Making money from your spare room

You might remember that last year we refurbished a bedroom, installed a hidden ensuite bathroom and turned it into a guest bedroom gem. Since then I was left wondering how the lucky guests enjoy it.

It turns out that the new bedroom is now the warm, cosy Monday-to-Friday home of a lucky lodger earning the owner some rather welcome extra cash, how brilliant!

If you too are considering boosting your income by hiring your spare room here’s how to get started:

The colours: according to ‘The Colour Psychology Guide’ white has represented purity, innocence, cleanliness and space for a very long time … and with good reason. White walls make the room feel welcome, less cluttered and help any potential lodger to see themselves living there.

I certainly encourage my clients to use white in light starved places, especially if combined with mirror and reflective surfaces. For many new home owners and lodgers alike, it often means a fresh start in a new place.

To make sure your new room doesn’t look sterile and hospital like, its wise to look for off whites with a hint of warmth. It will give a lovely background to whatever furniture or furnishings you might like to combine it with.

Some of my favourite off whites have hints of warmth or a secondary tone of colour. Farrow and Ball have a great selection of colours that go beautifully well together, as does Little Green (their Grey Palette is lovely!)

That said, its worth having an accent colour that can accommodate both genders, after all, your lodger could be a lady as much as a lad so keep your options open when adding character and colour to your new room.

The furniture: The room is painted and now it’s easy to get excited about furnishing it but before starting the shopping spree it’s important to make sure the new furniture is not only comfortable but also of the right dimensions.

The furniture needs to feel good, be of a decent enough quality, not cost too much AND look just right. Sounds like a mission impossible? With a little research and careful planning it can be done to perfection.

There are plenty of specialist companies providing versatile pieces that can be adapted as and when the circumstances change. Some companies even specialize in renting out furniture on temporary basis.

Here are some common tricks of the trade:

Dress curtains & blinds – these are window dressings that although look great don’t always function on their own therefore are layered for effect. For example, a pair of full length curtains can be fitted outside the window opening but are not wide enough to cover the whole window so a roman blind is used as the main window dressing instead.

Smaller than average beds… aka ‘Queen Bed’ and ‘Small Single’ these will give the impression of a full size bed when in fact they are great for a single person but a little ‘snug’ for sharing!

Space saving furniture… items such as bedside tables, wardrobes, desks and chairs are available in a huge variety of sizes. The ‘Scandi’ ranges are often great if you like simple lines and want to cater for small spaces.

As for the ensuite, there is so much choice out there! Electric showers, space saving sinks, etc. Choose wisely and make the most of the variety!

The finishing touches…

There is no escaping the fact that we live in a connected society and, for that reason, I strongly suggest you make sure there is a desk in your spare room that can be used for remote working.

With so many of us working around the clock to meet deadlines or simply working away from home, its important to provide a space dedicated to it. Your guest will be able to sit in front of their computers to work, play or simply catch up with distant friends on Skype.

The Wifi needs to be strong and make sure your guests have plenty of USB plugs too.

As for the last year’s client, here is what she had to say about the work we did for her

” I’m pleased to tell you that our lodger is extremely happy with the bedroom and ensuite that he is using. Thank you for such a clever conversion to include the ensuite which has enabled us to make this spare room in our house so attractive and self-contained.  Everything works really well and although the shower, basin and loo are a snug fit, the space is not squashed and the bedroom remains well proportioned.

We are really pleased with the result, thanks so much for your clever planning and sophisticated eye for colour and style”

I am delighted to hear the revamping of the spare room was worth it. If you too are looking to do the same, give us a call for an information discussion.

Thanks for reading,

Paula, x

Loft Conversion Part 4 – Interpreting the architect’s drawings

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