Comment: Why getting guest-ready may not be as easy as it sounds

No, not all guest bedrooms look this good. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

No, not all guest bedrooms look this good. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Wondering if you need to add a few special touches to get your guest quarters all set for Christmas?

Well, unless you're already blessed with impeccable interiors - and assuming you have an actual spare room - then this week's feature may be of interest.

It offers plenty of expert insight into how best to pep up your guest room; according to one of the featured experts, hemp is the fabric of the moment and will make your guests feel like "you're investing in their comfort whilst making a conscious effort to counter the excesses of Christmas".

Neutral colours, cosy cushions and throws and versatile storage solutions are also all the rage in the swishest guest suites, and the double-whammy of blinds and blackout curtains is also to be advised.

At this point, I'm feeling a bit sorry for all the overnight guests I've ever hosted.

When my parents came to help us move in to our old house, they stayed the night in our new living room, AKA The Guest Suite. We hadn't had an opportunity to organise either the blinds or the blackout curtains, so they made do with a wall of still-full boxes. Oh, and a sofa bed. Eventually, a year or so later, we bought some blinds.

I'm belatedly cringing over the lack of blackout curtains, not to mention the complete absence of throws, neutral shades and any form of hanging space beyond a hook on the back of the door.

Providing enough wardrobe space is apparently very important and the pair of hangers weren't enough, no.

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Then there's the plain old comfort factor. My sister always found our sofa bed so unsatisfactory that she'd bring her own blow up bed along whenever she came to stay.

But things are very different now. Post-downsize, our sofa bed's in storage and any guests who fancy a visit will be booking in to the Premier Inn. I believe they offer wardrobes and throws, though can't comment on the hemp fabric aspect.