Guest rooms to remember

Creating a guest room that goes that little extra mile with thoughtful touches and considered design, helps ensure your guests feel completely welcome and at home while they’re staying.

It can be as simple as fresh flowers on the dresser or a more elaborate room makeover, but ideally, a guest room should be uncluttered and functional so it looks as though it was intended for someone to stay in!

Here are some ways to elevate your guest rooms at home.

Luxury layers

A mix of bold patterns and layers of throws and cushions, create a welcoming comfortable guest bedroom that could belong in any luxury hotel. The upper walls are Resene Wallpaper Collection 37520-2 and the lower wainscoting is Resene Tangaroa with battens and dado rail in Resene St Kilda. Stencilled floor painted in Resene Rice Cake with design in Resene FX Paint Effects medium mixed with Resene Tangaroa. Bench seat in Resene Stromboli with legs in Resene Duck Egg Blue, headboard in Resene Cashmere, pendant light in Resene Scoria and plant pot in Resene Duck Egg Blue. Project by Kate Alexander, image by Bryce Carleton.

Generous use of textiles in different materials is a really simple way to add a sense of luxury to a guest room, without breaking the budget. Double down on the effect by going for a maximalist approach to patterns and even colour so your finished room feels abundant and sumptuous, and looks as though care and attention has been taken.

By adding layers of pattern, texture and colour you will create a space that resembles a luxury hotel or exclusive B&B for your house guests. The trick to using a mix of patterns and shapes is to keep to a simpler colour palette so things stay cohesive. Try keeping it very basic with a sophisticated monochrome palette in Resene Alabaster and dark Resene Bokara Grey, then just add notes of a vibrant jewel-toned shade to emphasise the sense of luxury. Try burnt orange Resene Moroccan Spice or magenta Resene Disco. Touches of metallic or glass also work well for a luxury, glimmering finish.

If you want your guest room to be more understated yet still look luxurious, mix textures like chunky knits with suede-look curtains and cushions, and velvet or weather touches and keep your patterned layers to tonal neutrals.

Start with a textured neutral wallpaper pattern like Resene Wallpaper Collection M35002 then add painted layers of similarly toned neutrals like Resene Quarter Fossil, Resene Triple Fossil, Resene Craigieburn and Resene Double Stonehenge. For a punch of brighter colour add touches of Resene Wild West.

Beautiful bathrooms

An ensuite or nearby bathroom ensures ultimate convenience for your guests. This bedroom and lower ensuite wall are painted in Resene Waiouru. Upper ensuite wall and white faux tiles in Resene Eighth Black White with black tiles in Resene Nero, shelf and ensuite table in Resene Waiouru and door in Resene Nero. Project by Melle van Sambeek, image by Bryce Carleton.

Adding an ensuite to your guest room might be unrealistic for a lot of us, but it is the ultimate way to elevate the space. If that’s not doable ensure the room has an area set aside for someone to get dressed and ready themselves for the day - or evening - ahead.

Try to incorporate storage for face clothes and hand towels, as well as a hook or rail to hang bath towels and a laundry hamper to drop them in before they leave. If your guest room wardrobe is being used for storage add in a painted clothes rack for exclusive guest use.

Another cute but useful idea if you don’t have a guest ensuite is to leave a small card in the bedroom with directions to the nearest bathroom, and a torch for finding it in the middle of the night.

If you do have an ensuite for your guests, it can be a fun place to play with a really bold wallpaper design like the Amazon jungle-inspired Resene Wallpaper Collection 91250 or the dramatic florals of Resene Wallpaper Collection 99341.

Try painting a feature wall with an eye-catching colour like turquoise Resene Yowza or warm, soothing Resene Toffee as a change from the traditional, functional white-on-white ensuite.

Top tip: Providing your guests with a robe is a nice idea if they have to make a trek to the bathroom.

Bachy chic

Guest luxury comes in all forms. In this bedroom beachy natural tones and textures bring comfort with a sense of peace and calm. Wall painted in Resene Eighth Stonehenge, floor in Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash, headboard slats in Resene Double Stonehenge, shelf in Resene Ebony Clay, small mirror and tealight holder on the shelf are Resene Corvette and vases next to the bed in Resene Double Stonehenge, Resene Half Barely There and Resene Rakaia (medium) and Resene Cinnamon. Project by Kate Alexander, image by Bryce Carleton.

Baches and holiday homes are practically made for having guests to stay, so lean into the relaxed, but elevated comforts of natural fibres and neutral colours.

Great features to include in a beach house guest room are plenty of places to hang wet or sandy items, and keep flooring tiled or stained in a practical neutral like Resene Colorwood Bask from the We Speak Beach collection so everything is low maintenance and guests don’t feel like they’re creating a mess if they scatter sand on the floor.

Old, simple wooden ladders can be upcycled to create places to hang or dry clothes. Paint them in a summer shade like Resene Tuscany against a neutral wall in Resene Spanish White. Plenty of hooks on walls are great for towels and can be a fun place for different spots of colour.

Bach guest rooms that open onto a deck, balcony or patio are the ultimate beachside luxury so ensure your guests have a comfy chair to enjoy a quiet moment, and even their own clothes drying rack for those wet togs.

Natural colours will always work well in any bach guest room so lean into the shades of the sand in Resene Gold Coast, the ocean in Resene Seachange and the sun in Resene Tequila.

Reading nooks

Adding a comfy chair to relax in is a beautiful addition to a guest room. The walls in this room are rag painted in Resene Napa with Resene Eighth Stonewashed on top. Floor painted in Resene Ethereal, console table top in Resene Dynamite and legs in Resene Noir, large planter in Resene Alabaster and small plant pot in Resene Pravda. Project by Laura Lynn Johnston, image by Bryce Carleton.

Creating spaces in your guest rooms that go beyond just having somewhere to sleep is a lovely touch, particularly if you have guests staying a while.

Adding bookshelves and a comfy chair, with good lighting immediately creates a space within a space for quiet reflection and reading. Opt for soothing, muted colours like smoky grey Resene Inside Back, soft blue-green Resene Blue Smoke or oaty neutrals like Resene Parchment or Resene Eighth Stonewashed. Add in a textured throw and a footstool and your guests may never leave!

Function and form

The cloud light is a standout design feature of this bedroom, with an added practical purpose of lighting up the working space. Bedroom walls painted in Resene Half Gull Grey, while the floor is stained in Resene Colorwood Natural. Desk painted in Resene Colonial White, chair in Resene Gold Dust metallic, headboard in Resene Lignite with a border in Resene Go Ben. and vase in Resene Americano. Project by Kate Alexander, image by Bryce Carleton.

If you’re making over a guest room for someone who will be staying more than just a night or two, make sure it is a balance of beautiful style with some practical features, like a desk or dressing table with a comfortable seat. Good lighting, space for luggage and devices, heating and a good mirror are all pretty essential.

When it comes to lighting, you can play with a shade that is a unique, talking-point design, but also make sure there is adequate lighting over mirrors or desk areas. Make sure those things are handily positioned near power outlets so devices can be recharged near where they’re being used and tools like hair straighteners are close to mirrors. A bedside lamp or wall lighting over a bed is also extremely useful to have in a guest room.

To combine some of these practical requirements into a stylish feature, add a narrow painted shelf behind the bed as a faux bedhead as a convenient place for chargers and even small LED lights. Paint it the same shade as your wall for camouflage or go bold and make it a stand-out feature of the room.

Adding a desk to the spare room, also means it can be used by someone in your household as a study or workspace while no guests are staying. Just think about having a declutter and a tidy-up before new guests arrive.

Published: 13 Oct 2022

Do you have a home full of wonderful Resene paint and colour? Send us some snaps by emailing editor@habitatbyresene.co.nz.

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Resene Duck Egg Blue

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Resene Bokara Grey

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Resene Moroccan Spice

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Resene Quarter Fossil

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Resene Triple Fossil

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Resene Craigieburn

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Resene Double Stonehenge

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Resene Eighth Black White

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Resene Eighth Stonehenge

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Resene Half Barely There

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Resene Spanish White

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Resene Inside Back

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Resene Colonial White

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