I’m not sure what happened – I turned round and it was suddenly October. We’ve had a couple of quieter weekends after a little run of family visitors and I’m trying to use this time to get prepared for half term and then Christmas, when we hope to welcome various friends and family to our Cornish cottage.
We’re still getting ourselves organised but one of the things I love about being down here is having people to stay to share it with. I love having a house full of friends and family, cooking and sharing meals and making them feel relaxed and cosy, as if they’d stayed in an expensive B&B or hotel.
I read that the best tip to making sure that your guest bed and bedroom is comfortable and cosy is to sleep in it yourself for a night. I did the next best thing and quizzed my sister after she’d been to stay for some honest feedback. We’re still working out how to make this cottage work for us best – in many ways we’ve so much more room than our little flat in London, but the layout and fact that it is a 200 year old granite cottage means that it’s not just a case of having a couple of extra rooms.
Instead of a dedicated guest room we have to make this room do double or even triple duty. We opted to have the largest bedroom ourself (after having a room in London we could only fit a bed in and no more, it is beyond luxurious having a relaxing spacious room). The two smallest rooms we’ve allocated one each to Pip and Buster, which means the spare room is not only the guest room but the crafting space, the home office, the changing table and my laundry sorting room. Nevertheless, there are several things which I’ve done which I think make a difference to our guests and when Bed Guru asked me to take part in their Guest Bed Ready campaign, I was pleased to share some of my tips.
1. A comfortable bed with hidden storage
Bed Guru is an online bed retailer who are sleep specialists, they understand that no two people share the same sleeping requirements and see it not just as a belief but an obligation to ensure that everybody gets a great night’s sleep! We have to work with the bed that came with the house at the moment but once we are in a position to upgrade I will be seeking out a bed that has additional storage. For a guest room, a divan bed works well, as you can pop all your crafting bits into the drawers so that they are easily accessible but a guest wouldn’t even know that they are there and a guest bed from Bed Guru fits the bill nicely.
2. Crisp clean sheets and white towels
I think it makes all the difference when you stay somewhere and it feels luxurious rather than they are doing you a favour by squeezing you in. We actually use all white towels anyway, so I just make sure to add one per guest folded on the bed. After we’ve have several guests recently we’ve actually done a holiday let service wash with all our linen, so it is all pressed and smooth. I also don’t save our nice linen for our bed only, I make sure that I know the sheets and duvet cover that is on the guest bed is soft and feels nice to sleep in. I also leave a spare blanket out (got to do something with all my vintage blankets!)
3. Chargers and plug sockets plus wifi code
No-one wants to be the phone obsessor who asks for a charging place and a wifi code, so I make sure that there is an extension lead so both parties can plug in their phone and get on line. I also make sure that there is a lamp either side of the bed, and a surface on which to put water. (We can’t fit a table both sides, so one side has a vintage wine crate which also stores all our photo albums – I figure they look nice and I don’t mind if people want to look through them).
4. Reading material
In my experience, everyone loves something to flick through, so I leave old copies of Cornwall Life, back issues of Kinfolk and Ernest journal, and other reading material which doesn’t date. We also have most of our novels lining our staircase, so I think its nice and easy for someone staying to find something to read.
5. Somewhere to unpack
It was one of my aims with the guest room that we wouldn’t just fill it with stuff because we had more space, so I have deliberately left drawers free, hooks empty on the back of the door (with a couple of spare hangers) and a stool at the foot of the bed to put a bag on. My desk is also in the room, so I make sure I clear off the general office detritus from the top so that there is space there to use too, and make sure the window sill is clear too.
6. Creature comforts
I usually put out water, tissues and a hot water bottle in the room too. I also make sure that I put out spare loo roll in the bathroom and so on; I’ve been there in someone’s house not knowing where they keep the spare loo roll when it runs out, or not wanting to creep down to the sink for water in the night, so I try and make it as stress free as possible as it can be in a house of many children. I also try and bring tea in bed at least one day of the weekend, as it is one of my most favourite things, and it is always nice to treat people who make the effort to drive down this far to see us.
Then I just use my lavender linen spray and hope that I’ve made things cosy enough. Any other tips that I might have missed?