As family and friends gather to celebrate Christmas, we asked Ben Spriggs, Elle Decoration Editor-in-Chief and Tielle Sleep panellist for tips on how to raise our guest bedroom game.
“After last year’s less than joyous Xmas, expectations for the perfect Christmas this year are high. Aside from all the usual gifting and decorating, the focus this year will be on celebrating togetherness and sharing moments with loved ones. Making your home warm and welcoming for guests will go a long way to spreading some festive cheer.”
Ben’s top guest room tips
Make it relaxing
The best guest rooms offer more than a place to sleep. They give visitors a place to escape to and relax in any time of the day. While you don’t have to buy the most expensive of everything, the desire for comfort is universal. Adding a cosy reading chair and investing in high quality bedding - mattress topper, pillows and bed linen – are the foundations of a great guest experience.
Style for comfort
I used to work at Claridge’s, the epitome of luxury and style. The rooms are elegant, the beds and mattresses strike the perfect soft-hard balance and the linen is spot on. While it would be impossible to deliver the same five-star luxury at home, there are plenty of lessons you can take from hotels. Aside from investing in high quality bedding, styling with good lighting, including dimmable bedside lamps, and a beautiful upholstered headboard and rug go a long way to creating an inviting room. Offering a range of pillows is also nice, as some guests will prefer a firm pillow, some soft.
Play with style
While comfort and functionality are key to styling guest rooms, they can also be a safe place to experiment with less conventional interior design styles. Guests don’t want to stay in a room that mimics their own and interesting in-room decor can enhance the guest experience. Creating a little world that’s different from the rest of the house can also give guests a welcome sense of separation; their own home from home. I particularly like the way interior designer Kit Kemp uses colours, textures and patterns to create eclectic yet relaxing spaces.
Image: Knightsbridge Hotel, Firmdale Hotels
Clear the clutter
Clutter and sleep make terrible bed fellows. If your guest room has morphed into a work space during the pandemic, store away the clutter while they stay. Custom joinery is often the best way to make the most of awkward or small spaces and to accommodate big bulky guest bedding. Remember to clear the drawers and wardrobes so guests don’t have to live out of suitcases.
Add little luxuries
Go the extra mile with a hotel or spa-style robe, slippers and basket of toiletries – perhaps even a pillow mist by the bed. A radio or bluetooth speaker and a few magazines along with a refreshment tray with kettle, cups, water and nibbles also help guests feel at home. Providing tea and coffee making facilities also avoids guests feeling like intruders as they fumble around the kitchen trying to make their morning brew.
Don’t try too hard
Finally, it’s the season for being jolly not jolly stressed. However hard you try, not everything will go to plan. I remember once staying as a guest at an amazing French house. It was incredibly hot so we opened the windows only to get eaten alive by a swarm of mosquitoes.
Ben is part of the Tielle Sleep Circle, a stellar line up of design, sleep and wellbeing specialists sharing expert information and advice on how to get the best night’s sleep. Joining the Sleep Circle gives you access to generous discounts and other member-only perks.