#TuesdayTips - How to decorate a spare room

Posted 11 October 2016 by Ben Salisbury

TV property expert Sarah Beeney offers advice on how to decorate a spare room and looks at the different options on how you can use a spare room

British homeowners are using spare rooms in their homes in practical ways, including renting them out to earn extra income, according to a new survey by Inspired Wallpaper.

More than a fifth, 22%, plan to rent out the space to a lodger to earn extra income and take advantage of the increase in the amount that can be earned under the terms of the government’s Rent a Room scheme in which UK residents can earn up to £7,500 a year tax-free by renting out a furnished room in their home. The amount that can be earned tax-free through the scheme has risen from £4,250 last year.

Other popular options of how to use the extra space of a spare room include creating a home gym, utilising it as a walk-in wardrobe, using a spare room as a hobby room, making a home office out of it or using a spare room as a guest room for when family or friends come to stay.

With people becoming more creative about how they use the extra space and services like Airbnb growing in popularity as well as renting to a lodger, Christine Westcott, Head of Design at Inspired Wallpaper believes people are putting more thought and effort into how they decorate their spare rooms.

“The way in which you design your room depends on what you plan to use it for. If you’re creating a guest room, you should choose patterns and colours that are welcoming and soothing – perhaps some soft pastel shades.

“More people are now working from home, so having an office in your spare room makes perfect sense. You need to select colours that help to boost your productivity. Blue is said to stimulate the mind, whereas pink is thought to be calming and reassuring. Whatever you choose, make sure you put your own personal stamp on your spare room.”

However, if you plan to rent your spare room out to earn some extra money, Sarah Beeny, TV star and owner of estate agency Tepilo, gives some specific tips on how to revamp your room for this purpose.

She said: “It goes without saying that a spare room should be spotlessly clean in order to ensure it looks its best, but de-clutter whilst you’re at it too.

“Getting rid of unnecessary furniture and clutter will make a room feel much larger and help to really show off its full potential.

“Work out the type of person you think your room will appeal to and then decorate it and dress it accordingly.

“I’d always suggest going for neutral décor, and then adding some stand-out pieces that will give it a bit of personality. Great duvet sets, lamps and cushions can really bring a room to life and help it appeal to your target audience.

“Nobody wants to live in a gloomy, stuffy room, so make the most of the natural light that streams into it. Get rid of blinds and dark curtains that block light out and strategically place mirrors in places that will reflect sunlight to make the room seem even brighter.”

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