I’ve been thinking about bedrooms a lot over the past few days – mostly because a recent bout of flu means I’ve spent a lot more time in mine than usual! Specifically, I’ve been thinking about how to make our second bedroom feel special for guests.
Spare rooms are so often afterthoughts – places where we store clutter, or hide away furniture that we no longer like. Ours is no exception – it’s a lovely, sunny south-facing space but, like many people, we’ve put far more effort into decorating the other rooms in our house. We’d like that to change – particularly as it’s used most often by parents who very kindly cat-sit when we travel, and the least we can do is create a place where they can sleep in comfort while looking after our little fuzzball!
So, here’s what we have planned…
It sounds cheesy, but we’d like guests to feel as if they’re on holiday when they stay with us. We want to transform the second bedroom into a little sanctuary, with calming colours and lots of snuggly textures. We’ve already made a start by painting the walls a soft, silvery grey (the same colour shown here), and by adding sheer linen curtains that maximise the natural light (there’s a black-out blind for sleeping). Now we have to think about the furniture and layout.
Like many spare rooms, ours has a dual purpose – it’s where guests stay, but it’s also where I take most of my blog photography and where I sit when I work from home. We therefore need to find a way to incorporate a work space while ensuring it’s a serene environment for visitors – something which hotels seem to achieve brilliantly. One option would be to create an ‘office cupboard’ with my computer and other bits and bobs hidden behind doors; another would be to install a desk with a pull-out shelf for my laptop, which could then be slid away when not in use. Or we might choose to use a vintage table and avoid anything which looks too much like a desk in the fist place.
A good bed
I have to admit that we’ve been guilty of ignoring the most crucial feature of a guest room. When we first moved from a one-bedroom place back in 2007, we stuck our old bed in the spare room and bought a nice new one for ourselves. Years (and another move) passed without us ever considering whether that now-ancient mattress was still comfortable, until a few months ago when my mum stayed with us after breaking her foot. We swapped bedrooms so that she could use our ensuite rather than having to hobble around in plaster in the middle of the night, and we realised just how lumpy the old bed in the spare room had become. I cringe when I think of all the visitors who have slept in it over the years and have been too polite to tell us how horrible it is… It’s high time we bought a new one, and I have my eye on one of the grey fabric-covered divans from Furniture Village, many of which have snazzy hidden drawers underneath.
Our spare bedroom has become a bit of a dumping ground for clutter. It’s home to a huge chest of drawers which takes up lots of space but provides no storage for guests as it’s crammed full of old DVDs, cables, board games and the like. We need to have a good old clear out, and then I’d like to replace the drawers with a comfy chair where visitors can store luggage or just sit back with a book. There’s no room for a wardrobe, but I’m planning to get a few stylish wall pegs where people can hang their clothes.
Once we’ve got the main elements sorted, I’d like to make our guests feel pampered by incorporating a few little treats – fresh flowers, a carafe of water, scented candles, a few interesting books dotted here and there. I’m also going to add a snuggly blanket, and provide a couple of different pillows so that visitors can choose between feather and synthetic fillings. And I’ve bought a lavender pillow spray to leave by the bed – the least I can do to help people sleep in a house that’s home to a cat with a penchant for night-time yowling…
I’ll share the results of our spare-bedroom makeover once it’s finished, but in the meantime please do leave a comment below if you have any tried-and-tested ways of sprucing up guest rooms!
This is a collaborative post with Furniture Village, but all words and opinions are my own.