7 tips to designing the perfect guest suite
By Interior Designer Samantha Johnson
Based in Buckinghamshire, Samantha Johnson is a leading British designer with a stunning portfolio of immaculate high-end residential homes, beautiful holiday havens, inviting work spaces and boutique hotels. With a career in the hospitality design sector working for leading agencies, Samantha decided to specialise in interior design and has run her successful design company for over 18 years. She is a regular media commentator on interior design trends.
So, what makes a guest bedroom that visitors will love from the moment they step inside? Remember they will be expecting to feel relaxed and pampered; therefore your design should appeal to all the senses. Don’t forget the sense of smell – from a linen spray or freshly cut flowers; it’s those added personal touches that will make their stay with you extra special.
- Bed and bedding
A well-made bed should be the main feature in your luxury guest bedroom. Start with a good quality mattress and furnish it with high-thread-count cotton linen sheets that have been freshly laundered and firmly tucked. Sheets should be white and the best you can afford. Then add a thick duvet and 2-3 plump feather pillows. An extra blanket is an added touch for those cold winter nights and a soft headboard will be much appreciated by your guests. Perhaps add a hot water bottle in a pretty cover too?!
Your bathroom should look clean and fresh so it’s best to keep the design simple and functional but that doesn’t mean it can’t be stylish too. Obviously, tiled and vinyl floors are practical and easy to keep clean. Stick to neutral wall tiles and provide space near the sink for guests to put their toiletry bag.
Be sure to provide your guests with a large bath towel, hand towel and wash cloth set out on the bed or in the bathroom. A fluffy robe for your guest to use during their stay is a luxurious touch.
Stock some bathroom necessities for your guests – make sure you provide a few travel-sized essentials.
Hang a small magnifying mirror to provide a spot for touching up makeup or putting on jewellery.
The ambience of your guest room is vital and it’s important to give your visitors different options too. Think about the various areas in the room and how it should be lit. Dimmers are a great touch and bedside lamps are a must. Free-standing lights in the room will add interest and it’s a good idea to light artwork with wall lights if you can.
Ideally, you should provide your guests with a wardrobe and chest of drawers for storing their belongings during their stay. If you don’t have space for a wardrobe then a simple rail or hooks on the wall will provide a place to hang clothes. Additional space to store luggage is great too. Of course, your bed should have two side tables, and a comfortable chair to sit and read in if you have the space.
Do allow a long dressing mirror somewhere in the room even if it is on the back of a cupboard.
- TV / music / Wi-Fi access
Just like scents, sounds have a way of evoking emotion and sometimes it is nice to offer a place where guests can listen to their music via a small portable speaker or an iPod dock. Make sure the Wi-Fi code is somewhere visible so that your guests don’t need to ask for it and this could be framed on the wall.
- Décor / Soft furnishings
Remember everyone has different tastes when it comes to décor so it’s worth keeping the room relatively neutral – that doesn’t mean bland! Introduce contrasting textures in your soft furnishings to create a high-end look on a relatively low budget. Wallpaper will add interest and detail (vinyl wallpapers are much harder wearing than a paint finish).
Most guests will appreciate a dark room for sleeping in so it is worth having black out curtains or blinds as this will block out early morning sunlight. Invest in well made curtains using luxury fabrics and trims to match the rest of the furnishings in the room.
- Personal touches
Finally, it’s those small things you have thought of that will make your guests feel extra special. Take a cue from 5 star hotels and stock the room with a cup, a teapot and small packets of coffee and tea so guests can help themselves whenever they like. A carafe of water (or a few bottles of water) is a great added touch on a nightstand.
A catch-all tray or basket provides a specific place for your guest’s small personal belongings.
Fresh flowers are a must but creating an arrangement doesn’t have to be a chore. Pick up a few bunches at a local florist, snip the ends then plop them in a vase. If that seems like too much work, though, try a small potted plant or orchid!
Allow your guests to get to know your area by hanging a framed map of your region on the wall. Some city maps can make great artwork when framed nicely.
Stock bedside tables with current magazines that might interest your guests.
Ensure they don’t miss any planned activities (or an early morning flight) by placing a small clock in the room. Test its noise level first; no one wants to lie awake all night to the sound of ticking!
If you would like to get in touch with Samantha give her a call on 01494 882219 or via email email@example.com www.samanthajohnsondesign.com