Style going spare

The Foxham sofa bed, in textured linen Magnesium, from 1,053, available from Willow & Hall. Photo: PA Photo/Handout.
The Foxham sofa bed, in textured linen Magnesium, from 1,053, available from Willow & Hall. Photo: PA Photo/Handout.

Guests can be a duty - or a pleasure - but whichever category they fall into, they need a stylish, comfortable room for overnight stays.

Naturally, if you like them, you’ll want to treat them to such a spoiling space that it encourages them to stay longer (and if you don’t, if they like their room, at least they’ll want to retreat to it!).

Either way, a smart spare is especially helpful during the festive holidays, when everyone crammed into one space can send tension levels soaring. So, look on those looming visitors as just the nudge you need to turn that long-neglected space into a beautiful boudoir.

“My wife and I have three children and we both come from large families, but it’s nice to do Christmas on our terms, sometimes. We designate one room for the children, and then have another kitted out with a sofa, bed and a couple of chairs, to make it into a peaceful sanctuary from the happy chaos, noise and mess of the holiday,” says Charlie Marshall, founder of sofa and bed specialists, Loaf .

“To make your guest room snug, add lots of blankets to the bed. At our home, we have giant lambswool ones, which are super soft and so large, they cover the whole bed. I’m a fan of laid-back pure linen bedding, which feels soft and natural, rather than starched and ironed - bedlinen which looks nice but doesn’t feel as cosy.

“My other tip is go easy on the cushions, which may look great stacked on a bed but most will inevitably end up littering the floor, which can be really annoying in a small room.”

Keen to transform your spare? Take your pick from ‘hotel-room luxe’ or ‘beautiful on a budget’ - the effort will pay dividends as after those welcome (or pesky!) guests have departed, you can reclaim the space and finally start enjoying a room which previously may have been wasted or treated like a dumping ground.


Limited space or a tight budget doesn’t mean you can’t create a stunning spare; space-saving solutions and budget pieces can save the day - and the visit!

“Guest rooms should be warm and welcoming, as opposed to an afterthought,” says Alison Cork, founder of online interiors company, Within. “Keep a colour scheme simple - two shades always works best - so ultra fashionable grey and white, or give a room a Skandi/festive feel, with red and white.

“For this room, the little thoughtful touches, which needn’t be expensive, are everything. A throw, a lamp, a radio, a basket of bath goodies, scented drawer liners and a candle, and a pile of magazines all work together to conjure a cosseting atmosphere.”

Ensuring there are enough electrical sockets for charging phones, tablets laptops - plus an extension cable near the bed - is a pleasing, practical touch.

SPOIL THE SPARE: Save pennies and simply paint the bedhead wall as a feature, or revamp old furniture for instant effect. The Colours paint range at B&Q includes a Grey Slate Emulsion, £13.94 for 2.5L.

Thomas Saveall won the Project Spotlight Volunteer award at the Citizens Advice Scotland conference. He was presented with a silver Quaich by HRH Princess Anne. Picture - Stewart Attwood''''All images � Stewart Attwood Photography 2019.  All other rights are reserved. Use in any other context is expressly prohibited without prior permission. No Syndication Permitted.

Taylor Wimpey have confirmed directly with local Councillor Nathan Wilson that the organisation retains its commitment to building a park and ride at Shieldmuir Train Station. In response to recent enquiries made by Councillor Wilson, Taylor Wimpey have advised that engagement is taking place with Network Rail over the latter’s approval procedures and that once this process is complete, work will be able to begin on site. The developer has informed the Motherwell Councillor that during the period of investigation undertaken since the commencement of building work was delayed in January 2018, an unrecorded service chamber has been discovered on site. The project cannot move forward until further clarification is provided on the nature of the service chamber and Taylor Wimpey are in the process of commissioning a contractor to assess the situation. The developer’s initial judgement is that this is likely a redundant service. A senior representative of the organisation has also informed Councillor Wilson that a member of the Taylor Wimpey production team will be sent out to inspect the vacant land following a request he made at the beginning of 2019 for maintenance work to be carried out on site should construction of the park and ride remain some time away. Councillor Nathan Wilson said: “Taylor Wimpey have communicated to me directly that the park and ride facility is a project that the organisation remains committed to delivering. “However, it goes without saying that the lengthy delay is still very disappointing and frustrating. “An unrecorded service chamber has been identified on site and progress is unable to be made until this has been investigated. “Taylor Wimpey have relayed to me that an on-site inspection of the vacant land will take place and I hold to the view that maintenance work should be carried out in the short term to improve it’s current condition. “I will continue to engage with the relevant stakeholders and re-inforce to them the importance of the park and ride project locally. Motherwell and Wishaw CAB takes home 40 per cent of the prizes

Style connoisseurs know Dunelm’s a brilliant destination for affordable pieces. A Skandi Oak Low Bedstead, from £449.99; Elements White Telephone Table, £69.99, which could double as a bedside table, and Elements Set Of Three Wooden Painted Drawers, only £7.99.

If space is an issue, Boncept has two contemporary solutions: a Melo 2 Sofa, £1,659, which reclines into a bed position, or a Kyoto Sofa Bed, which folds flat to make a double, £1,389. Loaf’s super Two Pack Daybed, £875, has a top which lifts off and can be placed next to the base to make a double bed.

Follow a red and white theme with an Asinara White Matt Pendant Ceiling Light, £46, B&Q; add a Mini Book Lamp, £3.99, The Oak Room, and for a seasonal touch, a red Christmas Cushion, £1, Poundland.


Luxury and comfort are the watchwords if you’re creating indulgent spaces, where guests can retreat and relax as well as sleep.

“I love a spare room that has personality, style and is a talking point for guests,” says Samantha Parish, interior design account manager for Hypnos Beds.

“Being bold in your decor, and creating a room with a boutique hotel look, works brilliantly to give a guest space the ‘wow’ factor. You can easily capture this look in your own home with an oversized statement headboard, which is a dramatic focal point.

“Use contrasting bright colours on walls or fabrics, styled with eclectic soft furnishings or accessories.”

SPOIL THE SPARE: Cashmere is synonymous with luxury, and Hypnos has an Orthos Cashmere mattress, from £1,035 for a double (from £2,050 when purchased with a divan and headboard). Alternatively, Willow & Hall’s Foxham 2 Seater Sofa Bed, upholstered in Magnesium textured linen, currently from £1,053 (previously from £1369), combines good looks with comfort.

Rich colour and fabulous fabrics can transform a room; for instance, a bed canopy adds grandeur to the most modest bed. If you’re seeking inspiration, Ian Mankin is a good destination and its Britannia collection, available in on-trend navy blue, includes a Blazer Stripe, £29.50 per metre, and a Dunoon velvet, £49.50 per metre.

Accessorise a blue room with with a blue and white Kraakware Ceramic Chinese Table Lamp, £139 (shade extra), OKA, and one of my favourite Oliver Bonas pieces, a Velvet Tub Chair in blue, £445.

Luxury bedlinen and towels are a must, and Christy is a byword for top quality ranges. Bag a bargain right now: its Luxury Egyptian Bedlinen is currently reduced online, with double duvet covers down to £127.50 from £170. Soft textures are soothing and a Mohair Throw, £99, from Within, is a cuddly choice, or a John Rocha Light Purple Faux Fur Cushion, currently reduced from £28 to £19.60, Debenhams. The designer’s Silver Cutout Lily Scented Reed Diffuser, reduced to £15.40 from £22, would make a perfect finishing touch.


B&Q: 0845 850 0175/


Debenhams: 08445 616 161/

Christy: 0845 758 5252/

Dunelm: 08451 656 565/


Ian Mankin: 020 7722 0997/

Loaf: 0845 468 0527/

The Oak Room: 01707 257 175/

OKA: 0844 815 7380/

Oliver Bonas: 020 8974 0110/


Willow & Hall: 0845 468 0577/

Within: 020 7087 2900/