Is your spare bedroom ready for Christmas?

Refresh your spare room with new wardrobe doors this winter

If you are having guests to stay over the festive season, it’s a good idea to pay some attention to your spare bedroom well before they arrive. Try to look at it from a visitor’s perspective, and consider how you would feel if you were staying there. Perhaps even spend a night in the spare bedroom yourself, to see how comfortable or otherwise it actually is.

The problem is that if there are problems with your spare bedroom, and you don’t put an effort to find and fix them, most guests probably won’t tell you. But they may well not come back.

Recent research by The Times newspaper found various common reasons why guests may not enjoy staying in a spare bedroom. These include:

  • The room feels small;
  • The room lacks floor space;
  • There is not enough storage;
  • There is nowhere to sit down;
  • The room looks and feels like a home office;
  • There is a lack of extras such as a bedside lamp.

If this could be describing your spare bedroom, the good news is that you still have time to get things sorted before your guests arrive. 

Here are a few quick tips on how you could address each of the above issues:

Making your spare bedroom feel larger

Whilst you can’t do much about the size of the bedroom itself, there are a few things you can do to make it feel more spacious. Three things to try are:

  • Give the room a complete declutter. Be ruthless. If something is neither beautiful nor useful just get rid of it. Any room looks better and more spacious without stuff on every surface, but it is particularly important in a small room.
  • Use light colours in the room as this will help to open things up. Perhaps it’s time for a fresh coat of paint, or a change of bed linen and other accessories. Pale neutral colours can totally transform the look and feel of a room.
  • Make full use of mirrors. Cleverly placed mirrors on the wall, or mirrored sliding wardrobe doors will reflect light around the room and make it look much bigger and brighter.

Maximising the floor space in your spare bedroom

Do all that you can to free up as much floor space as possible in your spare bedroom. This will give your guests room to move around and to put large items such as suitcases. 

One of the most effective ways to do this is to ensure that you have sliding wardrobe doors in the room rather than hinged. Hinged doors swing outwards, which takes up floor space in front of the wardrobe when the doors are open. But if you choose sliding wardrobe doors this keeps the floor space free and gives your guests additional space to sort clothes out and get ready.

Adding more storage to your spare bedroom

When you declutter your spare bedroom, try to leave some empty space in your wardrobes and drawers for guests to store their stuff. No-one likes living out of a suitcase!

If you are still short of storage space, see if there are other options that you could add. Short term options could include vertical shelving, an ottoman, or wicker baskets. But longer term, particularly if you have guests regularly, you may want to consider installing custom-made wardrobes. Even if your bedroom is an awkward shape – for example an attic room – it is still possible to get custom-made wardrobe doors that use every inch of space.

Providing seating in your spare bedroom

Whilst your guests will probably spend most of their time with you, it’s still a nice idea for them to have somewhere private to sit if they want to. So no matter how small your spare bedroom is, try to include some kind of seating if at all possible.

A small armchair, dining-style chair or even a stool is just enough for them to be able to sit for a while. If none of those options are possible, putting cushions on an ottoman or storage trunk would be a good enough substitute, if you are already using such an item for storage.

Making your spare bedroom less like a home office

As an increasing number of people are now working from home, it’s quite likely that your spare bedroom is also used as a home office. And perhaps you have a daybed or futon to sleep on, or even an inflatable bed. But this doesn’t mean that the rest of the room has to feel like a home office. So here are three ways to make your home office feel more like a spare bedroom:

  • Use pretty bed linen and accessories. Whatever type of bed you have, dress it up to look its best. Make sure you have the most comfortable mattress possible and really good quality bed linen and accessories such as cushions, throws and rugs. 
  • Clear as much office equipment, papers and stationery off your desk as possible. Put everything away securely either in a cupboard or behind some wardrobe doors, perhaps locking as needed to indicate they are private and not for guest storage.
  • If there is shelving in the room, give it a good tidy up and clean, and try to brighten it up with a few Christmas decorations and accessories. Also see if there is any room on the walls for some colourful wall art or other decorative items.

Ten finishing touches for your spare bedroom

The finishing touches are really important for your spare bedroom. These little extras can help to smooth over anything else that is a bit rough and ready.

Here are ten such things that you may want to consider for your guests:

  • A bedside light. Even if you don’t have a bedside cabinet, rig something up on a small table, chair or even a windowsill. This is a really practical feature that your guests will appreciate.
  • A TV if possible. If not, then a small radio would provide news and entertainment.
  • A hairdryer.
  • A decent mirror – either a dressing table or portable one. Useful for hair and makeup!
  • A clock.
  • A jug or bottle of water for night time thirst. 
  • A basket of miniature toiletries, both as a treat and in case they have forgotten anything.
  • Tissues.
  • An interesting collection of books and/or magazines.
  • A notepad and pen.

We hope that this article has given you a few ideas about how to get your spare bedroom ready for Christmas with the minimum of stress. For further ideas and inspiration why not take a browse through our gallery of bedroom pictures to see how you could refresh your spare bedroom this winter.

Remember to check back here soon for more home and lifestyle tips from DIY Homefit.