Christmas is coming, and so are your friends from Europe, your in-laws, and your third cousin twice removed. If you’re expecting a houseful, minimise the stress and maximise the good vibes with a little pre-planning and some of these top guest room tips from ELLE Decoration’s Editor in Chief Ben Spriggs.
The bed is the star of the show in any guest room, so I like to make sure it’s dressed appropriately.
Everyone has their preference when it comes to bedlinen; I’m a fan of both the cool and crisp touch of 200 thread count sheets, but I also love the silkiness of a 600 thread count set. Whichever you choose, add even more tactility and a touch of colour with a stack of chic cushions and a couple of contrasting soft wool throws. Layer them up to create a sumptuous bed that looks so amazing your guests can’t wait to get in.
If the bed looks the part, it should feel it too so invest in a well-chosen mattress.
A pocket-sprung mattress made from natural materials will help regulate body temperature and provide maximum comfort - the recipe for a great night’s sleep. A snug duvet is a must, and for extra cosiness, add a luxurious mattress topper. Be generous with pillows; a mix of sizes make a bed feel more indulgent, and big, square pillows are ideal for support while reading. My bedding preference is always for natural feather or down, but if budget (and storage space) allows, keep a good quality microfibre set in the wings in case a guest suffers from allergies.
Make sure the room smells delicious by lighting a scented candle or use a natural room spray.
In winter, this can be spritzed above radiators to enhance the scent. I like soothing fragrances such as lavender, chamomile, vanilla, sandalwood and jasmine, which encourage a restful night’s sleep. A small vase of sweet-smelling fresh flowers can be a nice addition too.
A great hotel-style touch that really adds to the ambience is to pop a radio on at a low volume.
I like Classic FM or Radio 3, which really helps evoke a sense of calm. Switch a bedside lamp or two on at a low level to create pockets of soft light, and if there’s a chair at a dressing table, turn it slightly outwards to invite visitors to sit. Similarly, any armchairs can be angled towards the door to subliminally encourage guests to make themselves at home.
Ramp up the luxury hotel vibe with some considerate extras.
Freshly laundered robes, slippers, and a basket with things that guests may have forgotten, such as a razor, deodorant, moisturiser and a toothbrush are a nice addition, and I like to be generous with a new, full-size shampoo, conditioner and shower gel. Leave a stack of magazines or books by the bed, and as well as a fresh jug of water, a bowl of fruit or jar of cookies lets your guests enjoy a snack without having to ask.