Guest Rooms: Make Your Visitors Want to Stay Awhile
The giddiness of making plans, is such a great part of life. As a dear friend of mine would always say: “Vorfreude ist die schöenste freude” – translation: Anticipation is the best part of happiness. That rings so very true when we know we have guests coming to stay. Ok not always, but let’s distill this to the ones we are excited about -the friends and family that we love having around and are very excited to make happy and make comfortable. There is a preparation that can be enjoyed. Relished even – and when it comes to guest rooms, that is the real factor for how much I enjoy pulling them together – LET’S GET PEOPLE EXCITED TO COME VISIT!
My guest rooms are luscious, layered, quirky and unique. They are meant to have someone walk in and go “wow – I love this and what a treat that I get to stay here.” Guest rooms for me should follow out of the norm. They should allow your guests to live in a bit of a fantasy to distinguish things from their normal daily life. I want a guestroom to have POW and impact alongside a lot of softness and comfort. Even though we need to get back to our scheduling norms, the idea I convey is: stay awhile and be welcome to play.
When I concept out a guest room I look at textures first to ensure total comfort and luxury. No use in having sheets that scratch or chairs that are uncomfortable – who wants to feel like they were placed in the “hand-me-down room”?! No one.
I layer lighter weight linens with heavier weight options to ensure individual needs are met. Soft structure and tailored bedding get mixed for this same reason – we are all creatures of habit, so my goal is to try and cater to that as much as possible. Velvets and lambskins are a nice touch to encourage lingering discussions before bed, when everyone might pile into the room. They feel high-end and appeal to the softness and thoughtfulness of a space.
My color palettes in a guestroom are largely driven by the combination of geographic location and architecture / style of the home. Homes should factor in these consistencies – certainly, no one wants a heavy jewel tone scheme in the middle of the ocean.
For furniture, I like a lot of upholstery to make certain anything bumped into won’t be painful and because leaning and lingering are best on a soft, cushy surface. A bench again in velvet makes it an easy spot to leave clothing or sit down to tie shoes and curved pieces, such as this demi-lune chest give guests good storage without taking up too much space.
Let’s look break down some of my favorite Turnstyle Designed guest room projects.
This ranch guest house sits on a lot of land. With great topography, a stream running next to it and peacocks running around it was ready for some TLC. Built in the 1950s, it had to reflect all the charm that oozes from the nostalgia of that time period and capture the ease of coming home from a nice long walk on the grounds. En-caustic tile floors give the palette a nice punch and help it stay within the lines of feeling classic yet modern. Also for ease of function with dirty boots and animals around, tiles were a no brainer here. The vintage kitchen was updated to function more high-end, and brightened and reconfigured to allow anyone staying there to linger on the custom built corner bench, feeling immediately part of the living room, ready for conversation.
Textures of more muted gradient colors with burst of florals, set the tone for this small space and large vintage calendars found deep in the attic of the main house serve as a nice nod to where this space comes from. My goal was to keep this space light and easy in feel and maintenance. By choosing a Dutch door as the entrance point, this little extra cottage on the property gets plenty of long-term use.
Since bold layering of color and pattern has long been my signature, this space was primed for a more irreverent approach. Relatively small in size, I wanted it to feel like a bit of a cozy wonderland, so pieces were chosen absolutely accordingly. Now, each space I design at Turnstyle is unique. That uniqueness is entirely embedded in our philosophy, so with each blank canvas, comes a response very much intended to be eye-opening.
The walls were hand painted in a faux finish, conjuring up well-surrounded warmth in the space. An emerald green upholstered bed was a must, especially after I fell in love with this cleverly shaped headboard to get more out of the space. I do love to sit up in bed, and almost always customize my euro shams to fit proportionately to a bed. These, alongside several soft down-filled pillows, means anyone can drop to the floor and join the conversation.
With a literal focus on the eyes, I set out to layer a wonderful grouping of antique mirrors. A large reverse painted Oriental mirror (reverse glass painting is a highly detailed technique initially used for medieval religious art, found its way to Asia along the way of the trade routes), couples with a smaller modern repeat line dimensional piece, a gorgeous brass riveted oversized mirror and several other stand out reflective surfaces. Now anyone who walks into the space, has an immediate impact moment, not to mention plenty of playful ways to see themselves in full – something I often find useful to most guest rooms.
As the holidays approach and the revolving door of visiting relatives starts to spin, I find great pleasure in prepping my guest rooms to make sure they’re all welcomed with instant comfort and a sense of respite. I hope you too can get excited by the anticipation of hosting great company. Let’s make people want to visit, shall we?!