Guests can be a duty - or a pleasure - but whichever category they fall into, they need a stylish, comfortable room for overnight stays.
Naturally, if you like them, you’ll want to treat them to such a spoiling space that it encourages them to stay longer (and if you don’t, if they like their room, at least they’ll want to retreat to it!).
Either way, a smart spare is especially helpful during the festive holidays, when everyone crammed into one space can send tension levels soaring. So, look on those looming visitors as just the nudge you need to turn that long-neglected space into a beautiful boudoir.
“My wife and I have three children and we both come from large families, but it’s nice to do Christmas on our terms, sometimes. We designate one room for the children, and then have another kitted out with a sofa, bed and a couple of chairs, to make it into a peaceful sanctuary from the happy chaos, noise and mess of the holiday,” says Charlie Marshall, founder of sofa and bed specialists, Loaf .
“To make your guest room snug, add lots of blankets to the bed. At our home, we have giant lambswool ones, which are super soft and so large, they cover the whole bed. I’m a fan of laid-back pure linen bedding, which feels soft and natural, rather than starched and ironed - bedlinen which looks nice but doesn’t feel as cosy.
“My other tip is go easy on the cushions, which may look great stacked on a bed but most will inevitably end up littering the floor, which can be really annoying in a small room.”
Keen to transform your spare? Take your pick from ‘hotel-room luxe’ or ‘beautiful on a budget’ - the effort will pay dividends as after those welcome (or pesky!) guests have departed, you can reclaim the space and finally start enjoying a room which previously may have been wasted or treated like a dumping ground.
SMALL BUT SMART
Limited space or a tight budget doesn’t mean you can’t create a stunning spare; space-saving solutions and budget pieces can save the day - and the visit!
“Guest rooms should be warm and welcoming, as opposed to an afterthought,” says Alison Cork, founder of online interiors company, Within. “Keep a colour scheme simple - two shades always works best - so ultra fashionable grey and white, or give a room a Skandi/festive feel, with red and white.
“For this room, the little thoughtful touches, which needn’t be expensive, are everything. A throw, a lamp, a radio, a basket of bath goodies, scented drawer liners and a candle, and a pile of magazines all work together to conjure a cosseting atmosphere.”
Ensuring there are enough electrical sockets for charging phones, tablets laptops - plus an extension cable near the bed - is a pleasing, practical touch.
SPARE NO EXPENSE
Luxury and comfort are the watchwords if you’re creating indulgent spaces, where guests can retreat and relax as well as sleep.
“I love a spare room that has personality, style and is a talking point for guests,” says Samantha Parish, interior design account manager for Hypnos Beds.
“Being bold in your decor, and creating a room with a boutique hotel look, works brilliantly to give a guest space the ‘wow’ factor. You can easily capture this look in your own home with an oversized statement headboard, which is a dramatic focal point.
“Use contrasting bright colours on walls or fabrics, styled with eclectic soft furnishings or accessories.”