The only thing missing from this creative space is the "Do Not Disturb" sign.
Freshened Up Room for Guests
Fabrics and furnishings in this guest retreat are not only pretty but also durable.
| Credit: Laurey W. Glenn / Styling: Lisa Powell Bailey

Though it may be considered impolite, this is just the kind of guest room that makes visitors want to dive under the soft bedcovers, curl up with a good book, and stay a long, long time. It's not that owners Sandra and Doug Ashcraft want their houseguests to hibernate and never come out of the room; they just want them to be as comfortable as possible. Thus, they designed this room to make all who enter feel right at home.

Pretty and Practical Linens
Designer Garry Mertins of Little Rock aided in the project. He believes different fabrics--patterned and solid in this case-- create a good bed ensemble. The linens shown here are a mix of textured matelass? coverlets, chocolate brown linens, high-thread count Egyptian cotton sheets, and, of course, a few plump pillows covered in fun fabrics. "We splurged on down pillows to make this retreat both luxurious and comfortable," says Garry. Before guests arrive, the inviting beds are made; then the coverlets are pulled down as if to say "Come on in."

Heads Above the Rest
Though the linens are bright and beautiful alone, they really stand out when displayed against the chocolate-colored fabric headboard. The simple and economical headboards were made by covering pieces of plywood with batting and fabric. Decorative piping and buttons enhance the pieces. "They're fun and unexpected," notes Garry.

A sturdy chest between the beds is a convenient place for guests to store personal items. Atop the chest, a lamp for reading balances on a favorite book. To accentuate the headboards' height and add interest above the chest, Garry hung a mirror. A TV located just across the room and an attached bath make the suite completely private. If only the owners could be talked into offering room service, there really would be no need to ever leave.

Five Ways to Spoil Your Guests

  • Brighten the bedside with flowers. A small bouquet or arrangement will fill the air with scent and add a pop of color.
  • Leave a basket of your guests' favorite snacks. Don't forget to add bottled water.
  • Display a few books or a journal for visitors.
  • Include a small TV or radio in the room. Leave the remote in an easy-to-see place.
  • In the guest bath, lay out fresh towels, shampoo samples, toothpaste, and toothbrushes.

Guest Room Sources:
Interior design by Garry Mertins Design, Little Rock, (501) 376-6600; linens available through Garry Mertins Design.

This article is from the February 2005 issue of Southern Living.