The French Bedroom Company Guide to enjoying family visiting.

As Christmas approaches, we start to envisage getting loved-ones together; nights spend in front of the fire, playing board games and lots of lovely food, but having guests to stay can bring on a heap of stress and insecurities when you need it the least. The good news is you can turn this around with a little bit of planning and a positive attitude.

The first thing to remember is forced fun tends to be uncomfortable for everyone! You can’t make someone have a good time, that is totally up to them. You can, however, create a space that is welcoming, considerate, and that makes you happy. Why do we put so much pressure on ourselves when hosting our families over Christmas? It’s natural, but the worst thing we can do to ourselves is to start to worry that nothing is good enough, especially now, when really all anyone wants is to be together. Family, especially in-laws, seem to be very good at bringing this out in us, but this year you can take a few steps to make it easier.

Spare room or sofa bed?

Whatever set up you have, there are a few things that you can provide to make your guests stay more relaxing and pleasant for all.

Bedside tables or occasional side tables that can be moved next to a luxury bed are a must. Providing extension leads if there are no nearby sockets, so phones can be charged with ease, is a good idea too. You can save any pretty glass bottles you find in advance (with stoppers or lids) to fill with water and chill in the fridge to add to the nightstand with a glass, ensuring guests do not have to fumble around in the kitchen at night for a drink.

Side Lamps create a cosy atmosphere and adding a scented candle and a small posy of flowers is a lovely welcoming touch, especially if these are picked from the garden.

Beautiful Bedding

Obviously freshly laundered luxury bed linen is essential, and having a couple of sets just for your spare room might suit you. You can be a bit more adventurous with your choice of colour or pattern in the spare-room as it can be the statement piece in the room. Having a spare set on hand can be super useful if you have to do a quick change-around and the last thing you want to be doing when guests are arriving is more laundry! Likewise, having guest towels in a different colour can save mix-ups, and these can be kept with the spare laundry sets when not in use.

It is worth investing in decent pillows and make sure the duvet is large enough - you want your guests to have a good night sleep, so they are on top form throughout the day. Providing eye masks and earplugs is a thoughtful touch if you think they might be disturbed.  

Finish off your French bed with a couple of bedroom cushions and a cosy blanket and you are well on your way. A solid chest of drawers is really useful for guests staying for a more extended period, and if there is no room for a French armoire or wardrobe, a row of hooks will do the job. Ensure you leave your guests a few pretty hangers to use.

All in the details

No one likes to feel in the way or an inconvenience when they are staying over so it might be nice to have a spare key ready. A note with instructions for using the wi-fi, TV or anything else that isn’t obvious and directions to the nearest shop, petrol station or pub, so your guests can feel a little independent. If you keep these on your computer, you can print them out every time someone visits - saves a job in the future.

If adding all of the frills brings you joy and you want to channel the luxury hotel vibes, why not have towelling robes and slippers in the guest room? You can be sure they will be appreciated. But most of all, be kind to yourself, your home is lovely, and you do not need to go to extreme lengths, after all, you are on our website, so we already know you have exceptional taste!

And breathe

If a guest arrives and you start feeling stressed, take a moment out to think about why. Getting under your skin is probably the last thing they want, and maybe they just want to feel useful? Let them clean the imaginary dust and mess away or even better, ask them to help you with sorting out something on the bottom of your to-do list! If nothing else works, give them the kids or the dog to walk and enjoy a moment of peace and quiet with a glass of mulled wine!