Would you consider your guest bedroom to be luxurious? Is it as cosy and as well thought out as your master bedroom? Most will answer “probably not.” With Christmas Eve just two weeks away now (eek – how did that happen?), it is probably time to start thinking about how to prepare your guest bedroom for the arrival of Christmas guests. Or perhaps not, if this is part of a cunning plan to ensure you have no visitors next Christmas!
It is very easy for the guest bedroom to be overlooked. Whilst we concentrate on the more visible and well used areas of the home, such as the living room and kitchen, the spare room is frequently an after-thought: a bed plonked in the middle against one of the walls, lots of things stuffed under the bed, with mismatching furniture that does not naturally have a home elsewhere. Whoops – I’m guilty!
It’s likely that your guests won’t really mind. They will just appreciate not having to shop for, prepare and cook the food for the festivities. They will more likely than not have consumed a drink or two too many during the festivities and just appreciate having somewhere to rest their head for the night, before they wake up with the “sore head” as a result to too much excess. Many of us accidentally over-indulge at Christmas!
There are a few easy things you can do to treat your guests – whether they be family or friends – to a five-star luxurious experience in your home. If you follow these suggestions, your guests will be longing to come back to stay again.
1. De-clutter and clean
If, like our spare room, yours is doubling as a dumping ground for clothes that you can’t squeeze into your wardrobe or use spare ‘corners’ as a home for shoes stored in their boxes, you’ll need to embark on a declutter and clean. When you are juggling work, children and family life it’s easy to have let the clutter and dust build up in a bedroom that’s not frequently used.
This is probably the least favoured part of preparing your guest room. Every year I vow not to let it get into this state again, but it’s easily done as life has a tendency to take over. You’ll need to allow some time to have a real sort through and find places to store things elsewhere, even if it’s only temporary for the festive period. You can hide household overflow in storage boxes and tuck these under the bed neatly. Make sure you open the window to air the room, and give it a thorough vacuum and clean.
There! It will feel more inviting already. Now you can move onto the more fun parts.
2. Consider the furniture
If you are adding furniture, think about how your guests might use it or how you want them to feel. They will need somewhere to store their clothes. If your guests are staying for a few days, it’s nice to be able to offer them space to store their clothes. Clear room in the wardrobe or chest of drawers by stashing little worn clothes in the loft or inboxes under the bed. Check there are enough hangers as well. After all, as it’s Christmas, it’s likely that your guests will have some glamorous Christmas outfits to wear. They’ll feel much more at home if they have somewhere to hang them up.
If you do not have a wardrobe in your guest bedroom, do not despair. You can buy a portable rail and leave a few hangers out so your guests know they are welcome to use it.
If your guest bedroom is too small for a full size wardrobe or a rail, you could put up some hooks or pegs. These are inexpensive and easy to install, and provide useful clothes storage for visitors, and can be used to hang decorative items on at other times of the year.
Bedside tables are also a great way to help make your guest bedroom homely for your visitors. They provide an obvious place for a bedside lamp (refer to later in this article), and give somewhere for a watch, phone and glass of water to be placed.
If you have a small guest room, you could add a large mirror to give the illusion of space.
3. Invest in new bedding
If you have family or friends staying over Christmas, do not wait until the last minute to check if you have enough bed linen. At least a week beforehand, have a rummage through your linen cupboard and check your supplies.
Give your bed linen a quick wash in the washing machine, and quickly iron it (if necessary). If your duvet sets are looking a little shabby, take this as an opportunity to invest in some new bedding. You do not need to spend a fortune to buy some decent bed linen. Soft sheets are a must for any guest bedroom. Our 100% organic cotton ‘Cool &Crisp’ 200 thread count percale weave bed linen is perfect for impressing guests. There’s a reason why percale is so popular with hotels – it helps ensure guests have a good night’s sleep. In fact, why should you just treat your guests? Christmas is a great time to treat yourself to some new bed linen as well.
4. Dress the bed cosily
Offering your guests a comfortable night’s sleep is the primary role of the spare bedroom. You can help it deliver on this by dressing the bed to make it nice and cosy. We all require different amounts of bedding, depending on our body temperature, so in addition to a medium-tog duvet covered in freshly laundered bedding, a few blankets or throws can be added for extra warmth. A faux fur throw is a great investment for any bedroom. You can casually drape one across the foot of the bed during the day, and your guests can add it as an extra layer during the night should they get cold.
Don’t forget the cushions as well! Different weights and weaves of fabric can be used to animate a room. Playing with contrasting textures adds instant depth, warmth and visual interest.
5. Check your lighting
If you don’t use the spare room regularly, you may not realise when bulbs have burnt out or lamps are dusty or damaged. Check the lighting is adequate for dressing and bedtime reading.
If you normally rely on a ceiling light, this will not be very good for bedtime reading. Having a bedside light that can be turned on and off from the bed is incredibly handy. You can add a lovely touch to your guests by turning the bedside lamps before they retire for the night,This provides a warm and welcoming feel when they go to bed. A bedside light will also make a world of difference for your guests to have some light for the middle of the night unfamiliar journey to the bathroom as well. Your guests will be thankful for this.
Festive fairy lights are a great and inexpensive way to create a cosy atmosphere over the Christmas period. You can extend the Christmas cheer to the guest bedroom by adding these around the bed frame or around a mirror on the wall. So pretty!
6. Put out some towels
No visitor should have to ask for a clean towel. Don’t make it a challenge for them to find them – just pop them on the bed. Fluffy towels are preferable. If yours feel a bit like card, pop them in the wash and then tumble dry them. This will make them much softer. I like to leave a couple of different sized towels out for each guest.
If you do not have enough towels to go around, especially if you have many guests staying over the festive period, you can always ask them to bring some with them. Don’t be too embarrassed to do this. They’ll understand.
7. Hang up a robe or two
It’s unlikely that visitors will have space in their travel bags for a robe or dressing gown. So, as a luxurious treat, you can have a couple of simple white bathrobes to hand. This will give your guest room a luxurious hotel feel and are perfect for your guests to wrap up in when lounging in their room. If you do not have a guest en-suite bathroom (most of us don’t), they can quickly pop the robe on for the inevitable during the night bathroom trips. Let’s face it – you don’t want to be seeing “too much” of your guests, do you? Remember to wash the robes between guests though. Slippers by the bed is also a nice touch.
8. Add some plants
Plants are a must in any room or bedroom. They breathe life and energy into a room, as well as purifying the air. You can add a small plant or two on the chest of drawers to create a more homely feel. Or you can consider some fresh flowers, which smell lovely and bring some freshness into the room. You could go one step further and place a small plant next to the bed with your guest name on a tag as a gift for your visitor.
9. Remember toiletries
Remember those little bottles of hotel miniatures that you always chuck in the bottom of your suitcase but never use?This is where you can put them to good use, by arranging a little basket of toiletries (soap, shower gel, shampoo, conditioner and body lotion) for your visitors to find by their bed. Next time you stay somewhere swanky, swipe those hotel toiletries and save them up for your visitors. It will cut down on those early morning corner shop dashes, or your guests rummaging around your bathroom trying to find some to use.
You could add other easily-forgotten necessities. For example, toothpaste, headache tablets, and a hangover remedy.This really would evoke the atmosphere of staying in a lovely hotel. A simple touch like this is a low cost yet thoughtful way to really welcome your guests into your home.
10. Add some finishing touches
Once you have ticked off the essentials, why not go the extra mile and give your guests a true five star experience? You can add an alarm clock (a quiet one), a carafe or bottle of water with a couple of glasses, a hairdryer, box of tissues, waste bin, and a book or magazine or two for some reading material. Providing the WiFi code and having it ready and waiting for your guests in their bedroom will save yourself the hassle of hunting it out and the embarrassment of them having to ask for it.
You can even take one step further and include basic tea and coffee making facilities on a tray, so your guests can enjoy their early morning tea and coffee in their comfort of their room. This will also give you a few precious more minutes peace before you start preparing breakfast.
If you follow these ten suggestions, the only problem you might face is that you quite fancy sleeping in the guest bedroom yourself!
What little touches do you like to add when you have guests to stay? Please let us know.
Thank you for reading.