How to make a guest room feel more homey – 8 functional and beautiful ideas

These are the essential practical and design tips to create a comfortable home-away-from-home for your guests

How to make a guest room feel more homey
(Image credit: Michael Sinclair / McGee & Co. / Original BTC)

Making a guest room feel more homey is key to ensuring your guests feel relaxed and comfortable during their visit – to do this, it is important to strike a balance of comfort, practicality, and a little personalization.

As well as considering the practical and decorative elements that can enhance your guest's stay, methodically anticipating their needs during their visit and tailoring the space to their preferences can ensure your visitors feel right at home. 

Understanding your guests likes and adding personal touches to show you care can earn you the 'superhost' reputation with your visitors. These are the eight tips to design a guest bedroom to make it feel more homey, ensuring you have covered all the essentials to create a comfortable and functional guest room.

How to make a guest room feel more homey 

One of the simplest ways to know if your guest bedroom is homey enough for visitors is to test drive it yourself. Spend a night in the bedroom to find out how it feels to stay in your home as a guest. Ask yourself questions like: How does the morning and evening light come through the windows? Do we have the best mattress for a comfortable night's sleep? How can I make the bedroom smell nice?

1. Add personalized welcome touches

Dressing space in bedroom with green and white floral wallpaper

(Image credit: Boz Gagovski)

Providing personalized touches is perhaps the best way to give your guests a warm welcome upon their arrival. 

'Small amenities, such as a carafe of water and a vase of fresh flowers, demonstrate genuine hospitality,' says Arpit Jain, interior designer at McLine Studios.

Consider choosing some books they may enjoy reading in their downtime. You can also provide some essentials they may need or have forgotten, such as a sleeping mask, toiletries, and towels, all displayed neatly in a basket or on a tray. 

Create a designated corner with helpful information or a personalized welcome note with details such as your Wi-Fi password and recommendations for things to do in the area. Through these simple touches, your guests will feel more self-sufficient and at ease in your home. 

2. Implement adjustable lighting

A neutral bedroom with decorative white wall and bedside lamps

(Image credit: Original BTC)

'Having different levels of lighting can create a more personalized and comfortable ambiance for your guests,' says Nicole Saunders, interior design specialist, and founder of The Design Build Vault. 'This could include having a dimmer switch or multiple lamps with varying brightness levels,' and color temperatures. These lighting schemes can make guest feel welcome.

'Soft lighting in a guest room plays an important role in shaping the ambiance,' explains Kevin Mercier, founder of popular travel blog, Kevmrc. 'It goes beyond mere functionality; it's about creating a mood that feels comforting and serene. Lamps with warm hues, strategically placed fairy lights, or dimmable overhead lights all can cater to different preferences. It not only enhances the visual appeal but also sets the tone for a cozy evening.'

Equally, providing guests with task lighting that is bright enough so they can comfortably get ready (put on makeup, shave, etc) is essential for allowing guests to customize their environment, ensuring it provides them with home comforts.

Headshot of Nicole Saunders
Nicole Saunders

Nicole is an interior design specialist and founder of online design resource The Design and Build Vault. She uses her skills to provide her readers with the knowledge, clarity, and confidence required to undertake their own DIY and renovation projects. 

3. Thoughtful storage solutions

Modern bedroom ideas with wooden wardrobe

(Image credit: Michael Sinclair)

Provide ample storage space for guests to unpack and settle in. This simple gesture helps remove the feeling of living out of a suitcase. Clear out a few drawers in a dresser or designate a section in the closet. This will not only give them enough space to comfortably unpack, but removing any personal items is also key to making a guest room feel more homey for visitors.

You could also provide a space for them to place their suitcase, such a trunk or storage bench at the end of the bed, or a space in a closet. We love this Emmett storage bench, from West Elm.

4. Use a neutral color palette

a neutral bedroom by Kitesgrove with a bedside lamp and a small wall reading light

(Image credit: Kitesgrove)

Using soft, calming colors to decorate a guest bedroom can make the space feel inviting and cozy. Use a neutral color palette as a foundation – perhaps on the walls and floor–  can set the tone for a welcoming space that appeals to a broad range of guests.

These are the best color schemes for a guest bedroom because they allow you to redecorate the room according to the guest's preferences and the season while keeping the decor cohesive. 

Speaking of seasons, you can add warm-colored bedding and throw pillows in colder seasons, and cooler-colored accents during summer months. 

5. Add comfortable bedding

McGee & Co. bedding

(Image credit: McGee & Co.)

Use high-quality, comfortable bedding. Crisp linens, soft sheets, a comfortable mattress, a cozy throw, and plush pillows can make all the difference in providing a restful night’s sleep. 

Show you have paid extra attention to their bedding preferences by offering a range of pillow types (firm or soft), and providing extra blankets or pillows for different preferences in warmth and comfort. A mattress topper is another addition that can go a long way.

A well-made bed can also elevate the visual appeal of this space, making it feel more comfortable. Opt for neutral tones for a universally inviting feel. 

6. Provide tech essentials

Small bedroom ideas with fabric wall covering

(Image credit: Future)

Anticipate your guests' needs by providing tech essentials, including a charging
station with various charging cables (including one for a toothbrush), a small Bluetooth speaker, and perhaps some entertainment additions, such as a TV with their favorite streaming channels. 

Honcila Charging Station | Was $40.99, now
$35.99 from Amazon

Honcila Charging Station | Was $40.99, now
$35.99 from Amazon

This multiple charging dock has 6 ports, so your guests can charge several devices at once. It is universally compatible with cellphones, tablets, Airpods, smartwatches and other USB electronic devices.

7. Utilize effective window treatments

bedroom with curtains and antique chest and mirror and pendant light

(Image credit: Luke White)

For many, the key to a good night's sleep is black-out blinds, curtains, or shutters that offer full window coverage, and without these, your guests may have a broken night's sleep. 

Find window treatments that offer privacy and block natural light but can easily be drawn in the day to brighten up the room.

8. Provide usable furniture

Wooden desk, orange curtains, blue walls

(Image credit: Stephan Kent Johnson/Otto)

It's important to furnish your guest bedroom with useful pieces, like a cozy bench or chair. This involves anticipating your guest's needs and setting up the space accordingly. 

For example, some guests may appreciate a comfortable space to put on makeup, so you set up a makeup vanity station with a chair, desk, and mirror to make this a task they can complete comfortably. 

Set up a small home office space if guests need to work while visiting. Creating a bedroom office is as simple as providing an ergonomic desk and a comfy chair, or a desk that tucks into a corner or beneath a window.

Additionally, incorporating multifunctional furniture such as a storage bench or a bed with storage beneath can be a great way to prevent clutter and ensure your guests have enough space.


How can you make a guest bedroom more relaxing?

Having an aromatherapy diffuser in a guest bedroom is a great way to make this space more relaxing. You can choose scents that your guest will love and preorder them for your guests arrival.

'Always, I repeat always have aromatherapy diffuser in your guest room. It
really sets the mood and makes the space feel more welcoming and cozy,' says Nicole Saunders, interior design specialist, and founder of The Design Build Vault. 'For instance, lavender essential oil is known for its calming properties and can help your guests relax after a long journey.'

Infuse these personalized scents into the room to create a space that feels uniquely tailored to them. You can even create an aromatherapy nook for that extra level of comfort.

You can find this aromatherapy essential oils kit at Amazon.

'Incorporating natural textures like woven rugs or wooden accents imparts a homely feel, completing the inviting ambiance for a memorable stay,' suggests Arpit Jain. 

Remember, the key is to blend comfort with functionality, ensuring your guest room becomes a welcoming space for anyone who stays.

Lola Houlton
News writer

Lola Houlton is a news writer for Homes & Gardens. She has been writing content for Future PLC for the past six years, in particular Homes & Gardens, Real Homes and GardeningEtc. She writes on a broad range of subjects, including practical household advice, recipe articles, and product reviews, working closely with experts in their fields to cover everything from heating to home organization through to house plants. Lola is a graduate, who completed her degree in Psychology at the University of Sussex. She has also spent some time working at the BBC.