Remember when the guest area of most homes used to be a dismal area that soon turned into a storage area? Guest rooms, or mother-in-law suites, are no longer the forgotten room of the home. In fact, many builders have started including this as a bonus feature to new homes. Some homeowners use them as a second master bedroom. My Guest Blogger gives tips on how to decorate yours.
Many homes have guest quarters, or mother-in-law suites. These are usually a bedroom and bathroom that is separated from the rest of the home with a door. Some suites are located off of the main house in a small cottage that is connected by a footpath, but many are built as an extension of the house itself. Some basements are remodeled into mother-in-law suites, as well. Many such suites have a private entrance, allowing guests to come and go without disturbing the family who owns the house. Larger mother-in-law suites are equipped with other amenities, such as a kitchenette, dining space, living room or laundry.
If your home has a mother-in-law suite, you have a unique design opportunity. Since the suite can be closed off of the rest of the home, you can experiment with new styles and textures. Think of some hotels you particularly enjoyed visiting, and plan to offer similar luxuries to your own guests. If your guest is staying on a more permanent basis, you may wish to ask him or her to help you design the space.
Suites are best when painted rich, inviting colors like buttery yellow or beige. Wallpapering or paint techniques like sponging create a high-end feel with minimal effort. Wall hangings should convey the idea of relaxation. Beach scenes, floral paintings and depictions of open fields are all excellent selections. Wall sconces are a nice addition to a suite, as they offer adjustable levels of light within the space.
Mother-in-law suite furnishings should be comfortable and practical. A queen-size bed is large enough to accommodate most guests. Matching nightstands, chest of drawers and armoires will give the bedroom a polished look. A single loveseat or recliner may be included for reading area. With sufficient space, an entire seating area can be arranged to face a television. If your suite has a kitchenette, you might include a small dining table with two chairs or stools. Save money in the kitchenette by using laminates rather than the costly materials you might find in a full-sized kitchen.
Use high thread count sheets on the bed, and select a duvet that compliments the wall color. Use throw pillows and shams to make the bed luxuriously inviting. Extra blankets and pillows may be placed into a closet for easy access. Window treatments should coordinate with the bedclothes, though exact matching is not necessary. Textured materials such as silk or velvet speak of opulence, particularly when they hang from ceiling to floor. Shades and blinds offer privacy and allow guests to control the level of natural light in the suite.
Like your favorite hotels, a well-appointed mother-in-law suite allows guests to relax. A kitchenette might have a few pots and pans, cooking utensils, plates, glasses and dish soap provided. A closet laundry may have a basket of detergent and bleach hanging on the back of the door. Add finishing touches to the suite to make it feel homey. An alarm clock, hangers, iron and ironing board are practical additions to a mother-in-law suite.
Post contributed by Holly Miller, a writer for Coupon Croc. Plans to redecorate, but have limited funds? Shop for furniture, decor, and appliances online and save when you shop with John Lewis discounts.
For more tips on preparing for guests, click here.