Getting a Guest Room Holiday Ready

Sharing how I am getting one of the guest rooms in my house holiday ready so my guests will feel comfy and cozy.

With the holidays approaching and family and friends coming to stay, I thought I would refresh one of the guest rooms a bit to get them holiday ready. Nothing major, just a little color change to warm up the rooms for the season.


The rooms have neutral walls and carpet that I plan to update sooner or later, but for now, I am using a red and green color scheme.


This guest room has a black and white color scheme from my previous house that all started when I made over this piece of furniture.

I only made a few tweaks to the room’s decor, because the focal point of the room is…

Holiday ready guest room with lake view

…the view of the lake out the sliding glass doors.

Even if it’s too cold to go outside on the balcony, friends and family who come to stay with us can sit back and relax and still enjoy the lake from the comfort of the bed.

holiday ready guest room ideas

I got my inspiration to change up the the colors in the room when I received my latest box of decorating goodies from Waverly Inspirations. The box was filled with red and green fabrics, ribbon and paint that can be bought at Walmart.


To make the room extra holiday special, I used Waverly Inspirations chalk paint in the color Crimson to paint over a large art canvas I had hanging in my previous house that no longer fit my decorating style.

DIY Christmas song lyric art

Once the paint was dry, I placed a piece of chalk on its side and rubbed it all over the canvas and then wiped it off with a damp towel.

This helps prevent “chalkboard ghosting” or previous written things on a chalkboard from reappearing.

I used white chalk and wrote the lyrics on the canvas of my favorite Christmas song, Somewhere In My Memory by John WilliamsIt is from the soundtrack of Home Alone 2. 

I hand wrote the lyrics free-hand and didn’t fuss over the fact that it was not perfect.

What was more important for me was that when guests read it, they get that warm and fuzzy Christmasy feeling. :-)

If you can’t read my handwriting, here are the lyrics:

Home Alone 2: Lost In New York Soundtrack

Candles in the window,
Shadows painting the ceiling,
Gazing at the fire glow,
Feeling that gingerbread feeling.
Precious moments,
Special people,
Happy faces,
I can see.

Somewhere in my memory,
Christmas joys all around me,
Living in my memory,
All of the music,
All of the magic,
All of the family home here with me.


I added a faux fur throw over the bed and bought a new tray to hold breakfast…

serving tray with Christmas cookies and napkin.

…or a late afternoon snack of hot cocoa and cookies. The holly is from my yard. There are two types of it, Horn holly, the prickly kind and Burford, the type above.  

I was so excited when I saw the berries had turned red. Free Christmas decor. YAY!


I covered the plastic pot that the Christmas poinsettia came in with Waverly Inspirations fabric. I will post how I did this in a separate post. The tray table is a family hand-me down. It is quite unique.


To make the color changes on the bed, I made loose pillow covers using Waverly Inspirations fabrics. I did not use a pattern. If you would like to make one for your bed:


For the small throw pillow, instead of using expensive passementerie to trim it, I used the ribbon that came in my Waverly Inspirations surprise box to make “fancy trim” for a throw pillow.

You can find out how to make it in this post: How to Make a Festive Christmas Pillow


Now the room is holiday ready. The other guest room in my house is going to be blue and green. Visit my project gallery to explore Christmas projects for every room in my (and your) house.

DIY and budget holiday ready guest room decorating ideas

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for this sweet idea. I finally did it. Merry Christmas!

  2. Red Deer Furnace Cleaning says:

    Thank you so much to writing this wonderful blog. It’s really worthwhile.

  3. Red Deer Furnace Cleaning says:

    Very Nice!

  4. Jaye M Brown says:

    You’re so clever!!!! Merry Christmas to all of you.

  5. tammy m. thomas says:

    Thanks so much for the fix on attaching knobs with the lock screw NUT! That’s what it should be called anyway, I have knobs I get so agitated about, because you start avoiding the knobs that you have to FIX every time you need to open it. So…THANK YOU!!!

  6. Mike Grant says:

    Ohlala! very creative. Your ideas are very wonderful. I love the chalkboard paint on the canvas. Everything is so timely. I will definitely enjoy staying in this room. Impressive!

  7. Cathy Green says:

    When I prepare room for guest I try to keep the room simple. Some guests don’t want or need the heavy bedding or multiple fancy pillows. Usually i make sure that there is a place for them to put any unneeded bedding at night. As a guest, my worst experience was finding the bathroom with no room for my towel or even a toothbrush, and a bedroom with barely enough clear floor space to open a suitcase. :)

  8. nice …canvas is new style ……canvas art is good as well

  9. Mary Howat says:

    Just love the idea of the chalkboard paint on canvas. I plan on trying that. I have a floor easel so would display the canvas and words as you come in to our house. You have such good ideas.

    I just took fringe off a Turkish carpet and it looks so much better. The carpet is 40 years old and the fringe was dingy and our dog”s hair was always getting stuck in it. I cut the fringe down and then pulled off the rest with pliers. Looks so much better. Getting rid of our blinds and putting in plantation shutters. Trying to streamline things as we age in place!

  10. Sheryll $ Critters. says:

    You are a true genius! I love your ribbon trimmed throw pillow and you already know how much I adore the dresser make over. And the 3 D gallery wall is the Kat’s meow!

    My little Sapphire kitty was killed his past Wednesday and I am inconsolable.

  11. Melissa Leach says:

    Diane, I don’t know how to express how much I enjoyed this BEAUTIFUL post! I agree with Valarie Sanford, you continue to amaze me with your talents. Your Blog truly is my favorite. Such amazing projects , insight and VIEWS of the lake :). Merry Christmas.

  12. I’ve enjoyed watching you make over your house. I love this guest bedroom! It looks cozy and festive.

  13. It looks lovely Diane! So welcoming – and I love your DIY chalkboard sign and trimmed pillow! I’m impressed with how beautiful your photos are, you managed to get a great shot of the lake and of the room. I can never manage to do that! I need a tutorial on that too :-)

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Krista – Thanks. I am looking forward to being part of your tour next week. The photo of the room and lake was hard to get and I still have not mastered it yet. I used Lightroom to do it. What you do is take the shot using a tripod. Take about 4 or 5 photos from the brightest exposure to the darkest so you have a shot where the room in bright and another where outside the window is in view, along with a few with middle exposures. In Lightroom you select all the photos and hit Photo Merge, then HDR. It will give you one photo with both the dark and light areas all the same. It is pretty amazing. If you have Lightroom or are thinking of getting it, you should take Beth from Unskinny Boppy’s course, called The Lazy Girls Guide to Lightroom. I learned so much and it was worth the cost.

  14. Gail Vernali says:

    Sorry about the double post .

  15. Linda Southworth says:

    Your canvas is fantastic! A nice thought using a canvas and adding a chalked note. It could have a love poem on Valentines. Love the pillows! All the colors are quite festive. And I adore the side table, yes indeed, that is quite unique!

  16. Gail vernali says:

    Diane, I am so jealous of your view of the lake! What a lovely, festive guest room you have created. I so love how the different textiles work together, I wish I had your eye for detail.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Gail – When we were looking for lake houses, being close to the water with a wide open view was number one on our list. The house was built with the lake in mind as every room has a view out to the lake, except the bathrooms and foyer. When I mix fabrics and colors, I try to use the rule of 3. A solid, geometric, and a large pattern in the same or opposite color on the color wheel. The rule works pretty well. I also always mix the fabric weights making sure one has texture. The mix will add interest. :-)

  17. Valarie Sanford says:

    Does your genius know no bounds?!! So happy right now ;-)

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Valerie – You made my night…thanks for the nice comment. Christmas for me is always about the cozy memories and traditions that my family does every year like putting candles in the window. I try to bring the memories alive every year. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas.

  18. I love the guest room and I know your guests will enjoy your lake view. Thanks so much for sharing the beautiful pictures. It’s amazing how the pillows with all of the different designs and colors go so well together. My favorite part is the red canvas that you wrote the Christmas music lyrics on.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Bonnie – Thanks. I think hanging the canvas is going to become a new Christmas tradition in my house from now on. :-)

  19. Oh my goodness! What a gift to your guests that view and the beautiful room is!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Rosemary – We looked at dozens of houses when searching for a house on a lake. The view was what made us want to buy the house since all the main rooms have lake views. :-)