Guest room ideas for all of us tend to be non-committal. After all, it’s likely if you are decorating a guest bedroom that you are looking for ways to make it multi-purpose. Perhaps your search for guest room office ideas have to coincide with a characterful space?  The answer, says Richard Smith at luxury fabrics and wallcoverings brand Madeaux (opens in new tab), lies in mixing patterns and prints in the interior design of the space. And, he adds, it’s a good room to experiment with patterns if you haven’t used them elsewhere before. ‘For those who are fearful of how to combine and layer color and pattern, it can be daunting introducing these elements into a room that you use every day. However, a guest bedroom is a brilliant space to start,’ says Richard. ‘Why not have fun creating a truly unique bedroom that will surprise and delight your guests as the holiday season approaches? It may also potentially allow you to feel more confident about combining color and pattern elsewhere in your home.’ Here, Richard offers his top tips for using pattern within a guest room.

1. Use the hero pattern as your starting point

‘When looking to add differing elements, it may seem obvious but start with a pattern that you love; people often choose plainer, more neutral designs in fear, but the result is likely to be an uninspiring space that won’t hold your interest in the long term,’ says Richard.  ‘Once you have found that a pattern or print that makes you smile, look to introducing other motifs in a similar color palette. If you refine your palette to two or shades it will ultimately be easier to layer additional patterns that will build the combination of colors and pattern in harmony.’

2. Work in contrasting patterns for a curated look

Choosing floral room decor doesn’t mean you can’t decorate with stripes, too. In fact, it’s recommended.  ‘It is a good idea to mix and contrast different types of pattern within the scheme. For example, a stripe or floral with a geometric; the more linear design works well with the exuberance and unpredictable relief of a floral, adding a framework and structure,’ says Richard.  ‘This can also be said of scale, a mix of larger patterns with smaller scale will provide a sense of balance within the overall look.’ Learn how to style a bed with pattern like this and you will have created a welcoming focal point for the space, effortlessly.

3. Give the pattern room to breathe 

‘Choosing patterns that hold a lot of white or black within the repeat is also a good way to allow the motif a little space to breathe, grounding brighter hues of color and allowing the eye to detect and enjoy each pattern individually,’ says Richard. This is a particularly good idea for small guest bedrooms and guest bathrooms.

4. Pick florals for a beautiful finish

‘Choosing floral wallpapers that fill the walls with the beauty of the garden are timeless and can create a real sense of escapism with their immediate connection to nature,’ says Richard. ‘Paper across all four walls to create a really exuberant display that will cocoon and envelop your guests. The bed can be layered with bedlinen, a mix of cushions and perhaps a soft quilt or chunky throw, welcoming your guests and inviting them to relax and unwind.’ Lighting schemes for guest bedrooms can be equally exuberant, or restrained for a pleasing contrast. 

5. Dress the bed to impress

Styling a four poster bed with fabric adds a layer of luxury to a guest space. ‘If you have a four poster bed, why not bring the pattern into the fabric overhead for the most opulent finish allowing your guests to feel very spoilt, creating an indulgent hotel escape feel?’ says Richard. ‘Don’t forget the personal touches such as a robe behind the door, a vase of favorite flowers and a selection of books and the latest magazines. The only issue is they may never want to leave!’