Experts offer holiday-design tips to make guest rooms glow

By: Sherri Kolade | C&G Newspapers | Published December 17, 2014

 Let your guests rest their heads comfortably on a holiday-themed bed with matching pillows and bedspread.

Let your guests rest their heads comfortably on a holiday-themed bed with matching pillows and bedspread.

Photo courtesy of Scandia Home

With Christmas just days away, design experts want you to make the most out of your guest bedroom for visitors to enjoy this holiday season.

Christine Jackson, owner of Birmingham-based bedding store Scandia Home, who designs and makes decorations, said making guests feel pampered is one of many great ways to welcome them in holiday style.

“If you have people coming in and they’ve been traveling, by the time your guests get to you, it is nice to have a room that will facilitate a good night’s sleep,” she said.

From matching holiday-style pillows and comforters to glitter candles and stemware, Jackson said the guest room can be decorated in such a way that makes guests comfortable.

“We have luxury linens, and we carry six different lines of 100 percent goose-down pillows and all kinds of comfy, cozy throws and robes and things that would make your guests feel like they’re pampered,” she said. “We’ve actually had people dance through the front door and say, ‘I have never gotten a good night’s sleep like this.’”

Jackson added that when it comes to the holidays, people like to feel the season, especially through decorations.

“We all like to have our best,” she said. “We just like to have that feeling that we are having a special day or week, and that is what holidays are all about — little touches of graciousness. We like beauty to be surrounded by something other than the normal day-to-day.”

Troy professional organizer Amy Blatt, of Order Restored LLC, said staying on top of holiday decorating doesn’t have to be a pain, but something simple.

“It is nice to put a little extra thought into holiday entertaining. It is more about the ambiance,” Blatt said. “It can be done on any budget.”

Blatt said guests will feel the love when they are treated to a seasonal toiletry basket with a festive cloth napkin, along with small, tabletop Christmas trees surrounding a nightstand to serve as a nightlight.

“It kind of nice so your guests don’t have to ask,” Blatt said of toiletries. 

To make the bed look fresh, add extra pillows, along with a small gift instead of candy adorning a pillow.

Blatt added that if you happen to be home when your guests arrive, don’t be afraid to feed them a meal to Santa’s taste.

“Have milk and cookies and hot cocoa waiting on the table,” she said.

If the guest bedroom has a bathroom, seasonal towels are one of many ways to make your guest bathroom shine this holiday season.

Blatt added that the colors don’t have to be the traditional green and red, but could be silver and gold.

“The colors that are popular now are more like the soft blues and silver,” she said. “It is OK to have something a little different, as long as it is tasteful and peaceful. You want it to be calming rather than a fun Christmas atmosphere.”

For the windowsill in the bedroom or bathroom, she said think candles — whether battery, electric or real.

In the bathroom, a candle with a garland or berries around it is one way to add elegance to the room, Blatt said. Even a floating candle in a tall glass pillar with water around it could be added.

Blatt said that themes aren’t that necessary for a room, unless your guest bedroom already is thematic.

“Christmas is enough of a theme, I think,” she said. “Unless you have a hunting lodge theme, then reindeers would be nice.”

When it comes to making your guests feel at home, slippers and a bathrobe would be a nice gift for guests because it is useful, she said. Just remember to be neat, even if it is the holidays.

“It is all about keeping things where you use them to stay in someone’s home,” she said. “Something warm and practical would be nice.”

Lastly, Blatt said having space cleared in a couple of drawers would make guests feel more at home. Telling them through little notes does the trick, too.

“Have a note hanging from a ribbon that says, ‘Merry Christmas,’ or ‘Make yourself at home.’”

For more information on decorating tips, go to or