Does your guest bedroom make a third rate backpacker hostel look luxurious? Don’t let it ruin your reputation as a good host. Here are a few simple ideas you should consider when you’re styling your space before your next visitor arrives. Keep these tips in mind and guests will love their home away from home.
Comfort Over Cost
You want guests to feel welcomed when they’re in your home, so put in a little money and effort to make sure the guest room is of a high standard. Give the walls a fresh coat of paint, brighten up the fixtures and lay some quality carpet from a luxury manufacturer like Stainmaster. It can be hard to invest the money when you don’t use the space yourself, but your guests will certainly thank you for it.
A Good Bed
It doesn’t matter how hospitable you are, how charming your kids are or how delicious your meals taste – no one will want to stay with you if your bed is terrible. It’s highly unlikely that you sleep on a futon or sofa bed each night, so don’t expect your guests to. Get a quality bed with a quality comfortable mattress. A second hand option is good if you’re looking to save money. Just be sure to steam clean the mattress before your first guest arrives.
Living out of a suitcase isn’t pleasant. Give your guest somewhere to store their clothes and toiletries while they’re staying with you. Keep a chest of drawers or a wardrobe free in the guest room and ensure your guests know that it’s there for their use. They will appreciate the opportunity to air out and organise their garments. Make sure you also leave somewhere for the empty suitcase – they don’t want to have to step over it twenty times a day.
With the prevalence of laptops, tablets and smartphones, we’re never more than one email away from the office and all the responsibilities of the job. Even when travelling or on holidays, many people have to take half an hour each day to catch up on emails. With this in mind, include a small workstation in your guest bedroom. This will give your guests a little privacy while they check up on their work emails, make further travel arrangements or do their online banking. For the workstation to be truly useful, make sure it is in close proximity to a power outlet!
Your guests will have a miserable night if they can’t sleep because of the chattering of their teeth! It’s not really a styling issue, but you need to make sure that there are options they can use to get warm through the night. Make sure you have spare blankets or throws available. If you’re a really clever decorator, you might be able to incorporate a spare blanket into the design of the room, perhaps by draping it stylishly over a wing chair.
Have you ever stayed in a guest room that blew you away? What was so special about it? Share your experiences in the comments section below.
Are you starting to think your home is too small? Are you frustrated by its lack of storage? Fear not, as there are lots of clever tips and tricks to make your home seem bigger. Here are some simple and effective ways to achieve this.
Probably the fastest and cheapest way to make your pad appear more spacious is by removing clutter. You don’t to go crazy and aim for the ultra-minimalist / display-home look, but you will need to roll up your sleeves and be prepared to dedicate some time to sorting through your things. Firstly, figure out what you no longer need and a) bin it b) sell it or c) donate it. Then, make sure you’ve got the right storage systems that take up the least amount of space. For example, consider storing your CD and DVD cases in the garage and just using DVD wallets, they take up about 1/10th of the room. There are loads of cheap and clever products and ideas out there, so start your research and do a list of what you need.
Try a home makeover
Perhaps your home feels too small because of the way it’s styled. For example, do you have large and heavy pieces of furniture? Is your furniture dark? What about the colour of your walls, floor and window coverings? Light colours add an impressive sense of space as they bounce more light around.
If you’ve got curtains, consider replacing them with blinds (venetian, roman or roller) to reduce bulk and make rooms feel larger. If you’ve got dark and/or outdated carpet, consider replacing it with a lighter one. If you have dark tiles or timber floorboards, buying some light coloured rugs will do marvels at throwing more light around.
Also take a look at your decor such as cushions, wall hangings and other decorations. Do you have too many things? If so, it might be that you are creating a ‘busy’ look within your home, which is a sure-fire way of making rooms feel smaller.
Lastly, think about the lights in your home. Do you have enough and are they the right type for each room? LED lighting has become far more affordable and offers an energy-efficient way to bring a lot more light into your home. For really dark areas, you want to consider skylights or sky-tubes to bring in lots of natural light. This can significantly open up your home and make it feel larger and more liveable.
Upsize without upsizing
If your home is well organised and styled but you’ve simply run out of space, you need a whole different type of solution. It might be time to take a look at self storage, where can hire a range of different size spaces to store things you don’t use often. You can rent space on a temporary or permanent basis and can access your things seven days a week. Most of these companies (for example, Fort Knox), also provide around-the-clock security and can help you organise insurance if your existing contents policy doesn’t cover you for items taken outside your home.
Small spaces don’t have to feel small if you know how to maximise them. With some simple design concepts and storage solutions, you’ll be amazed at how you can make your home feel bigger.
With so many baby products on the market today it is hard to work out what is essential and what is nothing more than a cleverly marketed gadget you don’t need. Here’s some advice on what’s essential and what’s useful.
If your child likes to explore, you’ll need to put something on the doors and windows to stop them pushing the adventure too far! Grilles and/or screens on windows and doors are an important safety feature that can be built into your home. These no longer have to make your home look like a prison; modern products provide discreet security while providing a clear view from your windows. Security product manufacturers like Stylewise Security specialise in safety screens that won’t clash with your interior design or stick out like a sore thumb. Baby safety gates are also an excellent way of keeping your child safe. These are particularly handy at the top of stairs or to keep kids out of rooms where safety hazards exist, like the kitchen or bathroom.
Child Resistant Locks and Catches
There are a multitude of cleverly designed locks and catches to keep kids out of cupboards. These should be applied to every cupboard where dangerous substances are stored. The cupboard under the sink usually contains cleaning agents so should have a lock applied. Bathroom cabinets are a must and anywhere medications are stored. What may seem harmless can be very dangerous if eaten by a baby or small child, things like vitamins, fertiliser pellets and lotions can be deadly. Be thorough and vigilant with keeping things under lock and key. Most child resistant locks are inexpensive and can be easily installed, but always make sure they comply with safety standards and regulations.
Children are curious beings and they love to touch while they explore. Saucepans on stoves are a real hazard to kids. Many a child has pulled on a saucepan handle only to end up in the burns unit of their local hospital. While turning handles inward is a good idea, installing a stove guard is even better one. Once the guard is fitted your child will not be able to reach saucepans or dangerous hot plates. Stove guards are designed to fit most makes of modern stoves. They are heat resistant and usually coated in a chrome finish which means they will not make your kitchen look unattractive.
Door Knob Covers
These clever little plastic devices are designed to fit over the top of door knobs making it impossible for small children to twist and open the door. When a child attempts to open the door the door knob cover will simply spin around. Adults can easily open doors by squeezing the cover so as to grip the door handle. Like most other child safety devices on the market today, door knob covers are sleek and modern and blend with any home décor. They are a cinch to install, you simply snap them on. They are also inexpensive. So, if you need to keep kids out of certain rooms you should definitely consider installing door knob covers.
Safety products for children are generally inexpensive and are designed to fit in with your décor. Most are easy to install and when you consider the peace of mind they will bring you, they are a very worthwhile investment.
The new world is all about green and organic ways. Since people are becoming aware about the harmful effects of using artificial and synthetic stuff, they are consciously making a shift towards natural and organic things.
Though it is difficult to switch to organic completely, slowly moving towards better alternatives is a wise way. You don’t need to completely change the way you live but a small change at a time will count as a contribution towards a better environment. Sustainability is a long-term goal for all those who wish to save the globe from too much harm before it is done. Five simple ways of going organic are mentioned as follows:
Bring Home Organic Comforters: Bamboo and silk bedding is a blessing! Most of the other regular bedding made out of latex and cotton is covered with chemicals. Hence, regular bedding that you use in your day to day is extremely harmful. Instead of these, you should always opt for organic comforters because of the innumerable benefits that they offer. For example, silk bedding is hypoallergenic in nature while silk bedding has a number of benefits on your hair and skin.
Think About a Kitchen Garden: The vegetables and fruits that you purchase from outside have pesticides and chemicals sprinkled on them. You can grow fresher and better vegetables in your own tiny kitchen garden. This is far healthier than the artificially injected veggies that you get in the local market.
Organic Cribs: If you wish to give your kid the best of the world, start thinking about nurturing him or her in a green world. Begin at your own home by bringing an organic bamboo crib for your newborn.
Organic Paint: Paint your walls in the new colors of a green world. You don’t literally have to pick the color green. The shade does not matter but the make and the content of the paint does. Chemical free paint on the walls means fresher air around that is also in turn free of chemicals.
The Curtains and Miscellaneous Furniture: These things can be made easily out of bamboo and silk. And, these have similar advantages as organic comforters.
All the above listed make a nice and cozy organic-friendly home. As they say, health and comfort begin at home, with the pointers mentioned above, you will definitely be able to bring in a positive difference in your home and also experience a lot of relief from stress, allergies and restlessness. The advantages of organic bedding show up gradually and remain for a long time. However, like all other things, natural products also need their share of care. Wash bamboo bedding and comforter regularly and they will remain full of life for a long time. These things are very durable so you don’t have to worry about the budget at all.