How to get your guest room ready for Christmas

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Having guests to stay this Christmas? This might be perfect excuse to give your spare room a spruce up – especially as they often end up being a dumping ground, soulless and forgotten about.

“One of my favourite parts of the festive season has to be having friends and family to stay, with a busy house filled with noise and fun.” says Wayfair’s resident style advisor, Nadia McCowan Hill. “After the last few years, it feels extra special to be able to welcome people over again, and it’s something I’m really looking forward to.”

Now’s the moment to hone your hosting skills and get that guest room ready…


Set aside time for housekeeping

Long before the door bell rings, a good clear out is a must. As Rachal Hutcheson, national retail manager for Sharps, puts it: “Getting Christmas-ready is as much about decluttering as putting up the tree.”

Vacuum-pack away any clothes you’re not using, and clear surfaces of clutter and knick-knacks by placing them in a basket to hide at the top of your wardrobe, she suggests. After all, you want guests to feel like the room is theirs while they’re staying, rather than surrounded by someone else’s bits ‘n’ bobs.


Extend a warm welcome

“Make guests feel relaxed with some thoughtful home comforts,” says McCowan Hill – but you don’t have to rush out and spend a fortune. “Most of these are super simple additions using existing homewares,” she adds.

She suggests placing a bundle of freshly cleaned, fluffy towels at the end of their bed, a warmly spiced scented candle on a bedside table, along with a little box of chocolates. “And a hand-written welcome note to create a boutique hotel-at-home feeling.”

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Weaving in a few stylish decorations could add to the festive feel. “Fill ornamental bowls with baubles in a complimentary colour palette to give them a mini makeover, and use a spare mantlepiece, window ledge or shelf to add a vase of beautiful festive blooms,” says McCowan Hill.

This is where practical extras can be pulled in too, such as a goodie bag with earplugs, sleeping mask and a few favours, such as sharing your Wi-Fi and password. Not only will this score big points on the welcoming-host front, it’ll minimise the list of things they might ask for too!


Gift them with a little me time

Playing the good host doesn’t just boil down to doing everything together on the big day. It’s only natural for people to want a break or two, beyond the Boxing Day walk and any group activities you have planned. This essentially means letting them sneak away when they need to, with the right furnishings for them to slump into before bedtime.

“Finishing touches can make all the difference, helping to ensure your guests feel right at home,” says Gisela Lancaster, buying manager at Sofology.

“A single piece of furniture, such as an accent chair, is the perfect finishing touch – and can transform a drab corner of your bedroom to provide both statement and personality,” Lancaster notes.

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Prepare for the unexpected

Even when you think you’ve thought of everything, there’s always the unexpected! The designated driver who decides to raid your cellar. The house guest who brings a surprise friend, so they’re not alone over the holidays…

“Being prepared will take all the stress out of an impromptu sleepover,” says Patricia Gibbons, from the design team for “Sofa beds are the perfect solution – and designed to be just as comfortable in sofa-mode as they are in bed-mode.

“Have your fresh linens set aside in a specific place, ready to take out at a moment’s notice. Simply pull out the bed and dress with comfy covers, ensuring your guests feel right at home.”

For an extra special touch, she says to leave a glass of water, a bud vase with seasonal foliage and a bedside lamp to hand, so you can quickly create a welcoming feel.

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