Your home is one of the places where you're likely to spend the majority of your time. As such, it is important to make your home as comfortable as possible.
Image via MySofaBeds
But what about your B&B? You want that to remain comfortable for yourself, the owener, but you also want to make your guests feel as comfortable as possible as well - is it possible to do both?
At the end of the day, no two people are the same, and when it comes to decor and feeling 'at home' - no one is going to share the same opinion of what is right and what is wrong.
But, there is a general list of amenities that everyone can mostly agree on: warmth, comfort, cleanliness, space and privacy.
Creating feelings of warmth
Make sure all guests have some way of controlling the temperature of their room. There is a number of ways you can do this:
- Allow opening/closing access to a window
- Provide a heater/air conditioning unit
- Allow guest access to radiator setting
- Provide a range of sheets/blankets of different thicknesses
Some people like to remain cooler, other people feel the cold very easily. Again, you'll never get it perfect (as I'm sure you'll know!) - but if you can provide your guests with some form of control over their surroundings, you'll show them that you care about their comfort.
Aside from the literal feelings of warmth, warmth is also interpretted in the colours and decor we are surrounded by. Rich colours such as burgandys, reds and purples make us feel 'warm' psychologically - and are a good idea if you're B&B is situated in a area known not for its sunny weather (Scotland and The Lake District, I'm looking at you).
Harsh, bright overhead lights may be good when you need to focus on work, but in the home they are unwelcoming and cold. Try to get low-wattage light bulbs wherever possible, use dimmer switches if you have them and experiment with candles.
Use mirrors to reflect natural light sources though, as natural light is friendly, welcoming and refreshing.
Keeping it clean
Yes, of course you should keep your B&B clean - that goes without saying! But also consider that cluttered and 'busy' rooms can sometimes look unclean - even if they are not.
Try to keep clutter to a minimum. Use clever storage to 'hide' unsightly items. Consider using underbed storage (Divan beds are perfect for this) and bathroom cabinets to hide away extra sheets and toiletries.
Keep surfaces clear of mess - don't think that a shelve or unit has to be filled. Simply display some flowers or pictures and keep all those 'nik-naks' and ornamental pieces to a minimum (see image below).
Image via Nest Pretty Things
Colour & Light
Yes, colour and light also have a part to play when guests are judging how clean your rooms really are.
A well-light room decorating in light, bright colours will give a cleaner impressiojn than a poorly-lit room with dark-wood panelling. If there are lots of shadowy corners in a room - who's to know what could be lurking in there?! Make sure every corner is lit up, preferably by a natural light source if possible.
Personal space & privacy
Everyone needs their own space. Guests often stay at B&Bs because they are more friendlier and they have the opportunity to chat, but that doesn't mean they won't want to retreat to the confines of their room most of the time.
Try to ensure that the room has enough space for activities that don't just include sleeping. Make sure there is a chair/seat in the room (NEVER assume the guest is happy to use their bed as a chair), preferably with a table or desk.
If you can't do this, consider creating a 'guest-only' room which guests can use for reading, writing, using the internet etc.
It's your home as well, and you shouldn't have to sacrifice the things that mean a lot to you. Don't be afraid to incorporate your personality into the theme of your B&B - after all that what makes your accommodation unique - but do remember not to overdo it, because not everyone will agree with your tastes.
Do you have anything to add to the conversation? Comment below to share your stories/experiences with us.