Decorating tips for a guest-friendly home

Home sweet home – it's a place to enjoy when you kick back and relax at the end of a long day. However, if you've got a spare room and a couple of bathrooms in your house, you could be primed to host guests.

This isn't for everyone, but if you're warming to the idea of offering close friends or family members a comfortable place to stay now and again, read on for some great interior decorating ideas!

The guest room

Let's start with arguably the most essential room of them all when it comes to hosting relatives, old school friends or mates you haven't seen for many years: the guest room.

You might have a spare room that's sitting unused. Perhaps you intended to use it as a home gym or it was a well-used playroom, until the kids got older. 

First, it's important to address the vibe of the room by incorporating the right colour scheme. If it's a particularly small space, select a paint colour for the walls such as Resene Half Fossil – a warm beige to help you create a soothing space.

Alternatively, you could go out on a whim and use the guest room as a canvas for all those ideas you were too nervous to try out in more frequently-used family spaces, such as the living room.

Whether that means pairing a drop of Resene Shiraz with white stripes or flying to new heights with Resene Pukeko, there are plenty of bold colours that add personality to any space they inhabit. If you opt for deeper hues, use light linen, shelving and flooring to balance out the room.

A single piece of art can create a focal point, while there are a few other essential pieces that warrant inclusion. For instance, a folded set of towels will ensure guests feel welcome and comfortable using the bathroom as they need to. A vase of freshly cut flowers and a bedside lamp are also practical and pretty touches, too.

The bathroom

If you're running a busy household, guests may feel a little out of place if there's a constant queue for the bathroom in the morning or evening. 

However, if you've got more than one bathroom, you may find that this issue is largely eliminated. 

Consider adding touches to the bathroom that's located closest to the guest room to help visitors feel right at home. Crisp, white tiles and a deep bath make the space instantly inviting.

You might like to add a lock to the door, to guarantee guests' privacy. However, this may not be preferable if you're got young children that could lock themselves in the space and struggle to get out. If so, a lock isn't mandatory – but at least ensure there's a shower curtain or a screen to make sure guests feel comfortable in the space.

Keep toilet paper in an obvious place, such as in a decorative bin beside the toilet. An alternative – if you're into the country cottage aesthetic – is to pick up a crate from the local liquor store. Sand it down with heavy-duty sandpaper to remove any wood splinters, then update it with a coat of Resene Reservoir. Voila – you've got a smart storage option for this bathroom essential that's aesthetically pleasing as well as practical.

A mirror is also worth including in the bathroom. If you're struggling for room, hang a small mirror on the back of the bathroom door or place one in the guest room.

A wastepaper basket is also worth including – just pick one in a shade that complements your bathroom's design. If the space is modern, pick a netted, steel basket. Perhaps you've gone for the country cottage vibe, in which case a wicker basket will finish the look off perfectly.

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