A dedicated guest suite is the ultimate accommodation for visiting friends and family. More than just a spare bedroom, a well-designed guest suite creates a welcoming retreat that provides privacy, comfort and thoughtful amenities. This room of the day shows how a guest suite can be crafted into a versatile home away from home.

Designing a Functional Guest Retreat

When designing a guest suite, there are several key elements to consider for creating a useful, enjoyable space:


  • Situate the guest suite in a somewhat private area of the home, removed from main family living spaces. This allows guests to come and go without disturbing others.
  • Easy access to a nearby bathroom is essential. Having a dedicated bath just for the guest suite is ideal for privacy.


  • Include ample open floor space to move about comfortably. Around 200 sq ft or more is good.
  • Incorporate defined sleeping, sitting and dressing/storage zones. Separate areas prevent the suite from feeling cramped.
  • Allow room for extra amenities like a writing desk, lounge chair or small fridge/kitchenette.


  • An entryway or transitional area at the suite’s entrance establishes a sense of arrival.
  • French doors or pocket doors work well to separate the guest space from the rest of the home.


  • Generous natural light keeps the room from feeling isolated. Include at least one large window.
  • Window treatments like blackout curtains allow guests to control light and privacy.


  • Build in draws, shelves and closet space to store guest belongings out of the way.
  • Baskets or trunks at the foot of beds neatly corral extra linens and pillows.

Guest Suite Amenities and Accessories

Thoughtful amenities and accessories elevate a guest suite, making visitors feel cared for. Include options to meet basic needs as well as welcoming touches to deliver an exceptional experience.

Furniture Essentials

  • Comfortable mattress: This makes or breaks the space. Splurge on a high-quality mattress with supportive coils and cushy padding. Provide extra pillows and blankets too.
  • Nightstand(s): Offer a surface for lamps, phones, clocks, books and water glasses within easy reach of the bed. Include multiple stands for larger beds.
  • Seating: A comfy chair or loveseat invites lounging with a book. An ottoman can pull double duty as extra seating and spare storage.
  • Desk: A small desk or writing table with chair provides a perfect work spot and place to set up a laptop.
  • Dresser: Drawers give guests room to unpack clothes and tuck away belongings. A dresser with a mirror aids getting ready.
  • Luggage rack/stand: This helps corral suitcases opened for accessing contents without cluttering floor space.

Bedding Essentials

  • Sheet sets: Provide high-quality cotton sheets in a neutral color palette. Supply multiple sets for longer stays between laundering.
  • Duvet/comforter: Choose lightweight, breathable natural fibers to complement sheets. A quilted coverlet adds extra coziness.
  • Pillow options: Offer choices like firm, soft or memory foam. Allergy-proof pillowcases aid sensitive guests.
  • Blankets/throws: Include extra blankets and decorative throws at the foot of the bed for chillier nights.
  • Mattress pad: Quilted pads protect mattresses from dirt and spills. Waterproof versions safeguard against accidents.

Bath Essentials

  • Robes: Plush robes make guests feel pampered. Look for lightweight, absorbent waffle-weave cotton.
  • Slippers: Provide disposable slipper pairs or easy-to-launder canvas slip-ons.
  • Towels: Stock towels for bathing, hand and face use. Have extras under the sink.
  • Toiletries: Keep backup travel-size toiletries like toothpaste, soap and shampoo on hand.
  • Tissues: Tissues, cotton swabs, cotton pads and other toiletries promote convenience.
  • Hairdryer: Install a wall-mount hair dryer or store a portable one in a drawer.

Entertainment and Activities

  • Television: Mount a flatscreen TV for streaming shows and movies. Supply streaming device if no smart TV.
  • Books/magazines: Curate a collection of page-turners with various genres and topics.
  • Tablet: Provide a tablet loaded with apps, e-books, games and music.
  • Desk supplies: Keep pens, paper, envelopes and stamps for writing letters and postcards.
  • Games: Stock a few classic board games, a deck of cards and puzzles for amusement.
  • ** Charging stations:** Include power strips and multiple outlets to charge devices. Supply extra charging cords.

Additional Touches

  • Welcome basket: Gift a basket of treats like snacks, bottled water, toiletries and guiding local maps/info.
  • Wine glasses: Set out 2 glasses and a bottle opener to enjoy wine before bed.
  • White noise machine: These block outside noise for uninterrupted sleep. Earplugs work too.
  • Tissues and first aid: Provide cold/allergy medicine, bandages, cotton swabs, tissue packs.
  • Wastebasket: Use a discreet but roomy trash and recycling bin to keep the space clean.
  • Alarm clock: Include an alarm clock as a backup to phone alarms. Analog styles look charming.
  • Full length mirror: Guests will appreciate a mirror outside the bath for outfits, hair and makeup.
  • Luggage storage: Offer collapsible luggage racks, storage ottomans and under-bed space to stow bags.
  • Plants: Potted plants purify air while adding natural appeal and a welcoming feel.
  • Guest book/notepad: Providing stationery lets visitors leave notes and record memories.

Styling Considerations for Guest Suites

When styling a guest suite, aim for timeless, tranquil decor that avoids overly personal touches. Follow these tips for creating a universally appealing design:

Color Scheme

  • Stick to soft, neutral wall colors like beige, greige, tan and light blue for a calming backdrop.
  • Layer in warm metallics like gold and brass accents for subtle sophistication.
  • Add punches of color via art, pillows, throws and other flexible accents.

Furniture Style

  • Seek classic, not overly ornate, wood pieces for adaptable grace.
  • Upholstered headboards padded with tufting or buttons create cozy focal points.
  • Painted furniture in creamy white or light gray mixes easily with various palettes.


  • Plush wall-to-wall carpet promotes relaxation underfoot while absorbing sound.
  • Polished hardwood floors nicely balance carpeted areas with sheen and texture.
  • Natural fiber rugs over wood or tile floors add visual interest and warmth.

Window Styles

  • Install softening curtain panels or drapes in breezy natural fabrics like linen.
  • For privacy, hang solid blackout roller shades mounted under light filters.
  • Sheer curtains maintain daylight while obscuring views during dressing and sleeping.


  • Fluffy shams, throw pillows and blankets up the cozy factor.
  • Fresh flowers, stacked books and framed art personalize without overwhelming.
  • Sculptural lighting and natural accents like stone, wood and greenery add organic allure.


  • Black and white photography makes an elegant, versatile statement.
  • Captivating landscape imagery transports the mind and soothes.
  • Groupings of smaller frames and prints feel light and casual.
  • Neutral abstracts and non-representational motifs fit diverse tastes.

Guest Suite Inspiration and Ideas

The options for styling guest suites are limitless. For inspiration, here are some photos of beautifully designed spaces showcasing decor in various aesthetics:

Coastal Guest Suite:strip_icc()/Coastalinspiredbeachcolorsblendseamlesslyinthischeerfulguestbedroomdecoratedwithsoftcreamsandpopsofoceanbluesandgreens.-5c5befb546e0fb0001721fe2.jpg)

This coastal design is cheerful and calm with beachy blues, tans and white. Slipcovered furnishings feel casual, while natural textures add warmth.

Rustic Guest Suite

Rich woods, patchwork quilts and earthy tones give this rustic suite natural elegance. Vintage-look furniture suits traditional homes.

Contemporary Guest Suite

Clean and airy, this contemporary space features crisp white with modern furniture shapes. Pops of citrus add zest.

Tropical Guest Suite

Vibrant botanical prints pair with natural rattan and bamboo accents in this tropical oasis guest suite.

![Minimalist Guest Suite](https://hgtvhome.sndimg.com/content/dam/images/hgtv/fullset/2019/3/18/0/Original_Natalie-Myers-Scandinavian-Guest-Room_Dusk View.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.966.644.suffix/1552926927935.jpeg)

The minimalist aesthetic of this space revolves around a neutral palette of cream and gray punctuated with black accents.

Glamping Guest Suite

Rustic wood, natural fiber rugs, and outdoorsy textiles give this guest room hip “glamping” style.

Frequently Asked Questions About Guest Suites

Guest suites generate lots of questions for homeowners planning these useful spaces. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

Is a guest suite better than a spare bedroom?

Yes, a full guest suite offers more amenities and privacy for visitors than a basic extra bedroom. The suite feels like a separate retreat.

Where should a guest suite be located in a home?

Ideally, position a guest suite in a quieter area of the home, away from main family living spaces and bedrooms for privacy. Nearby bathroom access is key.

What size should a guest suite be?

Aim for at least 200 square feet to accommodate a bed, seating area, desk/table, dresser and luggage storage comfortably. Larger suites may reach 300+ square feet.

How much does it cost to add a guest suite?

Converting existing space starts around $5,000. Building new with plumbing/electrical could run $50,000 or more. The size, amenities and labor impact costs.

What are must-have items for outfitting a guest suite?

A high-quality mattress and bedding, seating, storage, lighting, accessible bathroom, media for entertainment and homey accessories are essentials.

Should I decorate a guest suite like other bedrooms?

No, opt for flexible, neutral guest room decor. Avoid overly personal styling so the room appeals to diverse tastes. Focus on timeless over trendy.

What color schemes work best in guest suites?

Soft neutral or earthy palettes have universal appeal. Shades of white, gray, tan and brown make soothing backdrops to layer in pops of accent colors.

Are guest suites good for resale value?

Yes, dedicated guest suites are a coveted home feature. They demonstrate a home’s capacity to accommodate visitors and adapt to owners’ changing needs.

Final Thoughts on Crafting the Perfect Guest Suite

A well-conceived guest suite does more than offer a place for loved ones to lay their heads. This special retreat supplies out-of-town visitors with ample amenities for recharging, working remotely and enjoying quality time with you. By tailoring your guest suite to satisfy both practical needs and welcoming comforts, you create a versatile home-away-from-home sure to be appreciated. Visitors will leave feeling relaxed, refreshed and eager to plan their next stay in your thoughtfully designed suite.



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