This guest bedroom is so comfy it makes visitors want to overstay their welcome.

Have you ever stayed at a friend's house where you were relegated to a leftover full-size bed with musty sheets, an odd lamp, and nothing else? Melanie and Rob Evanko had no intention of letting their visitors feel so unwelcome. They created a room where Southern hospitality and clever decorating play such a strong role that now they practically have to shoo company away.

The Evankos and their children, Grace and Lucas, moved to their Dallas address after years in Atlanta. Because they left lots of family and friends on the other side of the Mississippi, a guestroom was essential for when those visitors came to Texas. "Besides," explains Melanie, "as a typical Southern girl, I've always prepared a guestroom. It's nice to have a space where people feel comfortable away from home."

Sorting Out a Solution
Melanie called on local interior designer Cindy Zelazny Rodenhaver to help her rearrange furniture and establish a look that would not only be attractive and stylish but efficient as well. "Cindy's got such a great eye," explains Melanie. "She helped me use things that I already had."

Turning a baker's rack into a bedside table was Cindy's suggestion. "It was in Melanie's dining room, but she didn't like it there," says the designer. "It was a fun solution for an unexpected item." She adds that bedside tables on each side would have brought the beds too close together and made the room feel too tight. With the baker's rack, a mini-breakfast bar was created. Cindy explains, "The height was a real plus, and it's perfect for a tray of refreshments and books."

Sleeping Light
Twin beds were used because a full-size one often is too snug for guests. A queen size would have worked, but such an investment is not a priority in a room that's not always in use. "I found guests are more comfortable in twin beds," explains Melanie. "I have two sisters who visit from time to time, and this way they don't have to bunk together."

Sconces illuminate the room with soft light. Nine-foot ceilings give ample space for their placement above the beds. "With the baker's rack, the sconces create a nice balance and are perfect for guests who enjoy reading in bed," says Cindy. Needlepoint shades look as if they were made for the room. "The minute I found them, I knew they would be a perfect match," she adds. From a guest's point of view, that's a match made in heaven.