4 easy updates to give your guestroom a cozy feel - ‘they take 10 minutes and won't cost a cent!’

These simple tips will give your spare room an inviting feel, and they're perfect for last-minute overnight stays

Bedroom with white walls and window, wood framed bed and white sheets, throw pillows and blankets
(Image credit: Manolo Langis. Brandon Architects and Brooke Wagner Design)

With the holidays in full swing, it's not unusual to end up with last-minute guests on your doorstep this time of year. If you have a guest bedroom with a made-up bed then that’s a good start, but you'll want to make it special for your guests to really feel at home. 

When you literally only have 10 minutes to turn your space around, there’s still plenty you can do to give their room a cozy and relaxing feel that they’ll be sure to appreciate. To find out what easy updates you can make without leaving the house, I spoke to an interior designer who gave me four super simple tips to create a welcoming feel in your guest bedroom using items you already have around the house. 

1. Layer cozy fabrics 

bedroom with white walls, yellow trims, grey bed with yellow throw pillows and quilt

(Image credit: Zoe Feldman Design)

First things first, you need to make sure your guests are comfortably warm this time of year, so make sure you style the bed appropriately. ‘Swapping thin blankets for thicker textures and richer colors creates a cozy feel,’ says interior designer Iwona Budnik. 'Add more of them, perhaps on an armchair, as well as across the bed.' 

When it comes to layering fabrics for a winter feel, the more the better. Not only will they be practical and warm but they'll also make the bedroom feel like a hotel, which everyone loves.  

2. Add a low-level source of light 

bedroom in dark grey walls and red light bulbs

(Image credit: Original BTC)

You want your guests to feel relaxed and have a good sleep in the environment you’ve created for them, and the right bedroom lighting plays an important role in achieving that. Add sources of low-level lighting (you don’t need to buy these, just bring some in for the night from a different room) that will create a calming atmosphere. 

‘Lower intensity light signals to our brains that it's time to go to bed,’ explains sleep scientist Theresa Schnorbac. 'I would suggest using a warmer colored orange-red light in the hours before sleep to help aid better rest.' Think about bringing in side table lamps with warm bulbs and even small tealights which will give the room a festive feel for the season. 

3. Create a wintery foliage display 

bedroom with cream walls, cream and brown bed, glossy wooden side table and flower display

(Image credit: Ema Peter. Design: Gillian Segal)

You can instantly make any room feel special and elevated with a flower or winter foliage display. It’s good to have a few vases in the house that you can quickly take out and, with some seasonal foliage foraged from the backyard or local park, you can create a simple and beautiful display. 

‘I like to bring in winter foliage such as oversized branches from the garden and dried flowers (especially hydrangeas as they add lots of volume, texture, and color),’ says Iwona. If you don't have time to gather enough for a whole arrangement, think of small touches like a single stem in a small vase on each side table.  

4. Light a scented candle or natural oil diffuser 

A selection of candles on a coffee table

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Before you light a candle or natural oil diffuser open the windows and let in some fresh air to purify the space. This, together with choosing the right spot to place your scented candle, like a side table, will help the scent propel into the room more easily as the air will feel less heavy and stuffy. 

Pick a scent that isn't too overpowering, or too particular, as it might not be to everyone’s liking. As a general rule of thumb stick to relaxing, plant-based scents that are natural enough to be enjoyed by most of us, such as lavender, thyme, chamomile, or ylang-ylang. ‘Chamomille has a mild, comforting essence that helps in reducing anxiety and setting the stage for a restful night,’ says scent expert Siobhan Kehoe

Whether you only have the time to tick one of these tips off the list or more, it’s all about the small, simple actions that make a difference, and create a space that's welcoming, cozy, and restful. 

Raluca Racasan
News writer

Raluca is Digital News Writer for Livingetc.com and passionate about all things interior and living beautifully. Coming from a background writing and styling shoots for fashion magazines such as Marie Claire Raluca’s love for design started at a very young age when her family’s favourite weekend activity was moving the furniture around the house ‘for fun’. Always happiest in creative environments in her spare time she loves designing mindful spaces and doing colour consultations. She finds the best inspiration in art, nature, and the way we live, and thinks that a home should serve our mental and emotional wellbeing as well as our lifestyle.