Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

CONNIE OLIVER: It's not hard to pamper your guests

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Having a lovely guest bedroom at the ready says a lot about you and your home. It speaks to your willingness and readiness to welcome and pamper overnight guests. Whether it's to welcome a far-off relative for a long-overdue visit or a grandchild for the weekend, a beautiful guest room is a wonderful idea that will complement you and your home.

You don't have to break the decorating budget in order to offer a guest the comforts of your home. As long as you have a spare room, you can decorate it in a style that will ensure your guests will want to stay.

And the room doesn't have to be large to be comfortable. The delightful bedroom photograph featured today, courtesy of Dulux Australia, shows that even a small room can be cosy and inviting.

This room has a cottagey feel to it, which gives it a casual flavour. This facet makes a guest feel that he or she can truly relax, yet do so in style. The lovely two-toned blue-paint palette provides visual interest and really highlights the architectural features of the room. Blue is a great choice for any bedroom because it's calming, cooling and restful.

Pale yellow accents complete the colour scheme nicely. The band of darker blue at the top of the walls, separated by decorative trim, gives the room visual height and drama.

Other colours that work well in a bedroom are muted greens, pale yellow and earth tones like taupe. Keep the palette understated and elegant to achieve a calm, retreat-like feeling in the room.

The bed, with its crisp coordinating linens, extra pillows and accent throw, looks comfy and attractive. Having additional pillows and blankets at the ready will ensure your guest has all they need for a good night's sleep.

A sitting chair provides a place to rest or read. The wicker chair in our feature room adds texture and supports the casual, outdoor flavour of the décor. The overstuffed seat cushion invites one to sit and stay awhile. Again, a toss cushion in the accent colour and another soft throw will provide additional comfort.


Simple, elegant style


For a guest room that is used less often than other rooms in the home, choosing a simplified décor is a wise one. Keeping things minimalistic helps with the upkeep and maintenance of a room that is not used regularly. Window blinds provide privacy yet allow natural light to filter into the room when desired. The fitted blinds, versus flowing draperies for example, mimic the architectural elements in the window and garden door. Although draperies could easily work in this room, the simple blinds keep the room feeling crisp and uncluttered.

The lack of pattern on the bed linens and minimal use of wall art also helps maintain a simple, elegant style. A single dresser for your guest to utilize on their visit is sufficient for a brief stay. A few, well-chosen accessories on the dresser top will help accentuate your efforts and your décor while requiring simple, regular upkeep.


When guests arrive


Adding fresh flowers or a potted plant upon a guest's arrival will bring a sense of the outdoors inside. Put fresh linens on the bed right before your guest arrives. Add a basket of current reading material like magazines, newspapers and popular novels. Ensure that there's a good reading lamp by the bedside.

Provide a writing surface complete with stationary, stamps, envelopes and postcards with local themes in case your out-of-town guest wants to write home. If you don't have a desk to use for this purpose, a lap desk on the bed will suffice.

A basket of toiletries is always a good idea in case your guest has forgotten a toothbrush, etc. Purchase a traveller's set of mini-toiletries for use during their stay. Place these items in a nice basket on the nightstand or dresser. An inexpensive pair of slippers from a dollar store might also be a nice touch. Include an alarm clock on the bedside table. This can be especially helpful for guests who may have travelled a long distance and need to adjust to a new time zone.

A well-appointed guest room can be a blessing to harried travellers when they come to visit. It can also be put to good use when one half of a couple can't sleep or is ill with a cold or flu and doesn't want to disturb their sleeping partner.

And if you want to pamper yourself, there's no reason why you can't sleep in your well-appointed guest room and enjoy the benefits of your efforts!


Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 26, 2013 F5

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