Style at Home Big Style for small spaces - - Contents - Erin Mclaugh­lin erin@styleath­

One of my all-time favourite rooms was the mi­nus­cule guest room in the 14-foot-wide Vic­to­rian row­house I now nos­tal­gi­cally call my “sin­gle girl pad.” It was ap­prox­i­mately 8 feet by 11 feet and had one tiny awk­ward win­dow. While dec­o­rat­ing the mas­ter bed­room was rel­a­tively sim­ple – I kept it light, bright and min­i­mal – the cramped guest room posed a real chal­lenge. I de­cided to fol­low the ad­vice I nor­mally give for dec­o­rat­ing pow­der rooms: Use bold colours, em­brace eclec­ti­cism and re­mem­ber that any­thing goes! De­spite be­ing slightly colour shy, I chose Far­row & Ball’s Cook­ing Ap­ple Green paint, a bright shade I’d been long­ing to try, to en­er­gize the space. I hung my col­lec­tion of vin­tage mir­rors to off­set the awk­ward win­dow and re­flect what lit­tle nat­u­ral light the spot had, mak­ing the space seem larger. But none of my magic tricks could ac­tu­ally phys­i­cally ex­pand the room, and pick­ing a bed pre­sented the big­gest prob­lem. I didn’t want my guest room to be all bed. A cus­tom Gus­ta­vian-style daybed by Ju­lia West De­sign that could trans­form into a dou­ble bed did the trick, giv­ing guests space to move around when get­ting ready in the morn­ing, and to stretch out for a comfy sleep at night. It was the per­fect so­lu­tion. The room’s crown­ing glory was by far a beau­ti­ful an­tique chan­de­lier I’d pur­chased years prior. It was un­ex­pected in the pe­tite space and lent a sense of im­por­tance de­spite the area’s diminu­tive size.

When I sold the house, the guest room was the hard­est to leave be­hind. I got teary as I took down all the mir­rors and, although ev­ery light fix­ture had been sold with the home, I in­sisted that the chan­de­lier come with me. It’s now packed away in a box in the garage, along­side my vin­tage mir­rors. I still haven’t found a spot for them, but I know they’re per­fect for any small space. Per­haps when my step­daugh­ters have their own “sin­gle girl pads” my sen­ti­men­tal favourites will find a home again.

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