Holidays & Entertaining

Preparing a Five-Star Guest Room for the Holidays – On a Budget!


I don’t know about you, but I’m not at all interested in traveling during the holidays, because I want to be home…where I am comfortable and familiar. And, if you are expecting guests to stay overnight at Christmas time, they might be feeling the same way, but give in to that…just to spend time with family or friends, rather than be alone.

I am thinking of elderly parents, or people who are suddenly alone, who have to decide between traveling, or be alone on Christmas. So, you might be interested in learning how to prepare your guest room for their stay, to make it a spectacular and cozy place to call their home for the holidays.

Read on to see how you can make their stay in your home extra joyous this holiday season. It starts with the guest room, by turning it into a comfortable haven to call their own… even if just for a short time.

Shake the Cobwebs

First thing to do is clean out the room. If you are planning on doing  a complete makeover, clear it out completely before you do any painting or remodeling. I will touch on some budget friendly ways to do some light remodeling in the next section.

However, the main idea here is to give them a clean and tidy room. If there is clutter in there, remove it and put it elsewhere for the duration of their stay. Clutter is depressing for many people, as it promotes a chaotic atmosphere.

Next, make sure the carpet or rugs are cleaned, window treatments are laundered, and the bedding as well. This won’t require much in cost, just time. So, plan to do it ahead of time.

Home Improvements with a Budget in Mind

Most guest rooms tend to have a very generic look and feel to them, right? It could be a standard hotel room, minus the room service. When is the last time you do anything in there to improve the appearance? It might be a while, if it doesn’t get used very often.

However, there are some easy and inexpensive ideas that can give your guest room a cozier appearance, making your guests stay much more pleasant. You can either run with them, or adapt them to your own liking.

Upgrade the ceiling fan and light fixtures. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on these, especially if you can find decent used items at a garage sale or on eBay or Craigslist.

If the furniture is older and dark, give it a sanding and new stain, or paint it to brighten it up. This will help the room appear larger and more spacious. Of course, you need to probably start now if you want to have it done in time.

Another idea is to find some raised panel shutters, either new or used, and hang them on the inside to frame the window. This is especially nice if you have blinds, rather than curtains. It will give the room a cottage feel, and more of a retreat. If you have draperies, you could always frame a mirror with these shutters. Hanging shutters inside is growing in popularity.

Take a look around to see what you can go to update the room, as long as you have the time and budget for it. The key point here is to make sure it’s not cluttered and chaotic.

Five Star Perks

To take the room up a notch in making it a 5 Star stay for them, there are many inexpensive perks you can place in the room. Here is just a sampling of what you can do:

  • Place an extra iPod docking systems in the room, along with an extra iPod filled with Christmas favorites
  • A basket filled with various reading materials, crosswords puzzles, word searches, blank paper, and pens
  • An electric blanket
  • Bottled water, a variety of plain and flavored
  • Christmas towels, robe, and slippers
  • A sitting chair for reading, or a prop pillow for reading in bed
  • Empty drawers so they can unpack
  • Photo album on the end table filled with photos they would enjoy
  • Basket filled with various sample sized toiletries
  • Dish with mints

Again, this is just a sample and can be altered to your guest’s likes and dislikes. For example, if your guests do not include young children, add some basic over the counter medications to the toiletries that they might need and didn’t pack such as aspirin, antacids, or antihistamines.

Decorating the Room on a Dime

Don’t forget to do some light holiday decorating in the room, so that when they retire for the evening or go in there to retreat for a while, they still have a sense of why they are there.
I wouldn’t overdo it though, just as you probably wouldn’t in your own room. Place a couple flameless candles wrapped with ribbon on the dresser. You can even find some that are on a timer, so they are glowing when they walk in at night.

Other ideas would be a wreath, a glass bowl with colorful ornaments, or Christmas throw or pillow on the bed.

In Closing

Making your guests feel welcome and at home during the holidays goes beyond the guest room, to including them on baking goodies, having items in the house they enjoy, and communication. However, the guest room is where they will be alone most of the time. Make it just as special as they are to your family.

As a freelance writer, Sophie Evans looks for new inspiration for projects through her own experiences, as well as sites she visits on the Internet. For instance, when reading through a website called, she thought of making over her guest room for holiday guests and decided to also write about it. Sophie lives in Balboa Beach, California with her husband Rick, and their two children.


Photo Source: IKEA

The following two tabs change content below.
Canadian Home Trends magazine gives you a personal tour of the most stunning homes and condos across Canada. You'll be inspired by a selection of accessible home décor products, trend reports, simple yet stylish DIY projects, and much more. In each issue, you are given the tools to recreate designer spaces you've always dreamt of having at home, in-depth renovation and design advice, colour palette and furniture pairings, and Canada's best places to shop.

Latest posts by Canadian Home Trends (see all)