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You don’t always have to play it safe when it comes to home decor -- breaking the rules and decorating outside the box can be half the fun of decorating a room! (Image: Ashley Hafstead)

3 tips for decorating a wow-worthy guest bedroom

You don’t always have to play it safe when it comes to home decor -- breaking the rules and decorating outside the box can be half the fun of decorating a room! If you are looking to be more bold with your decor, but are hesitant to take the first leap, a great and easy space to start is in your guest bedroom. This is a space that usually doesn't get as much use as the rest of your house and creating a themed guest room is a great way to wow your guests.

Our guest bedroom is right out of an African safari camp. I fell in love with Africa years ago when I experienced my first safari and I loved the feel of the bush camps where we stayed. One of my favorite parts was sleeping under romantic mosquito netting each night. So when I came home, I immediately started to transform our guest bedroom into a safari room.

Even if a safari-themed room isn’t your thing, you can still follow my three simple tips below to help you transform your guest bedroom into a dreamy space that will leave your guests asking if they can stay just one more night!

Start with the walls

Add texture to your walls: this can be done through wallpaper, wood or you can see how to make the DIY rope wall I created here. Use paint and opt for a bold color to immediately transform your space. And instead of doing just one feature wall, try two. Simply pick two opposite walls and add texture or paint.

Go bold with the bed

The bed is focal point of a guest bedroom, so go all in and add ALL the drama! This can be achieved with mosquito netting, curtains hung floor to ceiling to mimic a four poster bed (pro tip: when using fabric such as curtains, make sure to always have them go from the floor to the ceiling to make your space feel larger) or an oversized headboard (pro tip: the taller the headboard the larger the room will feel). Add layers of luxury and texture through the bedding and throw pillows.

Make your accessories count

Use your accessories to hone in on your theme: find pieces and knickknacks that make sense in the space. If you are recreating a room that is inspired by your travels, try incorporating things you returned with from your trip to remind you of your favorite places.

A really great idea for a few knickknack accessories is to raid your closet and look for beaded necklaces or bracelets and put them in a bowl for a beautiful textural element. The bowl would look gorgeous on top of a stack of books or on a side table. For my safari-inspired guest bedroom, I used binoculars, vintage cameras and safari hats to fill in the space.

Finally, incorporate books that feature your theme. For example, a Thai-inspired room would have books on Thailand. This will give your guests something to enjoy and look through as they are winding down for the night.

Make sure to enjoy the process and be creative -- design is all about what you make of it!

You can see more of Ashley's home decor tips and DIY projects here.