Have guests coming in for the holiday season? Here are a few tips and ideas on how to make a guest bedroom cozy.

I’ve always wanted to own an Airbnb.

I’d decorate every bedroom with a different theme and build an outdoor patio with a circle of chairs and find the best muffins to leave for guests and leave chunky knit blankets in every room.

This week I created the next best thing.

Leslie from My Hundred Year Old Home and her friend Mary Liz came to stay at the house for Leslie’s book signing.

And I pretended that my home was an Airbnb just for them. I cleaned out the closets and dusted every corner and ordered new hand towels for the bathroom and tried to imagine what a guest would need.

Kind of like I was in a Hallmark movie about to open an Inn on my grandmother’s Vermont estate that I inherited.

It was so much fun.

So just in case you were getting ready for guests this holiday season, here are my best tips and a few ideas and things I discovered along the way.

How To Make a Guest Bedroom Cozy

1. Choose cozy bed pillows

Did you know I can’t even remember the last time I bought a pillow before last year? It’s like all my pillows came over on the Mayflower and stuck around.

And then?

I found these. They are seriously the all-star of pillows. They hold their shape and look cute in a pillow sham and everyone who sleeps on them raves about them and they have over 160,000 reviews that sing their praises.

You can see them here (and there’s a coupon right now for 40%0ff).

2. Add soft linens that feel cozy

We have these sheets on every single bed in the house. Leslie and Mary Liz both told me how cozy their bed was the next morning and I think it was these sheets. The sheets feel SO MUCH more expensive than they are and they come in so many different colors (I chose white so I could bleach them).

You can see them here.

I also ordered the cutest bed in with a bed in a bag set that was super affordable that I added to this bed. It has a comforter, shams, pillowcases and sheets.

You can see it here.

And while we are still talking about the bed—this mattress pad is GOLD. It’s cooling and so cozy and I’ve ordered it for our beds and I sent two of them with the twins to college (I’m looking at you dorm mattresses).

You can see the BEST mattress pad here.

3. Empty drawers

I know this is probably Captain Obvious, but when I travel I like to unpack my suitcase and put everything away.

Having a few empty drawers makes it so convenient for guests who like to unpack like me.

If you can’t empty all the drawers, just empty a few and let guests know where they are.


4. Add a cozy rug

In addition to your bedding, it’s also important to think about what those guests’ toes are walking on.

Place soft rugs throughout the room to provide extra cushioning and a layer of cozy under their feet.

You can see this rug here.

Also, here are some of my favorite rugs.

And the BEST rug pad.

5. Set up three points of light in the room

One major aspect of creating a comfortable guest room is thinking about lighting. Make sure you have plenty of lamps and overhead lights, as well as small accent lights that can be used to create a soft glow at night.

You can add these inserts to your lamps to make the bulbs dimmable.

You can see these gourd lamps that I have all over the house here.

6. Hangers

I cleared out most of the closets so there was room for Leslie and Mary Liz to hang up their clothes.

Then I added some hangers to the closet just like they do in hotels or Airbnbs.

These are my go-to velvet hangers.

7. Add a charger and a sound machine

A wireless charger is the perfect way to welcome your guests.

This is one of my favorite wireless chargers.

The Airbnb I just stayed at had a sound machine. What a perfect way to make your guests feel at home.

Sometimes it’s so hard to feel at home in a new room. A sleep machine like this one can help give your guests a good night sleep.

You can see it here.

Think about anything else your guests might need, too. You may even try sleeping in the room to make sure that you are able to provide any necessary accommodations for your guests so they can feel comfortable during their stay.

It was so much fun having Leslie and Mary Liz here—so much quality time with quality friends.

And having a pretend Airbnb was fun too.

I learned a lot getting the room ready and I have all the tips now.

Who knows?

Maybe one day I’ll become an innkeeper in Vermont. 🙂

disclosure: affiliate links are used in this post

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  1. Image for Vela Tomba Vela Tomba

    Thanks for the great recommendations!! Very timely because I just noticed I needed some new sheets! Didn't see the link for the empty drawers, though. I need that one especially!

      1. Image for Ann C Ann C

        Haha! I decided to have my garage floor epoxied because it was 70+ years old and very pitted and impossible to keep clean. In preparing for that project I had to remove everything! Now I don’t want to put anything back. I’m taking my time and only bringing back what I need as I need it. NotHing says “Welcome home” like a clean garage!

    1. Image for Diane N Diane N

      Me too !! I’m in Connecticut, so just a quick drive. I always wanted to to that, but it is a lot of WORK. Hubby was not quite on board. Will see, this was WAY before Air b& b or the Internet! Good old Fashioned Bed and Breakfast. 🥰

  2. Image for Vicki Vicki

    Hi, I just love your newsletter. Lots of little finer things we sometimes do not know we are missing. I have been staying in hotels a lot this year. I must say these bright white sheets are kind of growing on me. I usually have colors and florals. My favorite colors are pastels. I love the green walls in your guest bedroom. And pale pinks are a favorite too. I also have collected blue and white for many years. I did let go of some things. But that just gives me room to pick up some others here and there. So much fun, that. Anyway I have been picking these small finer things here and there to make my bedroom cozy. Thank you for all of your lovely ideas. God Bless.

  3. Image for Ann Mitchell Ann Mitchell

    I need a very inexpensive way to get a bedroom ready for my son and daughter in law for them to spend one night at Christmas. Please help!!!

    1. Image for Marion Marion

      I would just go ahead and give everything a deep cleaning. Polish furniture, fresh sheets and bedding (they don't have to be new), a fresh candle or air diffuser, a grocery store bunch of flowers, and maybe some chocolates in a pretty dish. It will turn out nice!

    2. Image for KariAnne Wood KariAnne Wood

      Of course! I'd clean the room and wash the sheets with some amazing fabric softener and add a pitcher of water by the bed with some fresh towels! You GOT THIS! Happy day! KariAnne

  4. Image for Sharon Sharon

    Such a lovely guest room. Great tips, and thank you for the links for the bedding. They are all very affordable and I will be ordering a few of these things.

  5. Image for venturagirl@heart venturagirl@heart

    Added several items to my Amazon list for Xmas ideas so my kids have ideas what to get me for Xmas. Sounds like it was a fun and successful book signing with Leslie. Thanks for the great suggestions!

  6. Image for Marion Marion

    Beautiful room, Karianne - just Lovely! I don't see a link for the floral bedcover? A duvet, maybe? Thanks for sharing!

    1. Image for KariAnne Wood KariAnne Wood

      It's actually a curtain that I made a duvet cover out of! It's linked here: https://amzn.to/3S8uSMO Happy day! KariAnne

  7. Image for Jill Brewster Jill Brewster

    Have you ever slept on real linen sheets? I recently spent a week with my Son and Daughter-in-law in Tennessee, and she had them on her guest bed. I was in Heaven! Now, I'm looking for just the perfect color to go with my guest bedroom comforter.


    Your Guest Bedroom is beautiful! Your guests will just love staying with you, KariAnne! You have so many great ideas! Thanks!

  9. Image for Ann C Ann C

    I recently had a guest for a few nights with one day’s notice. My guest room had become the drop zone for everything I needed to get to at some point. Ugh! But I got it all clean and fresh. The only things I didn’t see on KariAnne’s list was a nite lite in the bedroom and in the bathroom. I also put a small lantern type flashlight on the nite stand. Plus a covered candy dish with sea salt chocolate covered caramels. Plus some books and magazines. They were a big hit.

  10. Image for POLLY & JACK POLLY & JACK

    I have lamps on both sides of the bed, I love to read in bed, so my guest might also. Fresh flowers and a box of buckeye candy, I hope they will love & yes I'm from Ohio Lots of comfy pillows to lean back & relax! At the end of the bed, I got a luggage rack and everyone seems to like it. Plus a few Magazines with some of my favorite books just in case they would like to read & take when they leave!

  11. Image for Mildred Johnson Mildred Johnson

    I wish I had see this post a couple of months ago. I’m furnishing an AIRB&B and already bought the bed linens. However I’ve been wondering what type of pillows to buy. Thanks for the post, I’ve never used a gel pillow so I’m not sure I should purchase them. Are there any pros or cons that could help me decide?

    1. Image for KariAnne Wood KariAnne Wood

      Mildred, They are so cozy. They don't really feel like gel to me---they are made up of individual pieces that form around your head when you lay down and bounce back when your head isn't on the pillow. Happy day! KariAnne

  12. Image for Kris Kris

    I love this room. So pretty. Your sound machine idea is gold. We try to remember ours when we travel, especially if we are staying at a hotel--it really does help all of us sleep better. Some more very simple ideas--a box of tissues and a trash can. I also like the ideas of a nightlight and a small flashlight that others have mentioned. It can be disorienting to sleep in a different place and to need to locate the bathroom in the middle of the night. :)

  13. Image for Sherrie Mock Sherrie Mock

    I always enjoy your posts! Your home is gorgeous! I haven’t seen any fashion tips or outfits for Fall…I miss those and I love your style!!

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