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S.A. “Sam” Jernigan: ASAP guestroom makeovers

S.A. “Sam” Jernigan
Special to The Union
The guestroom in this client's Broad Street Victorian in Nevada City welcomes visitors with its sunny walls and a vibrant color story which is carried onto the window frame. Layers of pattern and textures in the bedding reflect the homeowner's globetrotting and an assortment of their travel mementos are displayed for guests on the room's built-in mahogany shelves.
Photo illustration by S.A. “Sam” Jernigan |

They’re coming — suitcases in tow.

Better not put off the reshuffle needed to accommodate those holiday guests headed your way.

So here are some quick and inexpensive ideas to spruce up that spare room, especially if yours looks like the “before” picture just now.

First, declutter. Especially as this is often the catch-all room and is likely to be over-populated with a mishmash of items.

Believe me, nothing’s worse than getting up in the dark in a strange home and bumping into stuff on your way to the bathroom!

Excess furniture, like a seldom-used filing cabinet, can often fit inside the closet.

Do clear the nightstand so there’s a usable surface for cell phone, books, clock, a beverage, etc., and do add a nightstand if there isn’t one currently.

Decluttering will also visually enlarge the space which is helpful as guestrooms are typically on the small side.

If you’re considering a fresh coat of color for the room — and there is simply no better way to inject pizzazz into a space — do select your bedding first; remember, paint can be tinted to any hue.

One simple solution is to purchase a “bed in a bag,” a predesigned collection that typically includes a comforter or duvet cover, dust ruffle and pillow shams. Voila, instant style, whether your taste is contemporary, traditional or you want to inject a “theme” into your room’s décor.

While you may choose to launder the new bedding, another quick option is to toss them in the dryer with a fabric softener sheet and damp washcloth (clean, of course!); five minutes and they’ll smell fresh plus be wrinkle-free.

Next, paint can either encompass all four walls in a complimentary hue to coordinate with the bedding, or just paint the focal wall if desired (typically, the wall behind the bed, although not all spaces automatically lend themselves to this treatment). Another option is to highlight a key architectural detail, as we did here in using the turquoise accent color on the room’s window frame (see photo).

Once the color story has been defined by the bedding or perhaps a key piece of artwork if your bedding is instead neutral, create additional wall accessories by upcyling old frames.

Paint these with the accent color selected and use for framing artwork/photos, fabric, vintage lace/doilies, or perhaps have a mirror cut to fit.

A large mirror will provide your guest with an in-room option for getting ready and these are also ideal for brightening any room with limited natural light.

All sorts of furnishings can play double-duty if you’re needing to stretch those holiday dollars.

Any sort of small accent table can become a nightstand, a trunk can be added to the foot of the bed to keep extra blankets and pillows close at hand (tuck in a sachet or cedar block), a floor lamp or table lamp can be brought in from another room.

For a headboard, a quick coat of spray paint can revitalize a flea market find, a vintage door or reclaimed lumber can be cleverly repurposed — or you can skip the headboard altogether as this client elected to do.

(Of course, if you’d prefer your houseguests depart quickly, keep the room as-is and roll a musty sleeping bag out on the floor!)

S.A. “Sam” Jernigan, Interior Designer, IFDA, of Renaissance Design Consultations in Grass Valley (www.RdesignConsultations.com) has over 20 years experience providing design consultation/space planning on an hourly basis. She has been quoted as a design expert in articles for AOL, FoxNews.com, BobVila.com, the National Home Furnishings Assoc., et al. Visit her website to learn more or phone 530.362.1339.

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