How to Create a Guest Room Retreat

A few weeks ago, I had to go over to my sister’s condo to fix a broken chair (apparently, I’m the one in the family who you call when you have issues like this. Ha!). She was at work and I perused around her condo, since I hadn’t been there in quite some time. When I got to her guest bedroom, I gasped. It looked so beautiful and so incredibly cozy. I wanted to plop on the big bed and take a snooze right then and there. I immediately texted her and asked if I could feature her gorgeous guest room retreat on the blog. She happily obliged and that’s what today’s post is all about!

Tips to Create Your Own Guest Room Retreattips to create a guest room retreat

This is Liz’s guest room. While she hasn’t had many guests lately, (thanks a lot, COVID) in the past she often had visitors.jan casey and liz in NYC

Liz works as both an ICU nurse and a flight attendant, and because of her job, flying, she has friends all over the country who will come stay in this gorgeous room. She has definitely created a special spot for them. Let’s take a look around (and P.S. — All sources are linked at the bottom of the post)…

It’s All About The Cozy BeddingHow to make your bed

By far my favorite thing in the room is the bed. When she bought this 4-post bed I told her it wouldn’t work in this small room. But it actually works and I’ve been eating my words ever since. I’ve always wanted a 4-post bed (I mean, what little girl doesn’t?!) and this makes me want one even more, someday!

But it’s what’s on the bed that really makes this luxurious. My mom and I always say that all of Liz’s beds look like they’re straight out of a Pottery Barn catalog and it’s the truth (granted, the girl is PB obsessed and you’ll see that most of this room is from that store). She opts for the nice fluffy duvets, warm quilts, and extra pillows. Here’s how she made this bed…Cozy bedding in a guest room retreat

Fitted sheet, flat sheet, and then this white quilt all tucked in. Then, she folds this white duvet at the bottom of the bed with a blanket over it. For the pillows, she uses the sleeping pillows, Euro shams, front standard shams, and then a few throw pillows. It’s a lot…but damn that’s one cozy bed! Add some throw pillows to the guest room bed

I think a good place to splurge in your home is on bedding (especially in your own room where you sleep every night). Quality bedding will last and last and it makes a difference. Then, save on the throw pillows and blanket (these are all from HomeGoods), so you can change up the colors whenever you want.

Instead of making the bedding in your guest room an afterthought, make it the star of the show!

Go DarkDark paint in a guest bedroom retreat

I’m all about a dark guest room because I think the color just envelops you and makes the entire room that much cozier and inviting. Liz was nervous to go dark in here because it’s a small space with one small window, but it works so incredibly well! She painted it Valspar’s “Dutch Licorice”  and the color is fantastic.

I painted the guest room in our condo the exact same color and our current guest bedroom is painted “Tarrytown Green” by Benjamin Moore. Both are gorgeous dark colors that make a guest room even more inviting! Don’t be afraid of dark colors for your walls.

Dresser & Closet SpaceWhite dresser from MegMade

Whenever I’m staying in someone’s home for more than a few days, I like to unpack my things, so my clothes are not such a big mess in my suitcase. I think it’s always nice to have a dresser in a guest room (this is something we need to do in our own!) with at least a few drawers that stay empty for your guests. Liz got this vintage piece locally, from MegMade in Chicago, and had it painted white. Even though it’s a small room, her guests can tuck their things away in the empty drawers. Also, be sure to have some extra hanging room in the closet and a few free hangers.

Don’t Forget LightingSilver sconces in the guest room

Lighting can make any nice space ten times cozier and I especially love these sconces in here. These provide the prettiest soft glow at night. Sconces are always a good idea in a guest room because they free up space on the nightstands. That way, guests can have more room for their phone and other items at night.

Add PersonalityGuest room gallery wall with travel theme

As I mentioned a minute ago, Liz is a flight attendant and obviously, she loves to travel. Instead of adding generic art to the walls in here, she created this gorgeous travel-themed gallery wall! Denver ColoradoShe chose some of her favorite spots around the world and purchased these baggage tag frames off of Etsy. It’s so fitting for Liz’s home and these look amazing on this wall!

Make Your Guests Feel WelcomePicture of friend

This is actually a tip that I gave Liz that I haven’t been too good at doing myself, lately. Have some pictures printed of the people who visit you most often to display around your house. When someone is coming to visit, it’s always nice to have that picture out in a frame in the guest bedroom. I think this is such a thoughtful and special touch. Liz preps this frame for each of her guests and it’s just the sweetest.

Provide EntertainmentMagazines and a book in a cozy guest bedroom retreat

Putting a few of your favorite magazines or books in the guest room takes things to a new level of special! If your friend wakes up early and doesn’t want to disrupt the rest of the house, she has some entertainment right in the guest room. Liz even has a small TV in her guest room retreat so it really feels like a hotel!

The only other thing I would add in here is this guest book! We have one in our own guest room and love reading the thoughtful notes that guests leave us after their stay. It’s a fun little memento and something for your guests to do when relaxing in their room at night!

Toiletries Are Always A Nice TouchTin of toiletries in the guest room

Everyone accumulates tons of those small samples of toiletries and a guest room is a perfect spot for them. Liz has her extras in this cute little tin box (to stay with the subtle travel theme!). An extra toothpaste, deodorant, toothbrush, and other personal care items are always nice to have on hand in case your guest forgets!

It Should Smell GoodItems to have in a guest bedroom retreat

Finally, everyone loves a nice smelling room. Whether it’s through a candle that you light right before your guest arrives, fresh flowers in your guest room, or our favorite reed diffuser set, take the extra steps to make sure the bedroom spells nice. Oh, and you could also use this lavender spray on the sheets. I use it in our bedroom and love the subtle scent when I am hopping into bed at night. It kinda makes it feel like a spa.

Liz’s Guest Room Retreat – SourcesSources for this navy guest bedroom

Paint Color: Valspar “Dutch Licorice” // Bed Frame // Quilt // Euro Shams // Duvet Cover // Throw Pillows & Blanket (HomeGoods) // Sconces // Nightstand // Marble Table // Dresser (Vintage from MegMade) // Gallery Wall Art // Clock

A big thanks to Liz for letting us get a peek inside her lovely home. Next week, Liz is actually writing a guest post for the blog! She recently survived her first-ever home renovation of her main bathroom. Liz is not into DIY or home improvement whatsoever, so she was incredibly nervous about this big project. She’ll dive into the details of hiring a professional to get the job done and what she learned along the way. It should be great for other renovation newbies out there! Our guest bedroom

Our guest bedroom hasn’t received much attention since we moved in last year. Yes, we have a bed and a nightstand and we keep it clean. But, I’ll be excited when the day comes to give this room the time and attention it deserves. I’ll definitely be using all of the tips from Liz’s guest room retreat to make our own space a little more inviting.


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.