for your guests a carafe or water bottle is a must-­have accessory for any spare room.

5. 'Every guest room needs a work surface of some kind, be it to use as a dressing table or a desk,' says Veere Grenney.

6. Somewhere for guests to easily access their bags can make a huge difference when it comes to short stays. Foldable luggage racks are best, as they can be hidden away when not in use.

7. A fluffy robe for guests to throw over their nightwear is a nice touch,' says House & Garden loca­tions editor Lavinia Bolton. A crisp, white dressing gown will add a sense of luxury to the most austere spare room.

8. 'An attractive rubbish bin should be top of the list of practical accessories for a guest room,' says Veere. 'We often get ours custom-made to match the decor:' This wooden one can be painted to blend with the colour scheme.

9. A good bedside lamp is very important. A slim, unobtrusive floor lamp, which also functions as a bookstand, is a witty addition where there is little space for a table or bookshelf.

10. The main ingredients for a successful guest room are echoed in the items that are required in your own bedroom. A good-size mirror is one of the fundamentals: choose one to match the style of the room.

11. A sound system in a guest room is no longer a luxury. Choose a use­ful little digital radio that also streams music from an iPhone and acts as a charger, and is compact enough to fit into the smallest of spare rooms.

Original article appeared on House & Garden UK | Author Emily Senior