Pull together a stylish space for visitors that rivals any luxury hotel room.
An Escape from Ordinary[INFO "OT - Relaxing Guest Retreat"]
Credit: Laurey W. Glenn / Styling Lisa Powell Bailey

Change your thinking about the spare bedroom in your home. It's not just storage space for winter clothing or extra furniture. For your guests, it's an escape. Strive to give your visitors a pleasurable break from reality.

Elements of Home
A bed is an obvious need for guests. Unfortunately, most homeowners offer little else. Lance and Margo Hayes provide more for visitors in their Baton Rouge, Louisiana, home. Among the inn-inspired ingredients: a pair of nightstands and reading lamps, a bureau, and simple decor.

Room To Relax
Whether they are family or friends, guests need to know they can retreat to the bedroom for peace and quiet without having to curl up on the bed. These hosts offer comfortable seating with an upholstered wing chair tucked in a corner. A side table to hold a beverage and books is a must.

The Write Stuff
Good hotels always provide a desk and chair for travelers. Margo placed a small rattan writing desk at the foot of this bed. It's an ideal spot for jotting down notes or writing postcards. Plus, we love the placement for adding drama to any bed.Easy-To-Repeat Pillow Arrangement

A large pile of pillows on the bed looks inviting, but it also presents a challenge for visitors when it comes time to make the bed. Dress your guest bed simply with pairs of pillows neatly arranged. If you want to offer extra toppings, such as quilts, stack them in the closet for easy access.

"Relaxing Guest Retreat" is from the November 2005 issue of Southern Living.