At some point over the festive period you might have to play host, lucky you (or not). Friends and family could make their way to you, travelling across the country (or countries) to spend a few precious days catching up and inevitably eat into your annual leave come. Now that you are all grown up, you have a guest room, which means no crashing on the couch or sleeping on the floor for your guests (and if you don’t, check out this swoon-worthy sofa-bed, delivered in just three working days, just in case!).
However, when the realisation sinks in that you will actually have to use your guest room, you are starting to fill with dread. because although 'bedroom' on name, this space is anything but and you know it well. It's the place where the ironing gets deposited (never to be ironed, which is an irony in itself), where clothes go to hide, where socks and towels and books are left until they are forgotten.
So you start worrying about how to turn this room into a comfortable BED-room. As this is most likely going to happen, I thought I would share with you some of my favourite ways of preparing the guest room for your visiting friends and family. With these tips, your guests will not only be greeted by a luxurious and cosy room, but will also leave happy and well rested, feeling like they have stayed in a 5 star hotel. Come to think about it, if you like your sanity, do not make them feel too well rested. They might decide to stay FOREVER. You have been warned.
This is a paid collaboration with John Lewis & Partners. The article contains affiliate links.
Start with a deep clean
Do not overdo it but then again, you want to make sure this room is spider web free, and that means hoovering under the bed, and using a feather around the inside of table lamps, over all corners and above your curtains. If you have a closet in the room, free some space for your guests and drop a few moth balls dipped in lemongrass or lavender to give cabinets a better smell than 'old clothes spice'.
Let’s talk comfort
First things first, the most important thing is how comfortable your visitor will be in your guest room. There are a few things you can do to increase the room’s comfort level, even when the mattress is old. Use a heated mattress topper, especially where the room may have a heating problem or single glaze windows. Alternatively, use a 13.5 TOG duvet (ideal for winter), to keep your guests toasty all night long.
To keep with the festive theme, try duvet covers in a winter design and always in cotton. Checked covers, and anything that creates a chalet type of look in the room is what you should be after. Favourite pieces include this Ombre Check Brushed Cotton Duvet set or something with a Stag print like this one that I used in my own guest room.
It goes without saying that the bedding is hugely important, but when it comes to impressing with the guest room, it’s all about the finishing touches. Those little extras add a personal touch of luxury and sophistication that your guests will be really impressed with.
Luxury towels might not be the first thing you think of, but keeping some luxuriously soft towels in your guest room will make a huge difference. Not only can the right colour scheme perfectly accentuate the style of the room, but it also adds that homely touch that is guaranteed to deliver a warm, cosy feel throughout the room. My favourite are these new Christy Carnaby stripe towels ones, while these Egyptian cotton ones are available in a whooping 30 colours so you will find the one right for your decor for sure.
Another way of letting your guests get comfortable is by leaving some new, soft slippers out for them to try on. Nothing beats taking your shoes off after a long day of travelling and getting into a nice, warm pair of slippers. Your guest will feel right at home wearing them and their feet will be eternally grateful.
You don’t have to stop there of course, if you really want to push the 5 star, boutique, luxurious hotel feel then investing in a stylish yet snug dressing gown is a great way of doing so.
Get the lighting right
Lighting a room for both comfort and style can be a little tricky as it’s easy to go too far one way; too dark, too bright. However, this is made much easier thanks to the lamp and candle selection currently at John Lewis. Ranging in price and style, bedside lamps and candles not only deliver a wonderfully serene mood but also capture both modern and retro designs perfectly.
Candles in the guest room should not just be used decoration. Your guests will immediately feel at home when they see them but do let them know they can indeed light them up (and leave a matchbox with a hand written 'light me up' note.
Remember that less is more when it comes to candles. A single candle or a couple, carefully placed throughout the room, on a book on the side table, will draw more attention and provide a stronger style than lots of candles dotted around everywhere.
Gifts for your guests
Nothing says welcome to our home more than a gift waiting in the guest room. You may wish to place this carefully on the bed or perhaps on the side table, either way your visitor will be touched by the amount of effort you have put in to make them feel at home.
Your gift should suit the room, for example, if your guest room boasts a rustic style then your gift should too. If this is the case then homemade brownies, cookies or even books will perfectly suit that style.
Gifts for guests
Neom Organics London Little Moments Gift Set (£55)
John Lewis & Partners Chocolate Lovers Gift Box (£32)
Cashmere Gloves, Light Grey (£32)
Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish™ Hot Cloth Cleanser Skincare Gift Set (£19.12)
REN Rosa Centifolia™ Cleanse & Reveal Hot Cloth Cleanser Set (£16.50)
Starry Jersey Pyjama Gift Set With Eyemask, Blue (£31.50)
Sheared Fleece Stripe Robe, Navy (£50)
Ladies Mia Midi Jersey Robe, Navy (£35)
Extra quick tips on how to provide the perfect guest room:
Extra Blankets and pillows – Some people like a lot of pillows, others only like one, but what’s important is that they are able to make that decision on their own.
Keep an empty space – Providing an empty space (and letting your guest know where it is) means they can store their luggage away keeping clutter down, thus allowing them to feel at home and not like they are just stopping over.
Something to read – Providing a selection of books in the guest room for your visitors is a great little touch, especially for those who depend on reading to help them sleep.
Handy lighting – You want your guest to be able to turn the light off from the comfort of the bed without having to get up. By including a simple bedside light your guest can easily switch this off and peacefully drift off to sleep, undisturbed.
Check the closet – Check the closet space before your guest arrives as they may wish to hang their clothes up (also ensure you have enough spare hangers).
The sniff test – If you have pets in the house it’s easy to get used to the smell of them. Just give your guest room a quick sniff and if you think it needs a little work then simply light a candle.
A hamper for your guests – A hamper on or under the bed including things like books, phone chargers and snacks is a fantastic extra touch, and adds to the overall luxurious feel whilst guaranteeing to make your guests happy.
It is almost guaranteed that your guests will at some point ask for access to your wi-fi! Be a good host, set a temporary new password and share it with them.
With these tips your guests will be greeted with a warm, cosy and luxurious guest room, so nice that they might not actually want to leave... But however you prepare your guest room, remember that putting someone up for a few days over Christmas is a wonderful thing to do, and something that I’m sure your guest will be very grateful for.