Photo by Jenna Peffley, courtesy of Carly Waters Style

If you have friends or family coming for the holidays, here’s how to create a comfy guest room that’ll blow them away

Nena Farrell  – November 7, 2019 | Updated November 18, 2019

The biggest season for your guest room has arrived: the holidays. Creating a great space to welcome your friends and family into your home doesn’t take much, but it’s the little things that can turn it from an average stay into a great getaway for your guests. 

Here’s some top-notch advice from designers and an Airbnb host on how you can create the best guest experience ever.

Start with a Blank Slate

Courtesy of Rockridge Casita

For the best guest room, it’s all about giving the space a fresh start, according to Diana Pasquali, an Airbnb host with an Oakland, CA backyard guest suite known as the Rockridge Casita. “Really clear out the space completely at first—start with a blank slate and then add back in only what’s essential for guests,” says Pasquali. “Guests don’t want to move photos, books, or clothing aside to make room for themselves. We keep some storage items in our casita, but they are labeled and neatly tucked away in large bins in the bottom of the closet. Guests love having empty closet hangers, drawers, a luggage rack, and counter space to put their things.”

Go for Cozy

Courtesy of Gina Rachelle Design

For Gina Gutierrez of Gina Rachelle Design, a guest room’s ethos should be all about cozy texture. The designer and her family recently moved from San Francisco to Sebastopol, CA, and creating cozy layers was top of mind while designing her Scandi-inspired guest bedroom. “It allows guests to wind down at night and have a great night’s sleep,” says Gutierrez. “We surround our guests with textures by layering a throw rug and sheepskin, which also provides color and shape, on the existing carpet, adding patterned sheer curtains, and hanging an overhead light with leather fringe.”

Make It Approachable

Thomas J. Story

Designer Laura Odell has a similar philosophy at her Big Bear A-frame. “I didn’t want guests to feel like they couldn’t relax and that their kids couldn’t jump on the furniture,” says Laura. She created a warm, layered space in the guest room with a vintage wall hanging and overstuffed pillows that she originally sourced for their shop, The Odells.

Consider Additional Uses

Courtesy of Gina Rachelle Design

When designing a guest bedroom, Gutierrez recommends thinking beyond the bed. “If you have the space to add chairs, a desk, or luggage racks, go for it! It’s just another way for guests to settle into their ‘new home’ for their stay. I personally love having a place that I can read or knock out a bit of work while traveling,” she says.

Provide Options

Courtesy of Rockridge Casita

Of course, it’s important to make sure the bed itself is made for a great night’s sleep, no matter who your guests are. “Have a great, firm mattress and high-quality bedding with lots of pillow options —my mom likes foam, my dad likes a feather down!” says Pasquali. She also recommends spending a night in the room so you can test out the mattress and bedding options you have to ensure they’re of maximum comfort for your guests.

Sprinkle In Dreamy Features

Thomas J. Story

Don’t be afraid to add a few show-stopping moments to your guest spaces, like the Odells did at their cabin. “Since we wanted to host guests often, we knew we needed two bathrooms,” says Jason Odell. After much deliberation, he went for bold in the guest bathroom with a beautiful soaking tub set against a wall of black chevron tile.

Don’t Overdo It

Jenna Peffley, courtesy of Carly Waters Style

For the guest room in her L.A. home, designer Carly Waters of Carly Waters Style adopted a less-is-more approach. “I believe in minimizing the amount of furniture, and instead creating built-in dressers in the closet. Also, in terms of efficiency, it makes the most sense to have everything in one place.”