How to… make your home guest-ready

Friends coming over for the bank holiday weekend? Get your home looking ship-shape with these quick fixes from blogger Helenka Bednar.

You know how it is – friends knocking at the door, and the place looks like it’s been hit by a bomb! I’ve found myself in this situation more times than I’d care to admit, but over time I’ve developed a few quick-fix solutions for when friends arrive unannounced. Here’s how I make sure my home is guest-ready, fast:

Put it away

When guests turn up unannounced, clever storage solutions are always my first port of call. I stash bathroom clutter out of sight in these roomy lidded wicker baskets, sweep any paperwork or magazines that are scattered about into this wire basket, and sort both clean and dirty laundry into two separate hampers.

The right light

Good-mood lighting makes a room instantly welcoming and I love lighting scented candles to add warmth and a welcoming aroma. It might sound strange, but I wrap them up and pop them in the fridge for an hour or so before lighting them. Wrapping them stops the wicks from absorbing moisture, and my candles last longer with a slow, even burn.

Ready for bed

I always make sure there’s a fresh set of bed linen ready to come out if anyone decides to stay the night. To save me digging around for a matching set, I tuck the sheet set and duvet cover set inside one of its pillowcases, and then stack them, set by set, in my linen cupboard.

Prices, clockwise from bottom left: Mini Milk Churn, £3; Brecon Natural Chair, £249; by Sainsbury’s Small Rope Lantern, £16; by Sainsbury’s Large Rope Lantern, £22; by Sainsbury’s Metal Task Lamp, £30, see instore; by Sainsbury’s Ripple Effect Grey Mug, £4, see instore; Brecon 3-seater Natural Sofa, £449; by Sainsbury’s Natural Linen Cushion, £18; by Sainsbury’s Natural Stripe Cushion, £15; by Sainsbury’s Large Navy Cushion, £18; by Sainsbury’s Navy Linen Stripe Cushion, £15, see instore. (All part of our Refined Rustic range.)

Tip of the week

If you’ve got a beautiful bunch of flowers on the kitchen table or on a side table in your living room, guests are less likely to notice any surrounding clutter.

Three key pieces

Putty embroidered double duvet cover set Large metal basket Extra Large Lavender & Geranium Cloche Candle

Large metal basket, £12; Putty embroidered double duvet cover set, £35; Extra Large Lavender & Geranium Cloche Candle, £30.