The weeks up to Christmas are a key time spruce up neglected guest rooms, ahead of friends and family descending for overnight stays or longer over the festive period.

In fact, according to a UK-wide consumer survey for a quarter of UK homeowners Christmas is the ONLY time that the guest room gets used!

Here’s what interior experts advise are the essential updates for transforming a neglected guest room into a warm, inviting and on trend space.

Liven up linens and dress to impress

“For guest rooms, probably the easiest and most transformational way to update a space is to add a new bedding set. Plus, there’s nothing quite like getting into fresh, crisp linens with a just laundered scent and feel. Go for the best bedding you can afford – it will not only ooze quality but also withstand regular washing, essential for a guest bed. But dressing the bed is also important in creating a hometel look. We advise four pillows to cater for everyone’s comfort preference, offering two synthetic and two natural fill (feather & down) pillows to give guests an option.”  Jackie McLoughlin, Head of design for British bedding brand Appletree

Alternatively, a bedspread offers the same warmth flexibility as well as different looks for different guests.

Comforting updates with a washable duvet and mattress topper (plus don’t let the bed bugs bite)

The Fine Bedding Company knows a thing or two about hotel bed etiquette – with many of its popular ranges featuring in five star hotels across the UK.

“Often guest room mattresses are ones that have been previously used in master bedrooms and passed on to the spare room – so a new mattress enhancer or topper is a great investment; much cheaper than replacing the entire mattress but highly effective in delivering a new bed feel. Remember to give pillows and duvets a good shake before dressing the bed to even out the filling and return their plumpness.” – Helen Johnson, The Bedding Company



Wow with wallpaper

Adding a feature wall is an affordable and actually quite easy update.

“Wallpapering a wall is often easier than people think and there are lots of great videos online that provide step by step guides and top tips. Because guest rooms need to make people feel welcome and appeal to varied tastes, choosing wallpapers that won’t overpower an overall design scheme is good advice. Metallics are a great option for guest rooms as it’s a look that goes with almost everything. Also, a grey and white scheme is unisex and offers widespread appeal.” – Alex Whitecroft from www.iwantwallpaper.co.uk

Rise and Shine – adding blinds and curtains for necessary light control

Interiors expert, Lorna McAleer from made to measure blinds brand Style Studio suggests that ensuring windows are well covered can make guests feel more welcome and cosy when tucked up. As well as valuable light control, this is also essential for privacy.

“The human body evolved to fall asleep soon after the descent of night’s curtain and to wake with the appearance of the dawn. Our bodies are naturally encoded to respond to light and dark and sleeping with the rhythms of Mother Nature… but if guests have had a late night enjoying your hospitality, they might need some extra shut-eye even when the sun has come up. Blackout Roller blinds offer excellent light control and are an affordable, easy update. Available in an array of colours and designs they will co-ordinate with the rest of the room’s scheme to look super stylish. Ever better – add a motorised blind from £125 to really deliver that ‘no expense spared’ hometel impression. Or thick luxurious curtains give an instant hotel-feel.” – Lorna McAleer

Five Extra Touches Hometel Hacks

Once a room’s décor has had a makeover, some simple touches can make all the difference in creating a ‘hometel’ feel for houseguests. In a new survey, these are the most wanted extra touches when away from home.

  1. Connect with guests: providing a spare mobile phone charger and the home Wi-Fi code is a fabulously welcoming touch
  2. Forget me not: Have a “just in case” basket – a handy solution for those who forget essential items such as toothpaste or hairbrush!  Even label it …Please Help Yourself.
  3. Water, water everywhere: Fill a decorative water dispenser with iced water and glasses at the ready so guests don’t have to get up in the night in an unfamiliar space.
  4. Blooming marvelous idea: Fresh cut flowers instantly make someone feel special
  5. Give a home an aroma.  If the room isn’t regularly used make sure it is well aired and add a room fragrance, the scent of lavender or roses has a relaxing effect for guests before bedtime. It’s also useful to have a scented candle or fragrance spray in the room for a ‘just prior to arrival freshen up’.