We like our interiors to be lively and fearless, and there is no better place to put our fearlessness to the test than in the humble guest bedroom.
A master bedroom should be a haven to rest your head and mentally prepare for the day ahead. A guest room can be much more adventurous and allow the use of colours, patterns or fabrics that you love, but don’t necessarily want to be dominant in your everyday schemes.
Sometimes it is not easy to channel that ‘fearlessness’, so here are our dos and don’ts for creating the perfect guest bedroom…
Do find a fabric you love and work outwards from there
We would usually put our favourite fabric on the headboard or curtains. This would then be the start of the room’s story.
Room 303 at Knightsbridge Hotel is a colourful oasis. The scheme was inspired by a wonderful blanket I bought from Designers Guild. This soft woollen piece is emblazoned with flowers that tumble from top to bottom. The blanket was just wide enough to cover the front of the scalloped headboard, so we completed each edge with a parquet wool by Moon. We love incorporating found fabrics into our schemes, giving each space an entirely unique feel and creating its own story.
At Number Sixteen, a bright geometric pattern by Pierre Frey makes the room vibrant and modern. As light streams in from the large double doors, the room is instantly lifted and the zingy greens and mustard yellows within the headboard contrast beautifully against the calm terracotta walling.
The room’s story is continued by carrying through the yellows on the headboard to the bed cushions, curtains and top third of the desk chair, which helps to create a thread throughout the scheme.
Do consider a theme
A bedroom is to dream, so choose a theme and take it to the extreme…
With two tall windows and large proportions, room 215 at Covent Garden Hotel was crying out to play host to a bold and vibrant scheme. This bespoke headboard was made using leftover materials in a patchwork style. The imaginative use of leather remnants was influenced by the abstract geometric paintings by The Bloomsbury Group and the work of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant. The leaves and poppy heads that pop out in the foreground were inspired by a design from a Nina Campbell collection, which we have also used on the curtains and mannequin.
Don’t be afraid to use more than one pattern
You can absolutely use more than one pattern in a room, but remember to adjust the scale. Use a big, medium and small scale fabric so they don’t overpower each other.
In room 116 at Covent Garden Hotel, we have lined the walls with my “Willow” fabric for Christopher Farr Cloth as a medium-scale pattern. This adds depth and creates a striking contrast with the dark bespoke headboard which is home to a large-scale leaf motif, and the bed cushions which have a small patterned repeat.
Be bold with colour
Be adventurous and use a bold colour such as yellow, orange or red. A colourful room will immediately cheer you up and doesn’t necessarily mean that the room will feel overpowering. It is how you combine these colours with other textures and fabrics that will make the difference.
Remember that even if it is not your main bedroom, and you have the space, you can install a sofa for a “siesta” or a moment with your favourite book.
Do carefully consider your walling
Adding fabric or wallpaper will add texture and of course, there is a big wide world of patterns to be explored.
In room 609 at Crosby Street Hotel, we have used a William Yeoward stripe over a very powerful geometric pattern by Pierre Frey.
At this private residential project, we used one of our favourite fabrics, “Coral” by Soane, which repeats a very small fern-like pattern. It works wonderfully with the powerful embroidered fabric by Baker & Gray.
Wallpaper and fabrics will help your guests get a great night’s sleep with its sound-proofing properties, but if you prefer, use paint. With endless shades, finishes and hues it is an extremely versatile option that can be easily updated.
Do install a VERY tall statement headboard
Our beds are very high, so for us, a tall headboard is an important statement.
In room 806 at The Whitby Hotel, we used a tall headboard with a striking Raoul fabric. It almost looks like a piece of art in its own right.
Even if your guest bedroom is a bit on the small side, a big headboard will make the room look more bespoke, as demonstrated by this romantic room at Covent Garden Hotel.
Do make it personal
Add at least one unexpected detail which will make your guests smile upon entering the room. This could be an art piece, a lamp, an old toy, a framed memory or just something intricate and fun.
Don’t forget the basics
A guest bedroom has a license to be beautiful and wild, but it also needs to be comfortable and inviting. Receiving guests with freshly ironed linen and some flowers in a beautiful vase is always a nice touch.
Guest bedrooms are the chance to do something a bit different and push your own boundaries when it comes to design. We hope you have been inspired to give your own guest bedroom an update, armed with a fresh perspective and a fearless mentality. Happy decorating!