How to make a guest bedroom more welcoming for friends and family

How to make a guest bedroom more welcoming for friends and family


Heather Childs would like to make the 14-by-10-foot guest room in her Capitol Hill rowhouse a more inviting retreat for visiting friends and family but is struggling to arrange the furniture around the radiator and many windows in the space. She wants to keep the antique bed but needs attractive window treatments and the special touches that will make guests comfortable. She prefers light colors and neutrals and is drawn to a European style that mixes antiques with modern pieces.


Designers Lorin Petit and Janet Bertin minimize the windows and the length of the room with neutral Roman shades and a rug orientation that makes the space feel wider, while staying within a tight budget.

Petit and Bertin’s SUGGESTIONS

A warm neutral paint color will create a fresh but soothing feel for the space. Try Sugar Cookie by Benjamin Moore. A bench at the foot of the bed serves as a place to sit down and put your shoes on, and doubles as a luggage rack. A clock on the nightstand and a basket filled with local magazines (not shown) are a thoughtful touch to make visitors more comfortable. Add color with a warm cashmere throw that is perfect for afternoon naps or reading a book in bed. Beautiful linens make your guests feel special, and the embroidered edge adds a touch of color and texture to a mostly monochromatic bed. Choose window treatments that offer a horizontal line as well as light control to help guests get a good night’s sleep. There is only one small wall to hang something on (not shown). For the guest’s convenience, go with a mirror rather than art.


SPLURGE: Lacourte side tables in white ($1,790 for two,, left. SAVE: Casa Florentina Louis XVI side table in distressed off-white over spa ($998 for two,

SPLURGE: Casa Florentina Serafina table lamp in blue ($499,, left. SAVE: Suzanne Kasler large gourd lamp in French blue ($199,


Furniture: Louis bench in distressed white oak with brushed Belgian linen cotton in natural ($495,

Accessories: Madeleine mirror in antique brass ($298) and eyelet embroidered sheet set in white/gray ($228 for queen), both from; classic Roman shades in Wilmington white (price varies by size, shadesshutters; Vineyard stripe 5-by-8-foot rug in natural ($499,; solid cashmere throw in seafoam green ($249), Japanese magazine basket ($99) and crystal clock ($99), all from

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