May 12, 2011

The Spare Room All Ready for Guests

We live in a part of the world that others love to visit, so prepare to pamper your guests with a room that gives them a memorable impression of West Coast hospitality.

BY ELIZABETH GODLEY

On the West Coast, springtime often lures guests here from colder parts of the world – and spurs us to spruce up the guest room. To create an inviting space for your guests that says, “Here’s your home away from home,” Gabriela Darling, graphic designer at Inspiration Furniture in Vancouver, recommends multi-use furniture, such as the Playground sofa, available in both linen and leather. “Your choice – sofa, lounger/chaise, daybed or guest bed – all-in-one,” she says. This piece, designed by Eilersen of Denmark, boasts removable back support and can be positioned in a multitude of configurations. All it requires to serve as a bed is the addition of sheets and pillows.

Speaking of bed linens, why not pick up some special sheets, pillowcases and a duvet cover to enhance your guest room, along with new towels and a framed print or two in coordinating colours. If your guest room doesn’t include an ensuite bathroom, consider purchasing a plug-in heated towel rack, available at Home Depot. Kim Salvesen, sales manager at Scan Designs in Coquitlam, suggests using a sofa bed in black leather (also available in camel and white), accompanied by a black desk, to create a room that will provide a haven for guests as well as practical home-office space. Chrome light fixtures and a black-and-white area rug, as well as a splash of red in the artwork, add a touch of drama to this room.

For those who desire a more traditional guest room, Sara Samiean, general manager at Moe’s Home Furnishings, suggests the queen-size Hosta bamboo bed with matching six-drawer high-boy chest or low-boy dresser plus bedside stands. This bamboo is high quality, as well as a renewable resource, making this bedroom set especially attractive to those who care about the environment, says Samiean. For a wide range of “green” choices, check out Sofa So Good. This Vancouver company offers environmentally friendly fabrics, upholstery foams and woods for its custom-made furniture. In addition to dozens of sofa-bed styles, consider the company’s two sofa-bed ottomans, the Bellagio and the Boxer. Both would take up far less space than a traditonal sofa-bed.

If your guest room lacks a closet, Ikea’s Pax wardrobe can provide a range of choices, from a simple freestanding one- or two-door cupboard to a whole wall of extra storage space, complete with shoe racks, shelving and drawers for accessories. An on-line planner is available to help you design a personalized system. The many door-front finishes include birch, white, grey and black-brown, as well as a mirror finish that will save wall space in a small room. An economical substitute for a clothes closet is an over-the-door hook or hanger, available at dollar and hardware stores. Add a double-duty desk to your guest room that will serve as office furniture when the room is not occupied. Ikea’s Alve secretary is a great option that doesn’t look too office-y and will neatly hide a laptop and desk accessories when not in use.

A bedside table with a good reading light, in addition to space for a book or magazine and an alarm clock, is essential for your guest’s comfort. Ikea’s adjustable Barometer lamp comes in a stylish silver-nickel finish, as well as red. Available as a table lamp or a floor model, it will be appropriate for an office or a guest room. The Deion floor lamp from Moe’s Home Furnishings, an arc of silver with a round white shade, is both handsome and practical. Now all that’s required to make your guests feel as though they’re staying in a five-star hotel is a couple of chocolates on the pillow.

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