Creating an Inviting Guest Room

This time of year people start planning weekend getaways to catch up with friends they haven’t seen in a while. If you’re on the receiving end of such a visit, a quick guest room assessment might be in order. To help us feather the perfect guest nest, we asked Jeannette Whitson of Garden Variety Design in Nashville, TN, to offer her advice on tackling the ultimate hosting dilemma: How to create an inviting and comfortable room for your guests that won’t make them feel tempted to overstay their welcome. Here are her recommendations:

These days a separate room used only for guests is a bit of a luxury, so you have to get creative. One design trend that is here to stay is “multi- tasking” rooms. Carve out a little corner or nook and make a cozy space for your overnight guests that has all the comforts of that dedicated guest room of the past. (Think about the quaint little hotels in Europe where bedrooms are tucked into the eaves of old houses and under stair passages – charming!) For example, I tucked a daybed into a window eve with a trundle below. It has two very good quality mattresses, so it is definitely an upgrade from the dreaded pull-out sofa. When guests come to stay I pull up a small table and always make sure I provide the following:

  • A reading light
  • A little book in case they forgot theirs
  • A carafe and a glass for water
  • A small vase of flowers (my mother taught me this – always use something clipped from the yard to say “I’m glad you’re here”)
  • Chocolate – okay, this one’s really just for my sister who likes to pretend she’s at The Four Seasons, but you get the point – tailor your bedside to your particular guest to make them feel special. After a few days in their lovely little burrow they will be happy to return home to their king-sized bed and let you have your sewing room back!

Expert tip from Jeannette Whitson of Garden Variety Design in Nashville, TN.