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You can make a small space large in luxury

October 22, 2005|By CHRISTINE BRUN

The guest bedroom is usually one of the smallest rooms in a home, but it can still be inviting. You can create a sense of luxury and fit in all of the niceties found in an upscale hotel room, regardless of your room's size.

Start with eliminating lots of unnecessary visual distractions. Rather than cover the walls with flowered wallpaper, paint them a light color and leave them plain. Of course you'll want some adornment, but keep the arrangement simple. Group together three or four small prints, but no more.

Group accessories or little works of art into an assemblage that reads as one unit. For example, if you have some vintage family photos, select three to five and exhibit just those. Display them on a side table or a dresser top, and finish off the grouping with a clock from the same period. Make sure the clock is silent so that the "tick-tock" doesn't disturb your guests' sleep.

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Another possibility is to keep your furniture and accessories sleek and neutral, like in the photo shown here. IKEA and west elm are great sources for such modern accessories that are basically just artful shapes. These can range from contemporary vases to antique spools, bowling pins or glass bottles.

The guest room is also a great place to keep special items that don't fit in anywhere else in your home. I have my great-aunt's porcelain doll sitting on a tiny willow chair in my guest room. It wouldn't fit with the rest of my rooms, but in the guest room it becomes a charming addition. In another guest room I've hung my collection of colorful African masks.

Window treatments are important because a guest room must accommodate all sorts of sleeping habits. Make sure your window treatments completely block the sun or street lamps. People who require total darkness in order to get a good night's sleep ought to be able to find that in your home, just as they would in a good hotel room.

This photo shows softly diffuse light through two sheer fabric layers that also absorb sound. Introduce additional softness and luxury with overdrapes that draw across the functional window treatment. The ones shown here are a sleek pinch-pleat style that don't take up valuable space and look bulky.

Position the TV set to allow your guests the comfort of watching television in bed. Even better, recess the set to save space. One way is to convert part of a closet for this use. You could use the space under the set for more storage. Of course you'll need to provide space for hanging at least a few garments. Also include a portable luggage rack that is easily available at numerous bed and bath stores.

The crowning touch is always to go for really soft and sumptuous linens for your guest room. Simple white or ecru is always a winner in any color scheme. It's also a good idea to provide a throw of some type in case your guest wishes to nap or requires additional coverage during the night. Multiple pillows are also practical, especially for guests who require more elevation for proper rest or to eliminate snoring.

Use the mattress and springs set you already have, but add more depth and cushion with feather and down mattress covers. A down comforter is always soft and warm, but some guests may have allergies to natural down feathers. Consider having both types on hand, just in case.

Other items that add to a guest's ease in using your space are toiletries, fresh flowers and a bench or extra chair where they can sit to put on their shoes. A nice finishing touch is to place framed photos of your guests' families on the night tables. Or if you have photos from previous good times together, use those. Your guests will feel spoiled - and right at home.

Copley News Service

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