Guest Room Must-Haves

Designing A Guest Room

When designing a guest room on a budget, use  a five-star Hilton hotel for inspiration and discount stores and a savvy interior designer for implementation!


Of greatest importance is the best bed you can afford.  A queen-sized bed is more than adequate for two people and usually fits in a guest room quite nicely. If there is enough room, two twin-, full- or queen-sized beds would be ideal.  Dressing the bed is equally important. Start with a good quality mattress pad that adds a cushioned, luxurious feel.  Freshly laundered bed linens, fluffy but not-too-full pillows, a comforter and extra blankets create a welcoming oasis for your weary guests to rest and restore.

Find a place for a luggage rack or a bench to set a suitcase on. Create a one-to-two foot space in the closet with a few hangers for your guests to hang their clothes.  Keep a drawer clear for them to put their things in.  This will help keep the room neat and organized.


If there is enough room, a comfortable chair where one can curl up is a welcome addition. It also gives guests a place to sit while they put on their shoes.  A small table with a lamp or a floor lamp next to the chair creates a cozy spot for reading.

A television in a guest room is appreciated.  Place the remote near the bed.  Having a few current magazines in the room is a nice touch for those who don’t watch TV.

Window blinds work well in guest rooms to provide privacy when needed and allow for light control during the day.  A simple valance or side panels add character.



Then there are the basics that every guest room and guest bathroom should have:

  • A CD player with a clock
  • Easy access to electrical outlets for charging phones and computers
  • Bottled water on the nightstand
  • A couple of fresh apples in a bowl
  • A fresh flower in a vase on the nightstand is a nice touch
  • Clean towels
  • Fresh bar of soap
  • Disposable cups
  • Hairdryer

Remember to inform your guests if you have a security system that is alarmed at night.

And most importantly, invite your guests to feel at home.

Tips for Accessorizing Your Bookcase

Photo by Janice Peters, CAPID

Accessorizing your bookcase can be a lot of fun and a great way to showcase some of your favorite treasures.  Start by clearing everything off the shelves so that you have a clean slate.  Now you can be selective about what you are going to put back on the shelves and how you are going to arrange your items.

Use only hardcover books for the best display.   You will be pleasantly surprised how cohesive your book collection will look once you remove the book jackets and group them by color. Place some of the books on their side for interest.  Use a favorite pair of bookends on either side of a long row of books.

If you have several shelves to accessorize, plan on filling half of them with books and the other half with well placed decorative items like pottery, candles, pictures, art, and natural elements.

Bookcase with Accessories

Photo by Janice Peters, CAPID

Using gems and minerals on shelves with under cabinet lighting can be quite appealing. Amethyst, with its deep purple crystal points, reflects and sparkles in the light.

Incorporating  faux candles on timers, such as those found in Flameless Candles will  make your shelves glow and flicker, creating lots of interesting accent lighting.  You can set the timer to come on at dusk and they will  automatically turn off 6 hours later.

You can avoid a busy arrangement by grouping items together by color.  If you are using picture frames, keep them in the same finish like all bronze or all chrome.  Keeping the colors consistent will keep your arrangement harmonious and calm.

Probably the most important trick to an interesting design is to use items of varying heights.  For example, if you are displaying three items on one shelf, try to have them at different heights.  You can use a couple of books on their side to create “lifts” for some of the items that need a little more height.

Have fun playing around with your arrangements and add new things as you acquire them.  Once you have your bookcase looking great, it is easy to switch your treasures around as your interests change.

Contributor: Janice Peters, CAPID Member

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