12 Ways To Turn Your Bedroom Into A Cozy Retreat – The Ultimate Post

You want to turn your guest bedroom into a cozy retreat.  Your family, friends and overnight guest are important to you.  You want them to feel welcome.  You need to create a  warm, inviting, and cozy environment.

First, decide what style you want.  You can mix elements from other design styles to keep them fresh.  Start with the foundation, a good mattress, and great pillows.

From there you get to do the fun stuff.   Add texture with duvets, occasional pillows, throws, rugs, drapes, and blinds. As you add each piece your room starts to evolve and your imagination soars.   This is when you become unstoppable.  You have a vision and you want to create the guest bedroom of your dreams.  You leave nothing to chance. Now let’s start with the foundation, the bed.


1. The Bed,  Sweet Dreams And Pleasant Mornings


The bed is a big decision when designing your guest bedroom. The mattress will be the most important choice. The headboard and footboard may be beautiful to look at but the mattress is the foundation.   Have you ever visited relatives or friends with an uncomfortable bed? The mattress was so hard and lumpy that it ruined your whole visit?   We all know how important it is to get a good night’s sleep and feel rested. Lumpy bed, grumpy head.

There are so many mattress choices out there.  Where do you even begin?  Let’s get started.

Which type of mattress is best? by Julia Sagar

One of the hardest decisions can be which type of mattress to choose. Here’s a quick run-through of the main options:

  • Memory foam mattress:  made from mouldable material that responds to your temperature and weight, and adapts to your body as you sleep. Great support and comfort. It can be more expensive.
  • Pocket sprung: supports you with thousands of small springs inside their own fabric pockets. They adapt to your body shape and isolate movement so you won’t feel your partner tossing and turning.
  • Latex: breathable, springy material that’s exceptionally durable and resilient.
  • Hybrid: offers a combined support system, often with a pocket-sprung base and memory foam top layer. They’re responsive, supportive and popular with people who want the best of both worlds.
  • Continuous and coil: made from a single looped wire, or single springs fixed with one wire. These are cheaper and less likely to give a good night’s sleep.
  • Bed in a box:  this refers to a delivery method, in which mattresses are compressed, rolled or folded into a box for easy home delivery. They’re usually foam, or a memory foam and spring combination.

Before buying a mattress, make sure it’s the right size. Your mattress – like your bed – should be 10cm longer than the tallest person sleeping in it. It should also be wide enough for you and your partner to put your hands under your head without your elbows touching (or without touching the edge of the mattress if you’re not sharing).

Next, do the hand test: lying down on your back, push your hand under the small of your back. If you can’t, the mattress is too soft; if the gap is very large, it’s too hard. And if you have a partner, make sure they try it, too: what feels fine on your own may be like a bouncy castle with someone else on board. Lastly, also check whether a mattress needs turning. Many don’t these days, but if you’re considering one that does, make sure you have help and lift it properly.

 The best mattress is the one that gives you the best night’s sleep and is within your budget.

Next,  what size?   This also depends on the size of your bedroom.

  • California king:   72×84
  • King:  76×80 inches
  • Queen:  60 x 80
  • Full/Double:  53×75
  • Twin:  38×75

Queen is the most common size purchased for a guest room.  But don’t rule out twin beds for the guest room. Twin beds give you more flexibility. When hosting girlfriends, grandkids or even couples (there is always a snoring partner) twin beds will work better. You can also push the twin beds together to make a King.  There are many options, find the one that works best for you.

Provide quality pillows in varying materials, styles, and firmness. No pillow is a true one size fits all.  Choosing a pillow comes down to your personal preference.  The goal is to align your head and neck so when you are lying down your neck isn’t tilting in any direction.


 2.  Pillows:  Dreams Are Made On These

image by Shutterstock 

Down pillows can be pricy, but worth it if down is your pillow flavor.   You can choose between soft /medium/firm.  Make sure you pay attention to the cover as well as the fill.  100% organic cotton is always a good choice. Down is not for everyone and some people are allergic to it.   There are other materials, of course, foam, fiberfill, memory foam and more. Get to know your pillow materials.

  • Down pillows tend to be the fluffiest. A combination of down with feathers will be firmer and often less expensive. Down alternative pillows can still feel soft and offer good support. They are usually made with synthetic fill and are more affordable than down. Either way, make sure the outer fabric is tightly woven with no fibers or feathers poking out.
  • Memory foam pillows are thicker and firmer. Solid memory foam is a little firmer. Memory foam clusters, feel more plush to lie on while still offering the support of foam.
  • Hybrid pillows mix foam clusters and fiberfill so you get the best of both categories.

 When purchasing a pillow, check the label to make sure how to care for them. Most are machine washable, but some are dry clean only.  Your pillow will last longer if you wash it two to four times a year.   Pillow protectors will help keep your pillows clean and safe from wear. The same way you protect your mattress. This may seem overkill when choosing pillows for your guest room.  But you only need to do the work once.  You are now the infamous pillow expert.


 3.  Linens And Things

image by Shutterstock

When choosing sheets, there are many things to consider.  Is it the thread count or the cotton that is the most important.  Some folks buy only what’s on sale.  You need some basic information to maximize your sheet shopping spree.  Buy smart and you will get longer life and more comfort out of your sheet.

  • The very best cotton is 100% Egyptian Cotton and also the most expensive.
  • Second, best is 100 percent Pima cotton, also known as Supima.
  • There is also the cotton/polyester blend which is less expensive.  Often marketed as “easy care,” this is a smart choice since it withstands frequent washings.  Great for kid’s beds. Make sure the synthetic fabric is no more than 30%.

Thread count is the number of threads woven into a square inch of fabric. The range can be from 200 -800, you can see numbers over 1000.  The higher the thread count the softer the sheets and more likely to wear well.  This isn’t the only factor to take into account when choosing sheets. High thread count is a factor, but the type of cotton can be more significant. 

For the bed covering a coverlet or duvet works well.   Choosing your duvet is like choosing your pillow.  It is all about what fill works best for you. Remember natural fillings  ‘breathe’ and absorb body moisture.  Synthetic material can be good for allergy sufferers as it is hypoallergenic. 

Duvet covers give you more flexibility.   It is inexpensive and fun to switch out the duvet covers on a seasonal basis.  There are so many patterns and colors to choose from.

A coverlet is a lightweight, non-reversible bedspread. It is usually either quilted or woven & often has a thin layer of batting. This makes them appropriate for use as a stand-alone bed covering, depending on the weight.  They can be less expensive than buying a duvet and duvet cover.  The coverlets are not quite as versatile as the duvet cover. 

Don’t forget “white Sales” in January.  This is when retailers offer their biggest discounts on sheets, duvets, towels, and many other household linens.

I use the duvets in my cottage rentals.    I keep two for each bed making it easy to switch in and out. 

 IKEA has great duvet covers, inexpensive and they wash up like new.


4.  Declutter The Room

image:  stock photo

We are all guilty of using the guest bedroom as a catch-all.  We use it when tidying other spaces. Can”t find a home for something, put it in the guest room and deal with it later.

 Unfortunately later never comes for most of us, until the weekend we are having guests.  Then panic sets in.

Organize your guest bedroom.  Take a basket and remove everything that does not belong there.  Now you have a clean slate to work with. Empty all the dresser drawers and closets.  Always leave hangers in the closet for your guests to hang their clothes.

5.  Bedside-Tables – Non Negotiable


image by freshome

Every guest room needs bedside tables. Your table lamp, water carafe with glass, tissues, books, and magazines all need a place to sit. Have fun choosing your night tables.

They do not have to match the rest of the furniture. They do need to fit with the decor of the room and space. Check out these creative nightstands!


6.  Luggage Racks – “A Must-Have”

Luggage racks make unpacking and packing your suitcase very convenient.  If you have ever lived out of your suitcase for a week or weekend,  you will appreciate the room with a luggage rack.  It makes sorting through your suitcase so much easier.

 There are all kinds of luggage racks.   Splurge a little bit here. Choose a good quality luggage rack, it will last you for years.  I love the leather ones in the photo above.  Very sturdy wooden frames and you can see the attention to detail.  These luggage racks complement the rich tones in the headboard and footboard. They add character to the room.

 You can choose from different types of wood to a plain white painted base.   They come in different styles with all sorts of different strapping.  Have fun choosing what will work in your space.  A bench or old trunk at the foot of the bed can also work as a luggage rack.

 7.   The Little Touches Speak Volumes



 A luxurious cotton robe and comfy slippers, guest room extraordinaire.  Add a touch of Paris with solid bricks of french milled soaps. A lavender-scented eye mask.

Luxury touches only a very discerning host/hostess would think about.

Create a warm greeting with your wifi password and frame it.  Extra phone cords, a wastebasket and full-length mirror add to their creature comforts.


 8.  A Pretty Basket Of Mini Toiletries

Put together a beautiful basket with toiletries your guest might have forgotten.  Shampoo, conditioner, body cream, shave gel, razor, mouthwash, toothpaste, toothbrush, nail brush, loofah.  You can find travel sizes of these in any drugstore.

Leave nothing to chance. They will feel very pampered indeed.

9.  Reading lights – A Book Lovers Dream

image by Shutterstock

Reading lights are a must for your guest that love to read in bed.  You need a gooseneck that you can pivot to your book.  I have reading lights that attach to the headboard of my bed with a gooseneck and swivel base.  This allows you to maneuver the light to shine on your book page.

  I bought them at IKEA.   Very reasonably priced. I have them in all my bedrooms.  Yes, I love them that much.  I highly recommend them.

10.  Window treatments – A Picture Frame For Your Windows

Blinds or room darkening/blackout curtains can keep the morning light out.  There are so many styles to choose from. I could write a post on this topic alone. To get some great ideas to check out this link to Studio McGee.  https://www.studio-mcgee.com/studioblog/2017/9/19/how-to-choose-window-treatments

The right window treatments will help your guest get the extra needed zzzs in the morning.  Drapes paired with high-quality blinds can add a touch of elegance to your bedroom.  The style of your room will dictate the type of window treatments that you choose.

  11.  Occasional Chair, Every Room Needs One

An occasional chair provides a place to sit while reading or having a morning cup of tea.  It acts as a great accent piece to your bedroom decor.

You want to create that cozy corner, inviting you to curl up with your favorite book.  It can also be used as a place to lay your clothes.

Choose a quirky color, shape or fabric.  You now have a statement piece.    Warm it up with a cozy throw and accent pillow.

12.  Layering Is A Must – Texture, Texture And More Texture.

It is the layers and textures that give a room that decorators touch.  Adding a rug is a great way to add color, pattern, and texture to the room.   If your bedroom has carpet, you can add an area rug on top of the carpet. Area rugs generally work best over short-pile or looped carpet. Stick double-sided carpet tape to the underside of the area rug to hold it in place.

Add Pillows of different texture, sizes, colors, and patterns. Don’t forget throws. They always add texture and complement the bed and occasional chair. Have fun experimenting and figuring out what works for you.

Now You Can Visualise Your Guest Bedroom/Cozy Retreat

 Are you ready to get that guest bedroom started?  Working one step at a time you can start to envision your cozy retreat. 

The fun is experimenting with different options. No need to buy everything new.  Circulate items from other parts of your home. A piece of art, a rug, lamps all look completely different in a new space. Add new pieces where necessary.

You now have a unique guest bedroom ready for your friends and family to enjoy.

Are any of these suggestions on your reno list? Would love to hear your thoughts and any suggestions you have.

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