How to create a comfortable bedroom, even in a pandemic


When friends and loved ones in suitcases arrive at your doorstep during the holidays, or any other time of the year, it’s good to have a welcoming place to put them, a little bit out of the hustle and bustle of the city. everyday life.

“Traveling can be a stressful experience, so it’s nice to provide your guests with a place to relax and rejuvenate,” said Sean Anderson, a Memphis-based interior designer. “It’s about being aware of who your guests are and their way of life, so that they are calm and at peace when they stay in your home. “

This is where a well-designed bedroom – if you’re lucky enough to have the space – can make a big difference.

Because bedrooms are used less frequently than other bedrooms, they can end up being a dumping ground for unwanted furniture or storage boxes. But when you’re expecting visitors, it’s time to shed the clutter and add some thoughtful touches.

As Anderson said, “It’s the details that really make the difference.

To help us create a bed and breakfast that visitors won’t want to leave (note: it’s a blessing and a curse), we sought advice from interior designers.

There are two schools of thought when it comes to designing a guest room. Because it’s a piece that isn’t typically used much, some designers recommend doing everything with color and pattern, to make a big statement – similar to how they treat powder rooms.

“For me, a spare bedroom is a place to have a little fun and maybe do something a little unexpected,” said Heidi Caillier, a Seattle-based designer. “I find people are more open to a wallpaper or a print, and make it interesting,” she added, “compared to a master bedroom, where they want it to be more relaxing.”

In a bedroom in a Connecticut home she designed, Ms Caillier covered the walls with Morris & Co.’s Fruit wallpaper, which features an animated pattern of leaves, flowers, pomegranates, peaches and citrus.

Other designers prefer to keep it simple. “I want it to have a personality and style that ties in with the aesthetic of the rest of the house, but not be so extreme or specific that some people like it and others hate it,” Mel said. Bean, designer in Tulsa, Okla.

Ms. Bean suggested choosing colors and patterns that are likely to be universally appealing. “It should be a place where everyone wants to sleep,” she said. “It can lead to neutrals or a lot of colors, but in a way that’s not too busy or uplifting.”

The choice is personal and depends on who you plan to use the space – your fashionable friends, for example, or your conservative grandparents – and what you want to communicate about your own sense of style.

A spare bedroom shouldn’t be a repository for old lumpy mattresses that are best left at the curb. At the very least, it should provide the foundation for a decent hotel room, said Roman Alonso, director of Los Angeles-based design firm Commune. In other words: “a really comfortable mattress and high-end bedding”, as well as bedside tables, reading lamps and rugs if the room has hardwood, stone or ceramic floors.

While storage might not be a priority, every overnight guest will have luggage, so you’ll have to put up with that as well. “I’m one of those people who, when I check in at a hotel or stay as a guest at someone’s house, has to unpack everything,” Anderson said.

So, while designing a spare bedroom, he said: “I am thinking of having a place to put the luggage, whether it is on a shelf or in a closet”, as well as providing a chest of drawers, a cupboard or a cupboard. cupboard with hangers where people can properly store their things. .

Even with inexpensive furniture, it is possible to give a room a feeling of luxury by using textiles. Start by focusing on the bed.

Fresh, clean linens are essential. But in addition to them, said Nicole Fisher, founder of BNR Interiors in Hudson, NY, consider offering several different options for heat: “Some people are hot, some people are cold, so you never know how. they’re going to want to sleep. “

When Ms. Fisher sets up a spare bedroom, she says, “there will always be a comforter, quilt and blanket,” so people can adjust their diapers.

The preference for pillows is another unknown, so it is helpful to provide several sleeping pillows with different levels of firmness – Mrs Caillier usually makes a bed with four – as well as cushions that can act as a back support for sitting in. the bed.

Whether the bathroom is en-suite or down the hall, Ms. Fisher said, it should be well-equipped with clean towels and washcloths. And if the bathroom is shared, guests should have designated towel racks, racks or hooks to keep their bath sheets separate – especially with increased concerns about germs amid the pandemic.

Finally, make sure your bedroom has appropriate window coverings. Rooms that get lots of sunlight in the morning should have blackout blinds or curtains, perhaps with a second layer of sheer curtains, so guests can control the light, Alonso said. In rooms that aren’t blown by the sun or streetlights, an all-purpose light-filtering shade may be sufficient.

Even the most sociable of guests will eventually want some time for themselves. To give them a place to go, try including a sitting area in the bedroom, if there is enough space.

It can be as simple as placing a single lounge chair, small side table, and a floor lamp in the corner of the room. “A lot of times I place them near a window, so you can just sit in the sun,” Ms. Bean said. Other times, when space permits, she positions a small sofa at the foot of the bed.

Also consider if there is room to squeeze into an office. “We are certainly receiving more of this demand now, from Covid,” Ms. Caillier said, as the pandemic has made remote working a possibility for many. “People want a workspace, for their guests or for themselves, in this room. “

He doesn’t have to be tall. A compact stand-alone desk or even a wall-mounted desk with a chair that tucks out of the way is usually enough space for working on a laptop.

Adding a few thoughtful touches can make a room even more special. Mr. Alonso and Ms. Bean like to have a coffee and tea station, as well as bottled water, in the rooms.

“I like having a bar cart in the closet with an espresso machine and glass water bottles,” Ms. Bean said. “You can even put a mini fridge in the closet, depending on the size. “

If you don’t have room for small appliances, place a carafe with a cup-shaped lid on the nightstand, so guests don’t have to go to the kitchen for a drink. water in the middle of the night.

You should also provide reading material, Ms. Bean said, including books and magazines that reflect your interests: “It’s a way to share a bit of your personality. “

For a decorative exclamation mark, Ms. Fisher likes to add a vase of fresh flowers. For scent appeal, Mr. Anderson sometimes provides a scented candle and matches.

You may also consider providing the new pandemic constants – hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes – stored in a nightstand drawer or basket. “These aren’t glamorous things,” Ms. Bean said, “but it’s something that can add a mental layer of safety and security.”

Ultimately, the goal is to make your guest’s visit feel “like staying at a luxury hotel,” Ms. Bean said, “where you think and anticipate their needs.”

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