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.

Teen Scene

A Teen Room Design

Every teen dreams of having the perfect room – THE place to hang with friends or escape their loving families.  Comfortable seating, flat screen TV, and black-out shades to block the sun on weekends all make the must have list!  The Teen Scene pictured here has a bold painted accent wall and other sophisticated choices, making it the perfect room to transition from teen to college coed.

Teen Scene - Hooks for personal accessories

Julie Gerns, CAPID

Storage is always important in any room.  Not all of the trinkets from childhood go away so easily.   Artwork and decorative hooks for hanging accessories like purses, scarves, and belts let teens flaunt their changing styles.  Areas for homework and makeup are must-haves also.   An area rug defines the seating area and provides protection for the floor if food is allowed.

Teen Scene - shelving storage for personal items

Julie Gerns, CAPID

Teens want to be involved in the room design choices.  They feel a sense of responsibility for selections that may travel with them into young adulthood.  But, be prepared to be asked for surfboards on the ceiling or those wonderful posters of “you know who”.  If special family heirlooms need to be integrated, like a vintage nursery dresser, they can be creatively updated with paint and new knobs.

If you disagree on color or style, remember that bedding, art and accents are easy and affordable things to change and that teens do change their minds often.  When larger more expensive items like window treatments and furniture remain more neutral, they work with any whim and can reflect the style of the home.

Teen Scene - Recreation Room

If you have a bonus room, create a fun space for activities like movies, video games, pool table, or jukebox and dance floor.  Homes with more than one teen will appreciate this separate area for the teen scene.   Make it a fun place for the whole family (when invited).

Always remember a happy teen makes a happier household.   Listen, and pick your battles when it comes to the smaller choices.  An experienced designer is sometimes the perfect mediator and can direct the project to please the whole family.

Contributed by – Julie Gerns, CAPID

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