How to do DIY

How to create a guest room to be proud of

When friends or family come to stay, you want to make them feel cosy, comfortable and most of all welcome. Creating a guest room you can be proud of will go a long way to achieving this. A good guest room reflects well, not just on your home, but on you as a host.

There was a time when homeware was pricey enough that it was difficult to justify providing much more than the basics, but quality furnishings have become far more affordable thanks to the likes of Sainsbury's, who have a fantastic online offering. It's possible, therefore, to transform a spare room into a delectable guest bedroom without breaking the bank.

Making your guests comfortable

Choosing a bed
A comfortable mattress is the key to a good night's sleep. An old saggy mattress can leave your guests sinking into their beds or impaled on springs, and a poor night's sleep is going to leave them with little energy to do anything you have planned for them during the day.

Of course, you don't necessarily need to invest in a whole new bed. If you are tight for space, then a good quality sofa bed or futon is a great and cost effective alternative. You can even purchase a decent air mattress to place on top for extra comfort.

To ensure your guests are kept comfortable in all temperatures, it's a good idea to invest in a couple of duvets. Lower tog during the summer will keep your guests from overheating, while some spare higher togs will keep them snug in the winter. If it's roasting outside, they can just use the duvet cover.

Although feather duvets have that air of elegance, and can be considered warmer, these aren't to everyone's tastes. Some of your guests might suffer from allergies or asthma, and the wrong duvet can play havoc with their condition.

It's not a great idea to fill your guestroom with your unwanted bits – this is exactly what makes a guestroom a spare room. Space should be left for your guests to unpack if they want and providing them with some empty drawers or a wardrobe can really make them feel welcome.

Of course, if you have limited space in your guest room, filling it with bulky furnishings like a double door wardrobe and grand chest of drawers is just not a sensible option. Your guests shouldn't need to shuffle sideways to get around the room, and will need somewhere to store their suitcases or bags. It's best to be as effective as possible with the space you have; choosing beds with storage built-in should be compulsory.

A dull room can seem small and wholly uninviting. A must is to provide your guests with some kind of bedside lamp in case they want to read before bed. It's surprising how much paid guest accommodation misses out on this little detail.

Some simple amenities are essential for a good guest room. Providing your guests with an alarm clock means they need not miss any appointments they might be using your guestroom as a base for. It also ensures they aren't left stranded by missing a plane, train or ride home. Put the clock on a bedside table, which should be a must in all but the smallest rooms – they're an essential for people to put their books, glasses, or drinks on.

Placing a mirror in the room will afford your guests some much needed privacy when getting ready. Being able to check themselves over in their own room will also mean less time in the bathroom, which reduces the occurrence of queues while they are staying. Keeping a hair dryer in the room and other similar accessories can further ease the bathroom rush in the morning's and the evenings.

Entertainment and Internet
While not a necessity, it might be a nice idea to have a television in your guestroom. Many people prefer not to have a television in their rooms, but it's always polite to give your guests the option. Just a small television will suffice. There's no need to find the grandest widescreen entertainment system, which would just seem over the top.

In today's digital age, providing your guests with internet is almost imperative. As most people own and carry laptops with them, providing them with a desktop computer is not necessary. However, ensuring that your guests have access to either a wired or wireless network could benefit them no end. Then you allow them to check their emails and keep a communication line open with home.

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