Question: We are newly empty nesters as our kids are all grown and gone away. We now have an empty room that I would like to make into a beautiful guest suite for when they return to visit or we have guests. The problem is because it is an empty slate; I don’t know where to begin?
L. George - Regina, SK
Answer: Having a blank slate is a great problem to have as you have no obstacles to overcome or conflicting pieces to merge. However, it can be a bit overwhelming to know which direction the room should take with so many choices out there. Yes your home should certainly have flow and make sense that this room is inside your house, but a guest room is also a great opportunity to experiment and for you to step out of your comfort zone slightly. For example it may be your own personal taste to have a dark and dramatic bedroom, so why not go for a light and airy spa like retreat for your guests. You may be intrigued by something such as flowers or architecture but not want to wake up to it every morning. The guest room is a great room to test these things out without the commitment of getting sick of them as it is not a room you will spend much time in.
So how do I begin my room planning for my guest suite? As always, it is a great idea to begin with a collection of pictures to create a style file and provide some direction. But even more important than that, is to find a piece of inspiration to draw from and work the room from there. Bedding has always been a great place to begin, if you find some incredible bedding you love it is an easy point of reference to jump off of. However, with today’s trends and the desire to have a bedroom resemble a hotel or spa, most people or going with plain bedding and adding texture and color with accessories. I personally love this look as it is most luxurious and provides you with much versatility. So, with white bedding it can be just as intimidating as white walls to add color and texture to it. This is where I am a big fan of finding art, wallpaper or fabric as your inspiration. With one of these two key pieces you can base an entire room. With your art and bedding coordinating you can then choose a paint color and add your accessories.
Bedroom trends right now tend to be soft and serene with neutral bedding and lots of layers of texture with toss cushions, throws, drapery panels, area rugs and some light reflection or metallic’s in your accessories. The walls tend to have a grey undertone even if they have some color to them, such as a smoky plum or slate blue. We are seeing a lot of mixing of grey, linen, white and ivory together.
An easy recipe for decorating a bedroom:
- Begin with a luxurious solid grey, white or linen duvet cover and shams
- Search for a great piece of large art or wallpaper to fill the focal wall of the bedroom.
- Add texture and/or color with toss cushions and throws. A great idea for color is to look for fabric by the yard in a fun pattern that you love. This can be made into two large pillows for the bed as well as a runner for the bottom of the bed. Go bold and have fun as it will provide a statement, but easy and cost effective to change in the future. Take these three pieces and perhaps the art away and you are left with a relatively neutral room again. For example, I am not a fan of yellow but I have this great grey, white and yellow fabric at the store that I just love. Adding it to a guest room with pillows and a bed runner would be the perfect way to incorporate pattern, try a color I am not usually drawn to and step out of my comfort zone without the commitment.
- Choose a wall color that provides a backdrop to your space, but does not take center stage. It should coordinate and flow off of your artwork, wallpaper and bedding.
- Add floor to ceiling drapery panels in a solid neutral with a bit of texture or sheen for added luxury.
- Add a few items of glass or metallic for a little bling a femininity (something every bedroom should have).
- Have Fun!!!
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