Decorating a Home Office/Spare Bedroom

The term spare room is kind of a misnomer. For most homeowners, any extra space is a luxury that is quickly gobbled up and turned into something: a playroom for the kids; a guest room; a home office.  There are ways to combine a home office and a guest room into one stylish space.  Home office/bedroom doesn’t mean shoving a desk in the corner of the guest room or squeezing a queen size bed into the office.  Create a room that is a true multifunctional room that is the best of both.

Rather than having a big bed in a small room use a convertible day bed/sofa.  While this won’t accommodate two guests, it will work for a single guest.  During the day or when the room is not being used as a guest room, the sofa provides a comfortable place to lounge and relax.

Place a stylish desk in the room. Choose one that can be cleared of work papers and laptop for a guest’s visit. Having a few file cabinets or a bookshelf with doors to hide work and home finance paperwork would optimize the storage in this space. Consider a storage ottoman as a coffee table because they are portable and easily moved around the space.

Use neutral colors to make this space guest-friendly.  A patterned area rug could add interest and coziness.  A few pieces of art on the walls would help warm up the space and keep it from feeling too sterile. Even personal family photos would be nice hung as a gallery wall.

Choosing Art for the Bedroom

Bare, blank walls can make a room feel unfinished. Choosing what to hang where in the home can also be intimidating for some. Staring at a blank wall when decorating is kind of like a writer staring at a blank page when writing.  The blank stare can stifle us from making a decision. If you have blank walls in your bedroom, or anywhere in your home, we hope this article can help you take the first step to decorating your walls.

Bedrooms should be sanctuaries and calm places for us to restore our spirits as well as rest our bodies.  Comfortable textiles on the bed, soft flooring like carpet or area rugs on the floor, curtains that can block light all create the environment for good sleep.  You can add to the soothing and restorative qualities of your bedroom by what you hang on the walls.

Every wall in the room does not have to be filled with art. Empty spaces give the eye a place to rest. Art for the bedroom can be framed in frames that coordinate with the furniture, wall or floors. Metal frames can also add a little sparkle to the room. You can frame practically anything and it will look great on the wall. Framed art can include family photos, your wedding portrait or vacation photos. Fabric and paper can also be framed. Choose art that speaks to you. If you love it, you will love to see it as you fall asleep and wake up every day.

Making your Home Yours – Creative Crafts

9429144_SKnitter, quilter, painter – there are so many outlets for creativity – art and craft provide a deep pleasure and satisfaction for many people. Your home will shine when it reflects your creative interests.

Adding a quilt to a wall makes a home feel warm and inviting. A comfy knitted or crochet throw that you made yourself brings you and your home together for yourself and visitors.

Many of the traditional crafts have become new again as changing textures, colors and designs give new life to older crafting methods. One advantage to crafts you create yourself is that you can select just the right colors and pattern to fit with your home’s color and style.

3776506_SIs your home traditional? Then a quilt like the one on the right might be perfect over your fireplace or hanging on a wall. If you have vaulted ceilings, a large quilt can take full advantage of the space. Smaller wall quilts or a selection of paintings can be tucked in transition spaces in your home, providing a personalized burst of color and personality.

Don’t be shy about showing off your creative endeavors. While you may strengthen your skills over time, even beginning efforts add a sense of who you are to your space, and your guests will feel more welcome in a home that has something of you in it.

When your home shows your interests and talents, it becomes a reflection of all aspects of your personality and character. Let people into your world when you invite them into your home, by demonstrating your creative side.

Decorating with Your Style

12221608_SIf you want to determine your style, start with looking in the mirror. How do you wear your hair? What types of clothes do you like, casual or dressy? Do you tend to wear colors or neutrals?

You choose your personal style to represent who you really are. You may find yourself drawn to retro sundresses in bright cottons, or a simple silk shell and pencil skirt. For a man, would you feel more comfortable in polo shirts and khakis or a t-shirt and jeans? Evaluating your style is a good first step when planning your home, since your taste should be just as reflected in your surroundings as it is in your wardrobe. This woman demonstrates a classic retro-40s look, with high-fashion hat and gloves and a classic black and white dress. Luxury and careful planning also show in everything about this woman’s look. So, let’s determine what sort of space would suit her style.


How about this room? Black and white starts the look, but it’s the style of the room that mirrors this woman. Notice the black chandelier. It’s classic, but the black updates the fixture and adds an unexpected level of sophistication.

The rug picks up the blond hair and the light flooring provides contrast with the white/ivory upholstered furniture. If this woman walked into this room, she would have just the right look for it.

Does your living room reflect your personal style? Remember that a home that matches your style comfort zone is a home that will make you happy.


Blend Antique and Contemporary Looks

Do you have a couple of lovely older pieces of furniture you inherited from a great grandmother or received from a great aunt? Or maybe you enjoy hunting down a few unusual antique elements at shops or antique fairs. Here are a few suggestions for integrating them with your more standard pieces so that they add interest while still fitting well in your home.

Look for points of commonality. Do you have newer pieces in the same type of wood? What about the metal finishes? If an old chest has handles in antique brass, look for accessories in the same tones, or art or a mirror framed in a similar finish. Place the art above the piece, and scatter a few of the accessories on nearby pieces of furniture.

The other important factor is proportion. Make sure your antiques and contemporary furniture pieces have a similar scale wherever you place them in your home.

In this photo, the unusual antique table is paired with a very contemporary mirror. This works because it plays on several elements of commonality. The antique brass/bronze finish on the mirror coordinates well with the old brass lions heads on each corner of the table and the eagle claws clutching balls that make up its feet.

The accessories also link pieces together. The pitcher’s dry grasses create a vertical link between the table and the mirror. The turned wood bowls have a contemporary look while the three small bronze birds bring back an older feeling. Notice that the quilt, a classic older accessory, has a more contemporary feel, working well with the long glass dish sitting on it.

Another important feature is the handmade aspect of many of the accessories. The pottery pitcher, wood bowls and quilt all have an artisan feel, which complements the fine detailing on the table.

Don’t hesitate to connect your antiques with other newer pieces in your home. With just a little effort, you can create an interesting, eclectic look.

Quick and Easy Refreshers for Boring Rooms

At first glance this room is attractive enough. The space and the furnishings are new and the flooring is beautiful. It also has lovely architectural details. But the owner seems to be hesitant to add much in the way of personality to the room and this makes the design safe but also rather boring.

Any room can become more interesting with a few design refreshers. Let’s take a look at a room that incorporates some of these options and see what you may want to include in your own home. This room is modern also, but a few different choices make it much more interesting.

Paint: One wall is painted a dark rich brown. Comparing the two rooms, the brown wall softens the space and adds warmth.

Pillows: Something as simple as adding a splash of color or style with contrasting throw pillows makes a real difference. Take a look at how the pillows in the photo above disappear because they match the sofa. The pillows to the right pop!

Art: A large piece such as the one displayed here adds drama and interest to any room. Or you may want to add several smaller pieces in an arrangement. No matter your preference, art allows your personality to shine in your home.

Accessories: This image on the left shows how just a few accessories can add to the appeal of a room. The simple ladder-style bookshelf holds a few books and an interesting bowl and lantern that look as though they came from other countries. They open up the opportunity for conversation: did they pick them up on their travels? Do they collect folk art?

Look at your home objectively. Have you chosen to create rooms that disappear into the background or are you willing to add color and personality to make your home shine? How about taking a chance and adding one or more of these ideas to refresh your home décor?