Ten tips guar­an­teed to turn any guest room glam­orous this spring, from HGTV host and de­sign guru Sarah Richard­son

Craft­ing cosy quar­ters with ev­ery­thing from car­pets to comfy chairs for vis­it­ing friends and rel­a­tives this spring

Richmond Hill Post - - Table of Contents - by Sarah Richard­son

As we gear up for warmer weather, those spare bed­rooms that of­ten be­gin to col­lect junk or be­come cov­ered in a layer of dust will likely need a good up­dat­ing prior to fam­ily mem­bers ar­riv­ing. Here are my 10 tips for bring­ing that room out of the gloom.

1. Good light­ing: A swing arm lamp is an ideal bed­side light as it fo­cuses the light straight down on what you are read­ing with­out il­lu­mi­nat­ing the whole room (so your guests will be able to read them­selves to sleep with­out wor­ry­ing about wak­ing up their bed­mate — a good thing to con­sider if they’ve come a long way or might have jet lag).

2. A nice rug: One that’s soft un­der­foot and big enough that bare feet will land on the rug, not the cold floor, when guests wake up. Adding a rug also helps to dampen sound and floor creaks in older houses so guests can walk with­out tip­toe­ing.

3. 100 per cent cot­ton sheets that are crisp and smooth: A freshly made bed (made by some­one else, no less) is al­ways a treat, so it’s easy to make your guests feel like they’ve just checked into a great ho­tel by putting a bit of thought and care into the ameni­ties.

4. A choice of pil­lows: I’m fussy about pil­lows and as­sume my guests are the same, so I make ev­ery bed with one polyester pil­low and one soft down (or down al­ter­na­tive) pil­low, so guests can pile up as many or as few pil­lows as they like.

5. Some­where to put your stuff: A bed­side ta­ble with a large top sur­face and a cubby or shelf for stor­age will help guests feel that you’ve given them room to spread out and un­pack a bit. Try to limit per­sonal ef­fects and knick-knacks and clut­ter to a min­i­mum so the room feels fin­ished but not too per­sonal or clut­tered.

6. Lay­ers on the bed: We all run hot and cold some­times, so layer up the bed with an ex­tra quilt or blan­ket in case they find your home cool. If you don’t put it on the bed as a dec­o­ra­tive layer, make sure you tell your guests where to find ad­di­tional bed­ding in case it’s needed in the night. I can’t sleep if I’m cold and al­ways want to help my guests get some good zzz.

7. A con­sis­tent colour scheme: Your guest room doesn’t need to re­sem­ble the pres­i­den­tial suite and can be sim­ply fur- nished, but it shouldn’t look like the land of castoffs, so try to make ev­ery­thing co­or­di­nate so it’s invit­ing to spend time in.

8. A comfy chair: If space per­mits, I al­ways add a chair to bed­rooms. Some guests like to have some quiet time away from your fam­ily, and giv­ing them a spot to sit and read or work on a lap­top will make them feel at ease.

9. A test drive: My num­ber one rule for ev­ery guest room is that you need to have tried it out and feel con­fi­dent that it is ac­tu­ally well equipped and com­fort­able. I didn’t re­al­ize that the board sup­port­ing the mat­tress wasn’t at­tached to the frame of the bed un­til we had a vis­i­tor and heard a big crash late one night when the ply­wood slipped off the frame af­ter be­ing nudged ev­ery time the bed was made. Try­ing to re­assem­ble a bed in your PJs is not what good host­ing is all about … talk about a wake-up call!

10. A tiny sprig of some­thing fresh: You don’t need a big bou­quet of flow­ers, but a guest ar­riv­ing to find a sin­gle bloom or a sprig tucked into a vase on the bed­side ta­ble is a pretty and thought­ful ges­ture that won’t go un­no­ticed. For more tips, check out my book At

Home Sarah Style, and look out for new items in my bed­ding and linens col­lec­tion this May on shop­sarah­style.com.

“Your guest room doesn’t need to re­sem­ble the pres­i­den­tial suite.”

Richard­son says spare rooms should have a choice of pil­lows, lay­ers on the bed and a con­sis­tent colour scheme

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