ONE | Go Bold
If you aren’t living in it day to day, it’s fun to go a bit wild with your spare room. You can use more adventurous wallpaper than you would choose in your own bedroom, as you aren’t going to spend enough time in there to get bored of it. William Morris’s Willow wallpaper has stood the test of time for over 100 years, so you can be pretty sure it will outlive any passing trends. It manages to feel fresh and cosy at the same time, which is exactly the atmosphere you’re after.
TWO | Don't skimp on the pillows
There’s nothing more spare feeling than knowing you’ve got all the dud pillows discarded from other bedrooms. Go for natural feathers and as swanky as you can afford. The John Lewis Standard Duck Down Pillow is banging, and the White Company pillow cases are super soft. If you’re splashing out, or getting married and have a wedding list to fill, Peter Reed sheets and pillow cases are the absolute best and will last forever. Also it’s much nicer to have an under-pillow case under the pillow case if you can.
THREE | Don't use it as a dumping ground
It’s so tempting to use the spare room to store granny’s old dresses, or ski kit. But it will feel like a store room, not a bedroom for your guest. Try and keep the wardrobes and drawers empty for them to use, and hide anything you need to keep in there under the bed. Ikea have tons of underbed storage options which are super cheap. Also see if you can find some nice hangers, rather than a motley selection of old plastic ones from Zara.
FOUR | Good lighting
Make sure you’ve got bedside lamps which work, and which turn on and off at the lamp. Sounds obvious, but having to get out of bed to turn off the main lights is deeply unrelaxing. It’s the sort of thing you might neglect for months in your own bedroom, thinking you want to wait to find the perfect lamps (and never get round to). But get something up and running for your spare room. It’s the easiest way to make it feel cosy.
FIVE | Thoughtful details
I have a friend whose mum always leaves relevant books by my bed when I go and stay – something she knows I’ll love. It’s the most amazing, thoughtful thing. But if you can’t tailor make the selection every time, go for short stories (Faber have just released a beautiful selection of paperbacks for £3.50 each), poetry anthologies, or a good mix of classics and new reads. A carafe of water and a glass (I love this one from Ikea) is a very easy way to make it feel like somebody has thought about your arrival as a guest. Also fresh flowers, even in the tiniest jug. And finally, a luggage rack is super helpful for short stays. We make a really beautiful one.