Check out your guest room for a long winter’s sleep


Before your next guests arrive, do them a favour. Go sleep in your  spare room to see what it’s like in there.

Is the bed comfortable? Is there a cosy feeling to the room? Is it smoking hot or perhaps icy cold? How does it smell?

“Think of your favourite hotel and what you like about the room there,” suggests designer Denise McCabe of Interiors For You, who explained she will have a house full of company this Christmas.

“When we have a lot of people coming, we get out the big blow-up mattresses. We also transform my office into a bedroom. But I try to always make it comfortable because they are my guests,” she said.

The basic comforts should include a bedside table, if possible a chair, window coverings and closet space.

“No one likes to live out of a suitcase. They need a place to hang their clothes,” she said.

McCabe tries to imagine how a room feels and smells and she adds artwork for beauty and a flower for fragrance.

“You need all the senses to be touched for comfort. That means beautiful linens and bedding. It’s nice to have a carafe of water or even a small Keurig for coffee.”

Many people purchase inexpensive mattresses for a room that is seldom used. The room may double as an office, and so may have a Murphy Bed or a California Closet that pulls down from the wall. It may have an old hide-a-bed that pulls out from a couch or, like McCabe’s spare room, it may have a blow-up mattress.

“The bed still has to be as comfortable as possible. I have two mattress covers: a down-filled one and a memory foam cover. The thing about memory foam, is when you first climb in, it’s firm, though it does soften up later. On the upside, memory foam is everywhere and easy to find,” she said.

A fresh, pretty duvet cover is easy to make from a pair of sheets, McCabe said.

“That’s what many hotels do. Just fold the top of the sheet over, and sew it, and tuck the bottom of the sheet over and you have a new duvet cover.”

Making a room as personal as possible is another trick to make a guest feel at home. That may include extra comforts such as providing a night-light and books or magazines.

“I like to put extra toiletries and soaps in a basket. I also add a treat such as candies, or a chocolate on the pillow,” said designer Alana Schilf of Inspired Home Interiors.

As you settle in for a long winter’s nap in your spare room, see if you have to go across the hall to get your own pillow. Good pillows are the key to comfort.

“One pillow is not enough,” McCabe said. “Try to have lots of pillows so your guests are comfortable,” she said.


About Author

Susan Jones has been a freelance writer for the St. Albert Gazette since 2009, following a 20-year career at the St. Albert Gazette. Susan writes about homes, gardens, community events and people.