Decorating & Design - Bedrooms

Gorgeous guest bedrooms

Turn your guest bedroom into a retreat your guests will never want to leave.

Guest bedrooms don't always get a lot of love. Often they work double-time as a home office, or they become repositories for dusty books and magazine back-issues you haven't got around to storing yet - or maybe that's just my house. But they don't have to be relegated to the status of glorified storage room, even if you don't have guests every weekend. Tuck away all those magazine and if you're using it as a home office, find pretty storage to hide your files and pens. Once you have the bedroom basics in place, it doesn't take Herculean effort to add gorgeous touches that your houseguests (and you) will love.

The essentials can include what you can't see, too. Crisp, clean, fresh bedding and towels that don't have a heavy scent or perfume such as those found in fabric softeners or linen sprays are among the absolute basics, says designer Samanthan Pynn. "A couple new pillows are also a must unless your pillows are relatively new and fresh," she says. It's true - there's nothing worse than a dingy guest pillow flattened to a pancake by previous sleepers.

What about the finer touchers that will have guests admiring your attention to detail? Are they worth it? Remember, whatever little details you add to the guest bedroom you can use elsewhere after. "Put out new and natural body lotion, soap and face cream," Samantha says. For a really luxe touch, add the new Dyson air-cleaning fan for white noise and fresh air, she says, not to mention chocolates, and a bouquet of non-fragrant flowers like tulips or hyacinths on the bedside table. Other nice touches include a sleep mask, wood hangers for clothes and clean drawers with drawer liners. If you do all these things, "I promise you will have a new family member in no time!" she jokes.

One of the best sleepover experiences I've ever had was at a friend's tidy house. There were fresh clean sheets and a blanket straight out of the dryer, an alarm clock, a stack of matching towels, room to hang my clothes but most memorably, the room was impeccably clean with not a speck of dust to be found (not that I was looking, but as an allergy sufferer I noted how well I felt). This room was also a home office, but I deduced this only by the presence of a computer. There were no other stray papers around to make me feel as if I were intruding. Bliss! Needless to say, that was not the last time I stayed over.

Here are 10 special touches you can add to your guest room to make any guest feel at home!

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