Bedside table clutter
Keep a reading lamp, a book or two, and perhaps a vase of flowers or a scented candle, but sweep everything else into drawers to keep surfaces clear and clean. Then get the duster out and give all visible worktops a good polish.
Eiderdowns, throws and cushions are all good ways to ensure a bed feels ‘made’, but take care not to overdo it, as you run the risk of making a room feel cluttered and chaotic.
If in doubt, go for calm and neat, and choose crisp, white linen, neatly ironed. Then resist the temptation to lie down on the bed until every visitor has left!
You can hire a professional machine for this and, on pale carpets in particular, it can make a real difference. You’ll need to do this well before visitors are due, though, as it will need time to dry properly before people can walk on it.
Stash jackets, jeans and socks in a wardrobe or put them in the laundry bin, and make sure all surfaces are clean and tidy. Because while the ‘floordrobe’ may be a real thing, this is not the moment for it to make an appearance.
Aim for a sprinkling of decorative items to show the room is loved and used, but tidy away the framed photos.
Buff away any small marks, or get the paintbrush out to give a crisp, clean finish to any painted surfaces. Woodwork especially can yellow over time, so if yours has seen better days, a fresh coat of paint could do it a world of good.
Try window film, a sheer blind or a set of shutters like these that can be adjusted to screen the lower part of the window but opened above to allow light in.
If you have pets that are allowed in the bedroom, ensure you give the room a good vacuum, too, to get rid of any pet hair and odour.
Scented candles and room sprays are good for creating a welcoming atmosphere, but only if they’re used in a bedroom that’s already fresh. Trying to mask a stale atmosphere with scent will only make it twice as bad, so give the room a good airing a couple of hours before visitors are due to arrive.