When it comes to building your home away from home, within your home, design is key. Our philosophy at MGB is that a guest house is an extension of your home, personality and lifestyle. It should be perfectly suited to your tastes and needs as well as those of your guests, so that they feel as if that space is their home away from home.
A modern guest house has become an integral part of any luxury living space. Whether you’re building to enhance your property value, as a separate space for your own retreat, or for extended visits with family and friends, a separate, beautiful and creative guest space is invaluable.
Creating your guest house involves careful and attentive planning. You want to provide more than just a comfortable place to sleep; it’s an opportunity to make your friends and family feel welcome and ensure that their time and experiences with you are memorable. Emulating and creating a comfortable atmosphere that your guests will love is something that we have quite a bit of experience with.
We recently had the rare opportunity to be a part of the transformation of a 1960s Mark Twitchell beach home into a family compound, complete with a 1,000 square foot guest house. The homeowners of the Longboat Key Beach House wanted to create a serene, comfortable, two-person living space where they could showcase some of their high-end, chic and eclectic collections for family, friends and guests without overpowering the items.
The goal was simple – to create a chic living space where guests had access to all of the amenities a home away from home might need, while providing a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere. To set this tone, the owners chose a neutral color palette to accentuate the natural flowing light. This allows guests’ focus to shift out the windows to the beach and sea, reflecting the gentle hues. Key design pieces were also chosen to reflect the elements of the sea and enhance the overall atmosphere of the dwelling with such features as an Oly oyster shell mirror and white marble lotus platters from the homeowners’ gallery.
As Longboat Key Beach House’s homeowner pointed out in a recent interview with Sarasota Magazine, the beach evokes emotions. When designing in such a small space, it makes reflecting that emotion more personal, as each chosen piece is of quality and beauty. Personal touches evoke emotion and connection, which allow guests to more fully relax in their home-away environment.
Tips for Designing Your Guest House
As you start to build and design a guest house, there are several considerations that we recommend keeping in mind while planning. These features serve as rules of thumb for creating a truly inviting space for your guests that will make them, and you, fall in love each and every time you walk through the front doors:
Embrace Natural Light
Light is everything. It sets the tone and atmosphere of your living space as soon as you step foot inside, so invite the light with large windows. Even if your guest house is small in size, there is no need for it to feel small. Floor-to-ceiling windows, like those of the Longboat Key Beach House, open up a space and allow guests an immediate and relaxing connection with the outdoors.
Mirror Exteriors of the Main House
Though a more obvious word of advice, aesthetically, you want the eye to flow seamlessly from the main house to the guest house. This flow is achieved with the same exterior surface, color scheme and roofing as what was originally used on the main house. Continuity is not only pleasing to the eye, it helps your guests feel more like they are staying in the same house.
Use Neutral Tones
Just as the Longboat homeowners chose, neutral interior tones make a space more open, welcoming and flexible in design. Softer tones are more relaxing while also leaving room to be more creative in choosing featured pieces within the house.
Create a Relaxing Space Away from the Bedroom
Even in small spaces, it is important to create a relaxing space for guests outside of the bedroom. This includes a separate, but comfortable and inviting sitting area where your guests can unwind at the end of their day.
The most important thing to keep in mind when building and designing your guest house is to simply ask yourself what would make you feel more at home. If you, yourself, feel comfortable and relaxed, then your friends and family will, too, and fall in with their home away from home.
Featured photo credit: MGB Home Builders