It is that time of year, fall is officially here. Some of you might have recently had your kids fly the coop and head off to college, university, or a number of other new opportunities. Having an empty nest means your home suddenly has more square footage — so now what?
Now that the previous occupant has (hopefully) taken all of their belongings and décor with them, you are left with a blank canvas. Seize the opportunity to take some design risks and make the space into the guest room your overnight visitors will dream about long after they’ve gone. Tackle a project you’ve been hesitant to commit to in the rest of your house. A guest room is a great spot to try out a paint colour or wallpaper you’re in love with; since it isn’t a space you spend a lot of time in, it isn’t as likely to grow tiresome or become overwhelming. Let your inner designer go crazy and you might be surprised at the result!
This is a great chance to create a space that you’ve always wanted. You deserve a room dedicated especially to something you love whether it’s a space to craft, play games or a combination of multiple functions — if you’ll use it, why not! Have a room where you can leave a puzzle on the table undisturbed, have an ongoing Scrabble game, work on multiple pieces of art, or have a scrapbooking marathon. Make the space yours, you’ve earned it! Putting a daybed somewhere in the room provides the space to also serve as a guest space, just in case those birds fly home from time to time!
Another great option is to make the space somewhere you can go and relax. Make it a ‘happy place’. If it’s yoga that brings you peace, put in some mats, flowers, candles, and make it function for that. If reading helps you unwind, put a couple chaise lounges or nest chairs, and book shelves. Using a warm, soothing colour palette with lots of texture will make the room inviting. You will have designed a room that you enjoy spending time in!
A special place in the house dedicated to man’s pursuits can be a great use of space. A man cave should be filled with the essence of the things you enjoy, from football and hobbies, to sports memorabilia and a well-stocked bar. When designing your man cave try to keep the ‘cave’ part as a loose guideline, and most importantly have fun with it! Use organic materials like wood and leather, use prints with strong lines and geometric pattern, use cool masculine colours that aren’t necessarily dark; these things will keep the space manly but still warm and inviting. Make it a space where man can spend time alone, with a significant other, or with friends. It just might be a favourite hideout for everyone.
» Stephanie Greig works the family farm when she’s not slaving away on design projects for Urban Theory, a true Manitoba girl. Stay tuned for updates from Steph as she continues to hit the ground running with Crispin every week.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition October 5, 2013