We’d all love to have that perfect guest room – that lovely little corner for when family and friends come to stay. We all want our guests to be comfortable when they visit. Unfortunately, Gran and Gramps often get stuck on the fold-away couch and your sister gets the bed in your unfinished attic.

If you’re lucky enough to have an attic or spare room, you can give it a fabulous make over to rival any hotel room. It really doesn’t take a whole lot to set up a beautiful spare room that you can be proud to share with your overnight guests.

As you get started, think about the things you enjoy in a hotel room. You may not be able to afford every amenity or luxury, but aim for the peaceful, comfortable vibe of a good hotel or B&B.

A good night’s sleep

A well-made, comfortable bed should be the focal point of your guest room. If you can, shell out for a decent mattress. If a full bed is out of the question financially or space-wise, get a good sofa bed or high-quality air mattress. Make sure your guest can sleep comfortably without a sagging bed or spring poking through the padding.

If you can provide a real bed, that’s great. If not, a sofa bed or air mattress can be completely forgiven if you provide fresh, comfortable bed linen, good pillows, and a cosy comforter.

A place to hang their hat – and clothes

Provide your guests with a wardrobe or closet to hang personal clothing. While it may be tempting to fill a guest room with stored items, clear plenty of space when you’re having someone stay the night. A set of empty drawers and a space to hang clothes out of sight makes your guests feel welcome and wanted.

Good lighting when they want it – darkness when they don’t

A good bedside reading light and a well-lit room is an important consideration. If you’ve got good lighting already installed, just make sure to add a bedside table lamp or two, and a night light in case they want one.

Conversely, make sure that you’ve got good blackout curtains over the windows so your guest can sleep peacefully. Unless you’ve slept in the room at night, you might not be aware of lights that will come through an uncovered window. Make sure that your guest won’t be woken unnecessarily.

Keep guests entertained

If possible, install a small TV with a DVD player and a selection of movies. Make sure there’s a remote control handy.

If you can’t afford a full-scale entertainment centre, at least make sure there’s some good reading material at hand. Provide a selection of magazines, a local newspaper, and even a novel or two.

Finishing touches

Make your guest feel truly welcome with special little touches that show you’ve gone out of your way. Make sure that cold floors are covered with rugs. Provide a fan or heater depending on the weather, and any little ‘extras’ you think they might need or appreciate.