How to Make a Guest Room Cozy for the Winter

Bethany White December 9, 2022 | 5 min read
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Whether you’re hosting for the holidays or just looking to make your spare space feel more like home, it can be hard to narrow down how to make a guest room cozy. If you’re not sure where to start, try these seven simple steps to making the most of your extra rooms. Warning: They might be so cozy, your guests won’t want to leave.

Pro Tip: Do your guest room plans include renovations? An FHA 203(k) loan could help you finance them.

How to make your guest room cozy in 7 steps

  • Boost your bedding
  • Let there be (bedside) light
  • Dress the windows
  • Provide plenty of storage space
  • Supply comfortable seating
  • Lay out the necessities
  • Don’t forget the flowers

1. Boost your bedding

Your guests can only be so cozy without a good night’s sleep. When setting up your guest bedroom, splurge on higher-quality bedding. Think plush pillows, fluffy comforters, and crisp sheets. You can even provide extra blankets and pillows so your guests can adjust the bedding to their preferences.

Pro Tip: If you’re freshening up the bedding in the laundry before making the bed, consider using scent-free detergent to avoid irritating any potential allergies your guests may have.

2. Let there be (bedside) light

Ever tried to find your way back to bed in the dark in an unfamiliar room? It’s decidedly not cozy. Whether your guests enjoy winding down with a book at night or just don’t want to trip over their suitcase at lights out, bedside lighting is a must for a welcoming atmosphere.

3. Dress the windows

From offering additional privacy to providing welcome winter insulation, window dressings are an important part of making a guest room cozy. Opt for a fabric that still lets in some natural light to keep the room from getting too dark and musty, especially as daylight becomes limited during the winter.

Pro Tip: Looking for window dressing inspo? Check out more ideas here.

4. Provide plenty of storage space

It’s hard to settle in when you’re living out of a suitcase. Closet and drawer space is always a smart addition to any guest room, but even just an uncluttered corner of the room to store luggage is an easy way to help your guests feel at home.

5. Supply comfortable seating

What says “home” more than a designated chair to throw your laundry on? When it comes to cozy guest room ideas, a comfortable chair or bench is a must. Bonus points if your setup includes a table and lamp for reading, enjoying that first cup of coffee in the morning, or just savoring some quiet time between holiday socializing.

6. Lay out the necessities

Make it easy for your guests to find everything they need to make themselves at home. Put out towels and washcloths, don’t hide outlets behind furniture, and include your WI-FI information in a prominent location, like on the bedside table or a desk. And if you’re really in the hosting spirit, a water carafe by the bed could save your guests a 3 AM trip to the kitchen.

Pro Tip: A designated laundry hamper for used towels and linens will make your post-visit cleanup easier, along with clearing up the all-too-familiar “Where do I put this towel when I’m done with it?” dilemma for your guests.

7. Don’t forget the flowers

So, winter may not be the best time for fresh flowers. That doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate some elements of biophilic design into your guest room decor! From faux plants and dried flowers to seasonal stems like juniper and cypress, bringing the outside in can help reduce stress and anxiety (who couldn’t use some help with that over the holidays?), add dimension to the space, and generally make your guests’ accommodations feel less temporary.

Got any other cozy guest room ideas?

If you’re not sure how to make a guest room cozy, just ask yourself who will be staying in it. Are they bringing pets with them? Consider including some pet-friendly features like a water bowl or an out-of-the-way location for a litter box. For parents traveling with small children who will be sharing the space, a room away from the main areas of the home could help reduce the chances of disrupted sleep schedules.

Accessibility is also important to consider. Your budget may not include a full ADA overhaul of your home, but there are plenty of simple adjustments that can make your guests more comfortable.

  • If your home has multiple floors, set up the guest room on the ground floor
  • When selecting a bed for the room, make sure it’s not too high (or low) off the ground
  • If possible, set up the guest room with easy access to a bathroom
  • Consider installing grab bars in the shower
  • Remove rugs from the guest room as these can be difficult to navigate with mobility aids
  • Leave open spaces at tables and other seating areas

If all this seems like a lot, don’t get overwhelmed by the guest room possibilities. At the end of the day, all your guests really need from you is a willingness to host. Whatever you can comfortably manage on your schedule and budget will be enough. Happy holidays!

Hosting for the holidays? Try these seven tips to make your guest room cozy for winter and beyond.

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About the Author
When Bethany was a kid, her mom took her to the zoo, museums, and more fun spots—then made her write essays about them. Now, Bethany deploys those skills as a copywriter at Cardinal Financial and has to admit: she owes her mom one. When Bethany’s not dreaming up fresh takes on mortgage lending, you can find her running, spoiling her cat, and refusing to improve as a chef.