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Christmas: Get your spare room ready for festive guests

Expecting houseguests this Christmas? Cambridge designer Emma Downie shares her top tips to spruce up your guest room

AW23 Pride & Joy collection at Dunelm
AW23 Pride & Joy collection at Dunelm

Let’s face it: our spare rooms are often the last thing on our minds in the hectic run up to Christmas. Once you’ve sorted the presents, decorations and all that food, there’s little time or energy for preparing for overnight guests.

Your spare room might double up as an office-come-dumping ground all year round but don’t panic! This simple checklist will turn it into a welcoming retreat with very minimal effort. Your visitors are sure to appreciate the thought you’ve put in and they might even offer to help with some of the chores in return!

1. Cosy linens
Better to go for a mid-weight duvet and layer up with throws for the bed, rather than one heavy one with no options to cool down. Crisp white bed linen layered with textured blankets looks so inviting. This is where you can bring in a colour scheme and coordinate with a couple of matching cushions. Don’t forget the towels - a fluffy bath sheet and hand towel for each guest is a lovely touch.

2. Bedside tables
Somewhere for them to put their bedside book, water and clock is so important and often overlooked. If you don’t have any, you can often pick up bargains from local secondhand furniture shops and update them with a fresh lick of paint. Or get affordable fold-up tray tables that you will use elsewhere in the house.

3. Lighting options
Don’t just give them one light. Layered lighting is the key to making a space inviting and matching bedside lamps are not only functional but create beautiful pools of light too. Your guests will also really appreciate a good light by which to apply make up - if they can do this in their room they will spend less time hogging the bathroom!

4. Rug
Whether you have carpet or hard floors, a rug is a cosy finishing touch that enables you to continue the colours you chose for the bed and help the space flow. Choose one big enough to tuck one edge under the bed.

5. Mirror
An essential for several reasons - not only do they give guests somewhere to check their appearance, but they also bounce light around the room. If you have the wall space then placing an oversized one on a wall can look fabulous and make your room feel bigger.

6. Thoughtful extras
A pine-scented diffuser, a white poinsettia plant and a pamper basket filled with hand cream, tissues and pillow spray really go the extra mile. Don’t forget the coathangers: if there’s no wardrobe space then an over the door hanging rack is useful for visitors to hang their party clothes on.

About Emma
Emma lives in Cambridge and is the founder of Emma Downie Interiors. She uses a friendly and collaborative approach to creating beautiful spaces that really work for your lifestyle and that you can’t wait to come home to. She understands the effect our surroundings have on our wellbeing and offers several different design packages, from simple ideas, which you implement yourself, up to full redesign and procurement.
Find out more at emmadownieinteriors.co.uk

Image: Showcasing the AW23 Pride & Joy collection at Dunelm

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