The Insider: Be a memorable host (for all the right reasons)


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The Independent Online

Making house-guests feel totally comfortable is so important – and it's all about getting the details right...

Pillow talk

Protectors (and fresh pillows), plus the scent of fabric softener are more welcoming than a faint whiff of unwashed hair. Also, "It's only been slept in once" is a niche bed-linen attitude.

Don't air your dirty linen...

Even a front-room fold-out bed can feel luxurious with high thread-count, crisp white linen, rather than your threadbare, coloured spares, says Simon Numphud, an AA hotel inspector. Also, some mature guests may suffer under "new-fangled" duvets – try to offer sheets and blankets.

Mod cons

As in a bedroom, have a lamp reachable from bed, somewhere for water or a book. A dining chair will do, or's adjustable Tango table (£39). Clip on an Ikea Fas light (£12.99) and you're set. And, daytimes, stash bedclothes in a giant pound-shop laundry bag (then stash that, too).

Set the screen

A room divider, fold-able when not in use, provides privacy with open-plan sleeping – but is pricey. Amazon has a decent, affordable range.

That's entertainment

Magazines, a TV, radio or computer ease mutual sanity with longer-staying guests.

New bloom

Nothing says welcome more than fresh flowers.

Find Kate's blog on affordable interiors at