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Sprucing up the spare room in time for the holidays

Don't be afraid to mix and match textures and patterns. Create a festive mood for guests by adding seasonal accents like these pillows.
Don't be afraid to mix and match textures and patterns. Create a festive mood for guests by adding seasonal accents like these pillows. - Contributed

If company’s coming and the spare room has been doubling as a den, there’s still time to wrap-up the room in time for the holidays. 

Design experts say that sprucing up the spare room for holiday guests can be a quick fix once you get organized. 

Jane Veldhoven, of Get Organized by Design in Halifax, says if the spare room is doing double duty as an office space/storage room/ guest room, her first rule of design is to declutter the room.

“Start by clearing it out,” she said. “People feel more comfortable in rooms that are organized and free of clutter. Homesense or Ikea is a good place to shop for storage baskets and units.”

Veldhoven added that if the spare room is not being used as a bedroom, why not convert the closet into storage space.  Shelving units can be quickly installed and hidden behind closed doors. A few baskets can make a huge difference in storage space.

Other simple furnishings, like hide-a-beds and daybeds, can help transform the tight spaces into places  that please everyone. Depending on the size of the room and budget, custom-made Murphy beds can fold into the wall and out of the way.

“There are also lift-top tables that can serve double duty as a coffee table and desk,” she added. “Attica offers a selection of lift-top tables.”

Betty Ann Balcom, of BettyAnn Design in the Annapolis Valley, agrees that the first step of good design is to simplify the room by clearing out any clutter. Her favourite fix for sprucing up the spare room is all about a few well-placed accessories.

 “I like to start with the bed and make it a focal point for the room,” she said. “The winning combination is a mix of patterns, solids and textures. Purchase a sheet set, a set of shams, and perhaps a bedskirt. Add an odd number of themed throw pillows and the guest room will be two-thirds done.”

Trying to get your guest room ready for the holidays? Start by clearing away clutter from the spare room. If the room doubling as an office space, consider using the closet space for storage. - Contributed
Trying to get your guest room ready for the holidays? Start by clearing away clutter from the spare room. If the room doubling as an office space, consider using the closet space for storage. - Contributed

Nothing makes a bedroom feel more special like a beautifully made-up bed, she added. Cheerful bedding is a winner when creating that festive feeling in a guest room. Create a theme for the room, she adds.

“What feeling do you hope for your guests? What’s the theme you like to create?” she said. “Decide whether your style is rustic, country, chic, urban, elegant or maybe minimal. Determine this and then the colour plan will come together.”

Adding different textures to the room offers a special flavour to the decor. Mix and match your textiles — perhaps add a wool throw or a rug to vary the texture. Balcolm also recommends using a mixture of solids and patterns throughout the room, while maintaining the overall theme and colour plan. 

Use a few accents and special features in the room to carry the primary colour and the secondary colours. She also suggests adding something unexpected - recycle or repurpose something in the room as an added surprise. 

“Grab a can of spray paint and replace an existing mirror with an unexpected detail,” she said. “Do something unexpected.”

Balcolm quickly added that while it’s fun to play with accents and special features, it’s best to rely on the second simple rule of design: less is often more. A few simple accents make a greater impact than lots of little ones.

“You want people to feel comfortable, you don’t want to overwhelm them,” she said. “Another simple pleasure you can offer your guests is a bed tray set with a selection of their favourite treats. Chocolate (of course), mints, fudge, fruit - anything goes, including your theme cloth napkins.”

Go online: 

For more information on Betty Ann Balcolm, visit www.bettyann.design 

For more information on Jane Veldhoven www.get-organized.ca

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