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How to get the spare room ready for hosting family and friends

‘Tis the season to style it out for Christmas sleepovers, says Sam Wylie-Harris.

How to get the spare room ready for hosting family and friends (Alamy/PA)

With excitement building at every turn – and the Christmas cake made – it’s time to channel your festive flair to forgotten corners of the house… namely the spare room.

“The festive season is an opportunity to spend time with loved ones, and many of us have our nearest and dearest sharing our home through the festivities,” says Jo Winston, sales and marketing director at St. Modwen Homes.

“And, whilst we know our relatives and friends are just happy to spend quality time with us, it’s always nice to make them feel at home – and make their stay as enjoyable and as comfortable as possible.”

So, if you’re prepping your home for holiday hosting, these simple tips should ensure your guests are welcomed with open arms….

1. It’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas

One of the most simple yet effective ways to create a cosy, festive feel to any room is through scents, says Winston.

Scenting the bedroom with warming cedar and notes of pine evokes a sense of luxury (The White Company/PA)

“Pick out some fragrant candles or incense to add to your space, so your guest can create their own Christmas scented sanctuary.

“And if you burn the candle a few hours before their arrival, they’ll smell and feel the cosy Christmas vibe as soon as they walk into the room.”

2. Fluffy, festive and fabulous

Winter is without a doubt fluffy sock, blanket, and bedding season, says Winston.

Novelty socks and a fleecy throw feel festive and fun (Alamy/PA)

“So, to make sure your guest is extra cosy, be sure to stock up on the likes of fleecy socks and extra soft blankets to keep them warm and comfortable on cold winter nights.

“All that’s left to decide upon is the style you want to go for, whether that’s novelty Christmas or keeping things simple with neutral colours and patterns.”

3. The colour of Christmas

Festive red bedding is a win-win to wow your guests (Home Bargains/PA)

“Create a luxurious Christmas space with a festive colour palette,” suggests Winston. “Add a few accent pops of Christmas red, forest green and even some gold to bring a suitably seasonal feel to the room for your guests.”

She says this can be done through some simple and inexpensive additions such as throw cushions, bedding and blankets. Or any extra festive ornaments you may have at home, such as a wreath, garland or mini potted tree.

4. Hankering for a hamper

“Add a touch of luxury to your guest room with a mini hamper,” recommends Winston. “Of course, you know your guests best, so you’ll know just what to include to give it that personal feel – they’ll no doubt appreciate.”

Little things like mini toiletries such as bubble bath or shower gel, Christmas biscuits or choccies are all great starting points for any festive guest hamper, says Winston.

“Plus, keeping things on the small side means you won’t be forking out to make your loved one feel special.

5. Cue the hospitality tray

Santa’s little helper is a tray of goodies at the bottom of the bed (Wayfair/PA)

“No guest room is complete without a welcome tray, inspired by ones you’d find in a boutique hotel room,” says Wayfair’s resident style advisor, Dee Fontenot.

“Match mugs to the rest of the decor for a thoughtful, stylish touch,” she continues. “Leaving some hot chocolate sachets for them to make and enjoy during their stay is a sweet and memorable gesture.”

6. Let there be (soft) light

One of the first things that often springs to mind when anyone mentions a cosy set up is lighting, notes Winston. “Soft, warm lighting is a key part in creating a warm, relaxing environment.”

She says adding a bedside lamp or two will create a cosy ambience as they get tucked into bed; as well as meaning they avoid switching on the ‘big light.’

“Or alternatively, how about one of those scented candles mentioned earlier?” adds Winston.

7. Add a festive glow

For a chalet style vibe, fairy lights make a showy decorative feature (Alamy/PA)

Lighting can be used for more than just practical means, enthuses Marlena Kaminska, designer at ValueLights.

“To take your lighting from functional to festive, why not string a set of warm fairy lights over the headboard?

“This is a really simple and inexpensive addition, but one which your guests will undoubtedly appreciate,” says Kaminska. “There’s nothing cosier than the twinkling glow of fairy lights.”


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