Having visitors to stay can be a bit of a headache – whether you're the kind of person who shoves all your junk in the hall cupboard as the doorbell rings, or go to the other extreme and embark on a full-scale redecoration.
But creating an inviting environment for guests doesn’t have to send your stress levels soaring. A few simple steps can help you give your family and friends the luxury treatment, minus the five-star price tag.
1. Create a welcoming entrance
First impressions count, so try and spruce up your porch and hallway for your VIPs. Give the entrance a good sweep, buy a smart new doormat and cut down on all those coats and shoes in the hallway.
2. Splash out on new bedding
There’s nothing as inviting as some crisp, clean bed linen at the end of a long day’s travelling. If the budget doesn’t stretch to a new duvet or pillows, a new cover and sheets should do the trick.
3. Invest in new towels
For the hotel feel, buy some fluffy new towels. They needn’t cost the earth – most large supermarkets stock stylish and affordable options. And be sure to wash beforehand to optimise fluffiness.
4. Light some candles
Scented candles create a warm ambience – and help get rid of any lingering smells. Aldi sells some beautifully scented candles, without the high-end price tag.
5. Hide the clutter
For many of us, the spare room resembles a bit of a junkyard – full of clothes you no longer wear, things you’re planning to bring to the charity shop or perhaps an exercise bike gathering dust in the corner. To save your guests having to climb over all this clutter to locate the bed, invest in some storage containers or a stylish screen to hide it all behind.
6. Buy fresh flowers
Fresh flowers will bring colour to the most magnolia of rooms. Opt for on-trend hydrangeas or peonies (beloved of five-star hotels) for a truly luxurious feel.
7. Supply some reading material
Pop a few books and magazines on the bedside table – it’s a thoughtful touch if your guests struggle to get to sleep in a new environment.
8. Get the spa vibe – for less
Give your bathroom a luxury feel with some nice handwash and matching hand cream, a new bathmat and – of course – some posh toilet roll.
9. Open the windows
Before your friends or relatives arrive, make sure you’ve given their room a good airing to get rid of any musty odours.
10. Invest in blackout curtain lining
If the curtains in your guest room are looking a bit thin or threadbare, it might be worth adding some blackout lining to ensure your visitors aren’t woken by the sun streaming through the window at the crack of dawn.
11. Add some finishing touches
A few home accessories – such as a cosy throw, some framed photographs and a pretty bedside lamp - will soften the spare room and make it feel like home for your guests.
What are your favourite ways to make your home feel welcoming? Let us know in the Comments section below.