10 Ways to spruce up your spare room

Cassie Pryce

Make friends and family feel at home by refreshing your guest bedroom with our round-up of top tips

1. Quick fix

If your guest room is feeling a little lacklustre, a simple change of bedding and a few styling tweaks can make a big difference to the look and feel of the space. 

Invest in a bedding set that works with the décor of the room, rather than being an obvious spare set. Use bedding to add colour and pattern to a plain room, or opt for a hotel-inspired look with crisp white sheets for a classic finish. 

A bedspread or throw will add a cosy finishing touch, along with a selection of decorative cushions that complement the bedding design.

 

2. Floor filler

In older properties with exposed floorboards upstairs, lay a rug or bedside runner in the guest bedroom to make the space feel warm and welcoming. 

A patterned design will add interest to the space and is a good way to add a pop of colour if you don’t have the time or budget to redecorate the room. 

High-pile or shaggy rugs offer the most luxurious padding underfoot and will invite guests to kick off their shoes and feel at home.

Ercol Teramo bedstead, £806; Ercol Teramo bedside cabinet, £258; Raine table lamp, £149; Amos one light pendant, £59, all Furniture Village

 

3. Design details

More often than not, the spare bedroom is a boxy white space that feels unloved compared to the rest of the house. A simple lick of paint, either across all four walls or highlighting one as a feature wall, will instantly perk up the room and give it a more homely, lived-in look. 

Go for a calming colour, such as muted green or soft lilac, to create a restful space for guests to relax in. A tin or two of paint should only set you back around £50, so it’s certainly a budget-friendly way to make a big difference.

Prestbury bed linen double duvet set, £80, Christy

 

4. Lighten up

Like any bedroom, your spare room should be able to transition between day and night and your lighting choices play an important role in setting the scene for this guest space. 

While practical overhead lighting is needed for general use of the room, you should also consider including bedside lamps to offer a softer alternative. Opt for bulbs with a low wattage that will emit a warm glow to aid sleep, rather than a harsh white light.

 

5. Sweet scent

Before the arrival of guests, be sure to air out the spare room, particularly if it has been shut away for months on end and used as storage space. A plug-in air freshener doesn’t cost the earth and means the room will be kept fragrant throughout their stay. 

Alternatively, leave a reed diffuser on the windowsill or burn a scented candle to create a warm welcome.

Portobello oak bedside table, £255, Modish Living

 

6. Multi purpose

Many guest bedrooms double-up as a home office for day-to-day use, so it’s important to work a degree of separation into the layout so that guests don’t feel they’re encroaching on your space. 

If your desk area cannot be folded or tucked away, use an open shelving unit to divide the room without blocking light—style up the shelves with books, plants and ornaments to disguise the desk area behind and make guests feel like they have their own space.

 

7. Home from home

If guests are staying for extended periods of time, clear some space for their belongings in a chest of drawers or wardrobe. A few empty hangers will encourage them to unpack and try to empty the bedside cabinet so they have room for all their essentials.

Aissa two-seater sofa bed in deep turquoise, £2,200, Sofa.com

 

8. Sofa style

Make a sofa bed feel more homely than a pull-out by dressing it as a bed when guests first arrive. 

Use additional pillows or cushions to pad out the gaps around the head of the bed and use a throw to add that cosy finishing touch. If the mattress is on the thin side, pad it out using a foam mattress topper to give a little extra stability, particularly for longer stays or for elderly guests.

 

9. Dark side

Aid a good night’s sleep by ensuring your window dressings are sufficient in the spare bedroom. 

Black-out linings, while effective, can be a costly option for a room that doesn’t get a lot of use, so be sure to choose a heavy and dark-coloured fabric for curtains or blinds if you’re not able to splash out on the extra lining.

Fiori linen summer berry curtains, from £36.95 for a 70cm x 70cm curtain, Blinds2Go

 

10. Home comforts

Adding hotel-inspired touches will ensure your guests have an extra-special stay. Leave toiletries in the bathroom for them to use and fold towels on the end of the bed so they know which are theirs. 

Don’t forget to leave the Wifi password on a slip of paper, too.