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Lifestyle & Life Moments
Lifestyle & Life Moments

How to Design a Holiday Guest Room in 2023

Beautiful girl sitting in a cozy atmosphere near the Christmas tree
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The advent of the holidays means that the season of celebrating traditions and gathering with friends and family is upon us. Often, that means hosting guests at your home, and upgrading your guest bedroom with thoughtful touches and festive décor can go a long way in creating a comfortable and cozy holiday feel that spreads holiday cheer.

It’s also an opportunity to add personal style and thoughtful amenities that ensure a memorable stay for your guests.

How to Decorate Bedrooms for the Holidays

You can easily create a festive holiday ambience while maintaining a cozy sanctuary for sleep. Start by choosing a color scheme—aim for no more than three colors, say, red, white and green, or white, gold and black. From there, think about creating layers of texture, like a quilted duvet in a holiday pattern like snowflakes or a winter scape, a complementary throw blanket in a faux fur or brushed velvet finish, and one or two accent pillows that carry through the texture or look.

When it comes to decorative elements, little touches can add big spirit. Fun, tasteful ideas can include a wreath to hang over the headboard, a faux garland to drape over the foot of the bed, a bottlebrush tree on your bedside table or a grouping of small figurines on your dresser. Another area of focus is lighting—add a string of fairy lights to your footboard, add a candle in a soothing seasonal scent or display a small faux fir tree strung with lights in the corner of the room.

Trendy Holiday Decor Ideas

There are several trendy and timeless themes for holiday decor, each of which can be tailored to your preferences and the size and arrangement of the guest room.

Quiet Luxury: This trend is all about chic minimalism, neutral hues and high-quality fabrics and finishings. Look for room accents in shades of cream, caramel and gray, like luxe cashmere throw blankets, a textured vase for spare faux branches, and a plush velvet ottoman for the end of the bed. For bedding, look for hotel-worthy linens like 100% cotton sheets with high thread count, a fluffy comforter and plush bath towels.

Mixed Metallics: For a glam guest bedroom feel, opt for accent pieces that feature mixed metallics such as silver, gold, champagne and bronze. Look for baubles and ornaments in this color scheme and add several to a small glass bowl or vase for a cute way to style a dresser or side table. Seek out throw pillows and blankets with metallic threads, windowpane designs or borders.

Monochromatic: Orient your holiday decor choices around one color to outfit your bedroom. This can be a classic choice, like white to create a winter wonderland, or a more contemporary color, like pink or blue. It’s important to select items with tonal variety across your chosen color to create visual interest and add dimension to the space.

Rustic Chic: Bring on the cozy cabin vibes with earth-toned bedding, throw blankets in classic red tartan or a bold Buffalo check and a faux sheepskin accent rug. For an easy bedside table or dresser-top display, arrange a simple creamcolor pillar candle on a plate or silver tray and surround it with pinecones.

Retro Vibes: For a throwback Christmas feel, choose vintage decor like ceramic Christmas trees, jewel-tone baubles and ornaments, holiday village figurines and a tasteful draping of tinsel around the headboard or dresser.

Holiday Style Room Checklist for a Festive Guest Room

Here is a list of essential items and decorations to create a festive guest room and elevate the space.

Seasonal Linens: Create an inviting feel by upgrading your bedding with a comforter and a cozy, soft throw blanket in seasonal hues like winter white, burgundy or forest green. Seek out sumptuous sheets in organic cotton or flannel in whimsical holiday prints. And don’t forget a stack of fresh, fluffy towels.

Throw Pillows: Look for whimsical shapes, prints and colors to add trendy accents to beds and chairs.

Ornaments: Whether it’s one or many, ornaments add pops of color and personal touches. You can add them to vases and decorative vignettes, or even hang them from lesser-used doorknobs.

Wreaths: Holiday wreaths add celebratory cheer and instant panache to a guest room. Hang one on the door, above the headboard or in place of wall art. You can also nestle one around a lamp base.

Garlands: Garlands in faux juniper, olive branches or eucalyptus add extra holiday spark to any space; you can purchase them with lights threaded throughout to add additional light on dark winter days or get a crisp hygge feel without.

Wall Decor: Holiday-themed prints, removable decals or peel-and-stick wallpaper make for festive seasonal additions, particularly if kids are involved and help apply them.

Lights: LED pillar candles, strings of fairy lights and soft, yellow light bulbs help create a cozy and festive glow.

Essential Products to Decorate Your Holiday Guest Room

Creating a holiday-themed guest room is an easy and fun way to create an inviting space and memorable experience for your guests. Focus on classic or neutral colors for the bedding, such as cream, navy, gray or red, then add trendy touches with accents like throw pillows and blankets. Look for rich textures and festive finishings like faux fur, faux shearling, metallic threads and quilted velvet, which add a pop of color and texture to the space, too.

And don’t forget about adding holiday flair to the guest bathroom, like a small vase of flowers mixed with freshly cut pine, as well as mini bottlebrush trees, holiday-themed hand towels and hand soaps in seasonal scents.

Holiday-Themed Bed Linens

Given that the bed is a centerpiece of the guest room, invest in some holiday-themed bed linens to make the space merry and bright. You can opt to purchase a bedding set that includes a duvet and sheets or mix and match to suit your taste. A duvet cover makes for a space saving option if you don’t want to replace the whole duvet for the season. Shop for cotton or quilted velvet duvets in rich holiday hues like garnet, spruce green or ivory, and seek out patterns such as plaid, patchwork or windowpane.

For a more subtle touch, upgrade the guest room sheets and pillowcases with 100% cotton or flannel sheets in classic shades of ivory, white or cream, or opt for whimsical prints such as fir trees, woodland creatures and snowflakes.

Festive Pillows

Throw pillows make for fun and inexpensive accents to holiday bedroom décor, whether it’s one statement throw pillow on a chair or a mix-and-match array of sizes on the bed. Look for pillows in trendy fabrics and finishes such as faux fur, sequins, pom poms or tassels. Or seek out novelty pillows in holiday-themed shapes like peppermints, snowmen, candy canes or snowflakes. If you don’t want to commit, opt for throw pillowcases in festive prints, colors and finishes, such as winter wonderland scenes, gold lamé or crushed red velvet.

Guest Towel Sets

Just as with your favorite hotel stays, nothing says welcome like a stack of plush towels. It’s also one of the simplest ways to upgrade your guest bedroom for the holidays. Ensure that you have a large bath towel, hand towel and washcloth for each guest. It can be helpful to choose different prints or colors so that guests can distinguish their set. You can also opt to outfit the guest bathroom with holiday-themed hand towels or with disposable bathroom napkins. Look for classic patterns like plaid, winter florals or embossed snowflakes, or have fun with cheerful prints like reindeer, snowmen or ornaments.

Warm Lighting for Cozy Atmosphere

Warm lighting is essential for creating a holiday atmosphere, and it’s best achieved by layering lights throughout the guest room. For overhead lighting, choose bulbs that emit a warm, yellow light, rather than a bright white light. Add a bedside lamp for reading and choose bulbs that emit a gentle, soft glow or choose a light-diffusing shade. For a festive touch, consider adding fairy lights to drape around a wardrobe dresser or bed footboard, or add a small faux fir tree with lights in the corner. Pillar LED candles are another safe and economical way to add a cozy glow to the room.

Decorative Items for the Season

Enhance your guest room’s holiday ambience with decorative items like holiday-themed figurines, artwork and décor. Bring a touch of nature to the space with greenery, like a potted poinsettia or small fir tree, a bouquet of winter blooms (though be mindful of guest allergies) or a vase of faux berry or juniper branches. Wreaths, garlands and banners make for another cheery addition. Drape a faux pine or eucalyptus garland at the foot of the bed, around a mirror or on the windowsill, hang a banner on an empty wall, or add a holiday wreath above the headboard or around the base of a lamp.

Removable wall decals or peel-and-stick wallpaper can be a stylish, low-commitment way to add holiday prints or designs to the wall—think winter florals, stars or woodland creatures. Create a holiday vignette on an empty shelf, dresser top or bedside table with decorative flat-top table decor like mini bottlebrush trees, snowflake cutouts, snowmen figurines and stars. And remember, ornaments aren’t just for the tree. Choose a color palette and arrange several baubles in a vase or hang a selection of ornaments from the ceiling with ribbon and thumbtacks.

Other Guest Room Must-Haves During Holidays

To create an inviting and comfortable guest room, be sure to declutter and clean the space first. From there, consider adding these essentials to make your guests feel right at home. Simple touches go a long way!

  • Storage: Make space in dresser drawers, put extra hangers in the closet (or add a small mobile clothing rack), set up a small foldable luggage rack or consider adding a bench or ottoman to the foot of the bed. An easy, inexpensive storage solution is to add an extra over-the-door towel rack or a couple wall-mounted hooks for coats, towels or purses.
  • Wi-Fi Info: Print out your home’s wi-fi network and password information and place inside a small frame that can be displayed on a dresser or bedside table.
  • Outlets: Ensure there are enough outlets for guests to charge electronics. You might consider adding a power strip or docking station, or a bedside lamp with a USB port. Bonus points for providing an extra phone charger.
  • Chair: Having somewhere to sit other than the bed is essential, plus it comes in handy for draping coats, stacking clothes or resting purses on.
  • Basket of Amenities: In case your guests forget certain toiletries, it’s a nice gesture to offer an assortment of travel-size essentials such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, shampoo, conditioner, soap/body wash, deodorant, disposable razor and shaving foam, makeup remover wipes and individual packets of pain relievers.
  • Extra Blankets: In addition to a festive holiday throw, keep extra blankets in the closet in case your guests get cold during the night. Choose woven or fleece blankets that are made with 100% cotton or polyester, or a cotton-poly blend.
  • Sleep Accessories: Help guests recreate their ideal sleep environment by stocking the bedside table with accessories such as earplugs, an eye mask, pillow spray, a noise machine and an alarm clock.
  • Water Carafe and Glasses: Set out a pitcher of water and drinking glasses so that guests can stay hydrated throughout their stay.
  • Humidifier: Improve the air quality in the guest room by adding a tabletop humidifier to counteract dryness brought on by heating systems.
  • Full-Length Mirror: This allows guests to check out their appearance, but it also helps create the illusion of more space. It’s another place to add holiday decor like a tasteful garland or string of fairy lights.

Personal Touches for Holiday Warmth

Adding personal touches is the best way to make a guest feel welcome and make the room your own, too.

  • Holiday Ornament: First impressions count, so consider hanging an ornament on the doorknob, like a monogrammed one in a festive shape like a reindeer or snowflake, or a whimsical one that speaks to their preference, like a favorite TV character or food.
  • Welcome Note: Write a holiday card with a personalized message for your guest and leave it on their pillow along with an individually wrapped treat, like a mint or chocolate.
  • Holiday-Themed Wall Decor: Add festive charm to your guest room with artwork, like a print of your favorite city at holiday time or framed family photos of holidays past. Consider adding wall-mounted storage, like a rustic set of antlers or geometric brass or gold hooks.
  • Spa Inspo: Create a luxurious holiday retreat by setting out a tray with aromatherapy products in relaxing scents, such as balms, shower steamers, soap, bubble bath or shower gel. You could also add beauty products, like lip balm, a tube of luxe hand cream or restorative sleep mask. Bonus points if you set out slippers (disposable ones are fine) and a fluffy cotton robe.
  • Seasonal Treats: Leave a gift bag or basket with locally made snacks and holiday treats, which is an especially nice touch if your guests arrive late. Think: mixed nuts, granola bars, trail mix, dried fruit, individually wrapped chocolates, candy canes or jerky.
  • Wrapping Station: If guests will stay through Christmas or Hannukah, consider adding a roll of paper, plus scissors and tape, so that they can take care of last-minute wrapping needs. 
  • Reading Material: Gather an assortment of reading material, like a novel you recently enjoyed, your local city magazine or favorite holiday books.
  • Journal and Pen: Set out a journal or notepad and writing utensil so that guests have a place to jot down to-do lists, write notes or keep written memories of their stay.
  • Tissues: Stock the room with a box of tissues (bonus points for a holiday-themed cover) as well as travel-size packets of Kleenex to stash in coat pockets and purses.

Upgrade Your Guest Room for the Season with Mattress Firm

The centerpiece of the guest room is the bed, so it makes sense to focus on the quality and comfort of your mattress. It’s where guests retreat to have some quiet time, sleep off a holiday feast-induced food coma or take a quick nap in between family obligations. Plus, the best way to stave off holiday drama is to make sure your guests are well-rested. A few things to consider when buying a guest mattress are: who will be using the mattress, how long will they be staying and how else is your guest bedroom used?

Two of our favorite all-around mattress picks are the Sealy Posturepedic® Spring Bloom 12" Medium Mattress, which has a soft, cool-touch construction and offers extra support (great for back and side sleepers), and Sleepy's By Sealy® Medium Euro Top Mattress, which is ideal for a range of sleep positions and boasts a pillow-top plushness that’s so cozy, your guests may not want to get out of bed. For more guidance shopping for a new mattress, check out our Mattress Shopping Guide.

Guest Bedding and Beds