The day many of us have been waiting for has arrived; we are now allowed to host family and friends in our homes. So as we finally start thinking about welcoming guests and visitors back into our homes, how do we tackle the guest bedroom?
For many of us, unused guest bedrooms have been moonlighting as homework or home office (opens in new tab) spaces during lockdown, or perhaps as a playroom (opens in new tab) space while nurseries were shut. So even if you've already had a good spring clean (opens in new tab) earlier this year, you'll want to give your guest bedroom a proper clear out and a good clean – not just to make it an inviting space, but to put any worried guests' minds at ease that it's as germ-free as can be.
We've collated a few expert tips for getting your guest bedroom ready for post-lockdown visitors, and some ideas on how to make this overlooked space more inviting – without having to commit to a major overhaul. From self-cleaning bedding to easy plug-in wall lights, get your guest room ready for your long-awaited visitors.
Jo James, founder of Bedfolk (opens in new tab), advises: “Give all soft furnishings a wash, dust surfaces and bookcases, clear up any clothes, vacuum the carpet, open a window and make the bed up with fresh bed linen”.
Preparation is more important than ever – bedrooms and bathrooms can be hotbeds for germs, so making sure you are taking precautions and cleaning regularly and efficiently between guests is essential. There are some simple things you can do to make your life easier when hosting guests, like using mattress protectors, duvet protectors and pillow protectors which means you can really deep clean your spare bed when your guests go home.
Cleanliness will be at the forefront of nervous guests' minds but there are a few gestures to keep this a germ-free space.
Soak&Sleep (opens in new tab)’s in-house Sleep Expert, James Montgomery-Castle, suggests: “Encourage your guests to kick back and leave their shoes and the door, ideally swapping to slippers or bed socks to prevent outside germs being spread indoors.
He adds: “One thing that’s not going to go away for a while is the need to hand wash as frequently as possible. Invest in some nice hand soap and leave out some fluffy hand towels and encourage guests to freshen up frequently as they move around your home”.
Leaving doors and windows keep the fresh air flowing inside, and will make those inside feel more comfortable knowing fresh air is circulating.
GUEST BED OPTIONS
A good bed and a comfortable mattress is arguably the most key thing of all. For a fresh look, invest in a gorgeous statement bed like Button & Sprung's Rose king size bed (opens in new tab).
Of course, a guest bed can take up quite a bit of room, and with many homes adapting in a world post Covid-19 (opens in new tab), homeowners are starting to view their guest rooms as multi functional spaces.
For a room that needs to serve other purposes when you're visitor-free, we recommend a daybed that can pull out as a double bed, like IKEA's Hemnes day bed (opens in new tab). Simple, but it works (we speak from experience). This frees up floor space so that the room can be used as a playroom, reading room or home office, as the guest bed can be set up as a daybed / sofa. Three large drawers underneath offer plenty of storage for guest bedding, freeing up space in the linen cupboard, and keeping guest linens separate.
You can find upholstered designs on Sofa.com, like the Isla loveseat sofabed (opens in new tab) which pulls out as a single bed, or the Henry 'bed in a box', which pulls out from an ottoman.
Hosting a couple with kids? Don't panic. A compact roll-out bed like Bundle Beds (opens in new tab)' design should be able to fit in the laundry cupboard, or in the guest bedroom cupboard (or even under the bed). It simply unclips, rolls out, self inflates and is ready to sleep on. The Bundle Beds include a self-inflating mattress, duvet and pillow and bed sheets, all of which are machine washable.
If a friend (or relative) is close enough to deserve staying over, then we say they are deserving of good bedding. You're going to want some breathable, adaptable duvet and pillows. Dusk's Feels Like Down (opens in new tab) range is designed to mimic the luxurious feel of down and feather but is vegan-friendly, and comes in 4.5 tog (great for lightweight summertime slumber), 9 tog and 13.5 tog (a heavier duvet adding cosy warmth in the winter).
Keep germs at bay withself-cleaning bedding.Dormeo (opens in new tab) has incorporated a Silver antimicrobial treatment, using the power of silver to bring long-lasting antibacterial properties to the products it’s infused with. This unique antimicrobial treatment contains ultra-fine silver crystals that release silver ions at a controlled rate only when the conditions for bacterial growth exist, creating a barrier for odours to allow for lasting cleanliness and freshness.
The Evercomfy Silver Bedding Bundle includes a 13.5 Tog duvet, 2 pillows and a mattress protector. From £49.99.
COOL NEW SHEETS
Sheets are the decorative bit, and can add some instant pizazz to your guest bedroom.
“No-one enjoys sleeping on scratchy or worn out sheets that have been on the main bed for ten years before being relegated to the guest room. Give the room some crisp and cool sheets for a boutique hotel vibe,” advises Jo James, founder of Bedfolk.
Different bedding styles can feel different in terms of warmth so it’s worth knowing what will suit your room or home. Percale cotton is cooler to the touch and is suited to hot sleepers, whilst sateen cotton has a naturally heavier drape, making it ideal for those that feel cold in the night. The addition of a natural linen sheet can satisfy both sides of the camp as it is a natural insulator to trap more heat under a duvet at the same time as being temperature regulating and comfortable to sleep under on its own. For nervous visitors it's worth bearing in mind that 100% hemp bedding can be washed at a higher temperature to kill off germs. Soak & Sleep (opens in new tab) do a lovely neutral range of hemp bedding that feels and looks like linen.
For something super pretty, Peter Reed (opens in new tab)‘s charming and colourful bed linen trims are coveted by everyone including Her Majesty The Queen (they hold a royal warrant). Each bedding set is bespoke and made to order, so you can pick from any trim, colour cord, or embroidery design you like. Fun for a personalised touch, and lovely as a gift too.
This is the boat design from the Junior Collection. £250 for a fitted sheet, single duvet cover, housewife pillowcase and Oxford pillow case.
Meanwhile Sarah K (opens in new tab)‘s pretty scalloped edged bedding gives guest beds a gorgeous, summery boutique hotel vibe.
£26 for an Oxford pillowcase, from SarahK.co.uk (opens in new tab)
Last but not least, not everyone sleeps at the same temperature during the night, but you can cater to everyone’s needs and make your guest bedroom extra comfortable by layering the bed with blankets, throws, and pillows so your guests can decide how much coverage they need. A bedspread, like Kalinko's Lotus bedspread (opens in new tab) for example, is also an easy way to tie a colour scheme together.
Aside from bedding, lighting is another sure-fire way to update the look of the room. Wall lights look smart but can be a real faff to wire in, but there are plenty of smart-looking alternatives out there, that can still be wall-mounted but plug in like a regular table lamp.
For a more eclectic look or to add some colour, update table lamps or wall lights with one of Matilda Goad (opens in new tab)'s iconic scalloped shades.
Pooky (opens in new tab) also have some wonderfully colourful and vibrant options, that will promise to give a room an instant lift.
And finally, it’s the little touches that really make the difference. Calming bedside lights rather than a glaring bright overhead light. A carafe of water with glasses on the bedside and a towel on the end of the bed. Storage if guests are staying for longer than one night will help them live in organised harmony. Bathroom spares for forgotten essentials. A flickering candle on a nightstand to relax and aid good sleep, books and magazines to help them wind down well and a universal phone charger to avoid the dreaded dead battery– these touches will make guests feel welcome as soon as they arrive.
Often overlooked, a wastepaper basket is absolutely essential in a guest bedroom so they can discard their rubbish.
A phone charger is one of the most common thing that guests forget to bring, and you might not have the exact charger they need. We recommend getting a universal wireless charger plate in the guest bedroom, so guests can simply place their phone (whatever make, whatever model) on the plate to charge their phones. The SanDisk iXpand Wireless Charger (opens in new tab) promises to charge phones at lightning speed.
We think dogs are part of the family, so for guests bringing their pooch it would be a thoughtful touch to place a spare dog bed in the room.
Lotte is the Digital Editor for Livingetc, and has been with the website since its launch. She has a background in online journalism and writing for SEO, with previous editor roles at Good Living, Good Housekeeping, Country & Townhouse, and BBC Good Food among others, as well as her own successful interiors blog. When she's not busy writing or tracking analytics, she's doing up houses, two of which have features in interior design magazines. She's just finished doing up her house in Wimbledon, and is eyeing up Bath for her next project.
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