Every year, thousands of families across the nation pack their former high-school students off to college or watch their post-grads enter the "real world" during back-to-school season. Though some feel sad about these life-changing events, many moms say they can't wait to redo their son or daughter's old room.
Creating a beautiful new guest room is a great cure for any "empty-nester sadness" that may linger after the college-age child moves away from home. And if you get going now, you can have it ready in time for holiday guests, including your college student or post-grad returning home for the first "holiday visit."
Guest rooms are a great place to crank up your inner design passions. Because you don't use the room every day, feel free to take more risk in this room. Maybe you were reluctant to use purple accents in your bedroom because your husband hates it, or maybe you always wanted to wallpaper a bedroom but were afraid you would regret it. This is the room that can handle a little risk, so go for it!
Let's start with the basics. The room will need at least a double bed, a dresser with at least one empty drawer, a place to open an overnight case, and empty hangers and room in the closet. I am crazy about white bed linens -- borrowed straight from the playbook of every great boutique hotel. Splurge and buy the best thread count you can afford, and a fluffy, goose-down duvet to fill the white duvet cover. Buy four big, fluffy pillows that are new and fresh and that you have to fight to get into the pillow cases. Buy four pillows; the fuller they are, the better the bed will look. Place two decorative pillows of two different sizes in front of the four sleeping pillows, to disguise wrinkles and add big style.
Once you have your bedding, think about how to "anchor" the bed wall. A splurge of wall covering on the bed wall is a great option. I love to use raffia or grass cloth of any kind, because it never goes out of style. I also love some of the new, nature-inspired wallpapers by Romo, such as this Portico Wallpaper.
Or, if you are handy with a stencil and paint brush, this elegant wallpaper look could be duplicated with two tones of paint. I would repeat the lighter neutral on the other three walls, so the rich wallpaper effect is behind the bed and nightstands. This technique is so effective that often no art is needed on the bed wall.
Other cool tricks for the guest room?
And the good news is that because your teenager is gone, you can actually leave the door open without cringing at the piles of clothing on the floor (which I know you kind of miss after all)!
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