Tips for decorating a spare room

Private Property South Africa
Lea Jacobs

Transform your spare room from a dumping ground for old stuff to a stunning space for your guests with these decorating ideas.

We all tend to have at least one dumping ground where we store unused or unwanted items in our homes. Unfortunately, more often than not this tends to be the spare room. This can cause havoc when an unexpected visitor comes to stay and it's something that usually causes a great deal of embarrassment.

1: Clean out

Ideally, a spare room should be welcoming and comfortable and the first thing that should be done is to give the space a thorough clean out. Remove the clutter, including items that have been stored in the wardrobes and remove any personal items from the bedside table. Clean the light fittings, give the area a thoroughly good dusting and wash the curtains. Then spend a night in the room. This will alert you to any problems.

2: Hows the bed?

The most important part of any bedroom is the bed. Is the one you are offering to your guests comfortable or is it an old cast-off that everyone in the family refuses to sleep on? Is the mattress clean and does it smell good? If you answer no to any of these questions it may be time to invest in a new bed. A lot of different people will be sleeping in the same bed and for this reason it's always a good idea to cover the mattress with a mattress protector.

3: Bedding is also important

It might be an idea to buy bedding specifically for this room. This will not only help with a good night's sleep, it will also ensure that you create the right look for the room by coordinating the colours. It's also practical; pure cotton not only looks good, it's hard-wearing and if looked after correctly, will last for years. The last thing you want is for your guest to be cold - don't forget to provide extra blankets or throws when the weather turns chilly. Make sure that your guests have decent pillows - there's nothing worse than having your head resting on a lumpy or flat pillow. Remember to strip the bed completely after the visitors leave.

4: How dark is the room?

There's nothing nicer than sleeping in a darkened room. Even sun lovers will tell you that being woken up at five by the morning sun shining through the window isn't necessarily the best way to start the day. Lined curtains will go along way in preventing the morning rays penetrating the room; better still invest in some stylish blackout curtaining for the room.

5: Extra comforts

Take a long, hard look around the room, focusing on ways to make your guests' stay as comfortable as possible. It's often the little things that count the most. Bedside lamps for example not only provide a more welcoming glow than an overhead fitting, they are going to make your guests lives more comfortable.

We all have cellphones and many of us travel with laptops. Why not provide easily-accessible plug points (complete with a two-prong fitting) that allows your guests to recharge their electronic gadgets with ease.

Air the room thoroughly before the guests arrive and use linen spray on the bedding. Flowers will always make people feel welcome, but don't go overboard by displaying an enormous bouquet - a few stems in a pretty vase will do the trick and create the perfect atmosphere.

Most visitors wouldn't dream of rummaging through your fridge to find something to eat or drink. However, this doesn't mean that they won't get hungry or thirsty during the night or early morning. A couple of pieces of fruit in a bowl and a jug of fresh water don't only add that special touch, they will go a long way in making your guests feel right at home.

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