Hosting for the Holidays / Guest Room Makeover

Writen by: Emily Arbour

Photo credits: Sarah Evans

It’s no secret that one of my main motivations for styling a beautiful home is so that I can share it with others.

What can I say.

I’m an entertainer at heart.

When we moved into our new home this past spring, you might think my first instinct would be to tackle the dated kitchen (Hello 1950s!), or spruce up the master bedroom, but ohhhh no. It’s all about the guest spaces in this humble abode.

We’ve never lived in a home that had so much room for entertaining.

One of the main reasons I was so excited to move was because I could instantly envision hosting everyone at our place for Christmas this year.

And it was the first place we’d ever lived where we had an extra bedroom for guests!

Naturally, the guest room became a priority. Because, naturally.

It all began with THIS wallpaper.

HW_JRO018_Daydream_Cream_Roll_web

Via

I had already wallpapered the dining room with great success (Featured here! On pg 15). And it wasn’t nearly as hard to do as I thought it would be. Never one to give up on a good theme, I figured I might as well keep going.

I’d seen all the good people of Pinterest posting images of wallpapered ceilings and I thought to myself, “You know what self? I think we’re just crazy enough to try wallpapering a ceiling. Yeahhhh. Let’s wallpaper the ceiling.”

So I did.

Please note. And I can NOT stress this enough. If you ever decide to wallpaper a ceiling, do NOT do it alone. Also, do NOT do it with your husband or partner or mom or dad. Do it with your very best friend in the whole wide world. You know. The one who can find the humour in back breaking work for the sake of home decorating. The one who you can bribe with post-wallpaper cocktails. The one who would never dream of leaving you alone to finish the job because she knows you’ll only get her back someday. That one. She’s the only one.

Just for fun, here’s the before shot. (Borrowed with permission from our Realtor):
D81_0810-LR5

And now:

doorview

Welcome to my sanctuary our guest room.

I just feel like the birds are such a treat.

They’re the kind of thing you might not do for your own enjoyment, but I really want my guests to feel special when they stay with us. I want them to lie in that cozy white bed, gaze up at that ceiling and feel relaxed and day-dreamy knowing that I did this just for them.

wideangleroom

You’ll notice there’s a sink in here.

We’re only the 2nd owners of this home (built in 1952) and the original family had five children. Apparently when their boys became old enough to shave, they outgrew the small upstairs bathroom and the parents decided to put a sink in their bedroom to keep the peace.

Of course, when we moved in, my daughter Clementine put her hat in the ring, but I can only imagine what kind of damage a nail polish obsessed 7-year-old who likes to steal my makeup could do to a perfectly good white sink, so we nixed that idea pretty fast.

A sink is a bit odd for a regular ole bedroom, but for a guest room?

It’s pretty perfect actually.

guestsink

In fact, this out-of-place-sink it’s what inspired me to give this room a hotel feel.

I like to make my guests feel at home by providing them with all the little things they might need when tucking in for the night.

Here, I’ve filled little crystal containers (found at a second hand shop) with QTips and cotton balls. I hung an oversized waffle knit robe on the wall and, since we don’t use this space enough that I’ll remember to water anything, I chose some dried cotton stems in a milk vase to add a touch of nature.

(Hurray for plants I can’t kill!)

When I think of the difference between staying in a hotel, and staying with friends, privacy is one of the first things that comes to mind.

I wanted to create a space our guests could linger in the morning, or escape to if they began to feel overwhelmed by the chaos below. Maybe they’d enjoy reading a book in the late afternoon, or sitting with a morning coffee to prepare for the imminent attack of wild children that awaits them once they step foot out the bedroom door.

I found a great “as is” marble topped side table at a popular discount home decor store, and went on the hunt for the perfect simple, mid-century inspired chairs to flank it.

Enter the Passerina Chairs!

chairs
I LOVE colour and although I wanted the room to be relaxing and serene, I still wanted it to be “me”.

These Passerina chairs were the perfect complement to the blue birds on the wallpaper and added a real pop against the white bedding and linens.

bedheadon

Artwork by Melissa DiRenzo, The Sweet Escape Creative

Printed by Photobox UK

Awesome stripey pillows from my mother’s couch. Shhhh…

I also love that the style of the chairs is entirely timeless and versatile for so many tastes. Leon’s describes them as having “clean lines and a no-nonsense design” and I dig that about them.

I have enough nonsense in my life.

vertchair

And the colour!

The colour is fun, but also really so sophisticated. It’s called Nexus Blue.

I call it magic.

The fabric is soft, but durable feeling. Also, they’re Canadian made!

These were a major score in transforming the room.

In the interest of getting our guests into the holiday spirit, I chose to add hits of red and white and played with texture, but you could dress these babies up with some greys or blacks and you’d have a completely different look.

I also added some boughs with twinkle lights, branches with berries (again with the dried flora!), and a few other festive accents.phonetable

(That phone totally works btw.)

To keep our guests not only comfortable, but hydrated (very important), I equipped each side table with a vessel of water and added frozen cranberries in lieu of ice cubes. I then added a stack of my latest faves in the book department, to keep them occupied should they enjoy a little pre-bedtime reading.

booksI always find it’s personal touches like these that make me feel just a little more taken care of when I’m a visitor in someone’s home.

And I really really want our guests to feel taken care of.

I think they will.

 

Happy holiday hosting!
xo Emily

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