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
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