Home & Garden

House calls: Easy tricks for a lovely guest retreat

Expecting holiday guests? Make a lovely retreat for family and friends with these easy tricks from decorator Stephen Saint-Onge in the December 2008 issue of Better Homes and Gardens magazine.

A FEW GOOD PIECES

The iron bed, wood console table, and dresser in this room are functional, but they weren't being used to their best potential. A new wall color, furniture arranged to capitalize on the view, and a comfy reading area make this room guest-ready year-round.

GOOD TIDINGS

During the holidays, a guest room should dress up for visitors. Playing off the pale green walls, Stephen added holiday punch with deep cranberry accents - pillows, rugs, and a wreath. "It's good to subtly play with the traditional colors," he says.

COLOR TRANSITION

The fern green wall color just as easily supports a spring or summer scheme if you switch out the cranberry accents for yellow, pink or sand-colored ones.

GOLD RUSH

"These drapes have a slight golden shimmer that's luxurious without being flashy," Stephen says. He used three panels to divide the long bank of windows.

Curtain panels, www.ethanallen.com

EASY HANG-UP

A faux hypericum berry wreath hangs by a glittering ribbon.

Wreath, www.smithandhawken.com

STOCK UP

The large console table holds extra blankets, photos, and a small gift for guests. "Books, a bowl of fruit, and flowers are little touches that add a lot," Stephen says.

CUSHION LANDING

A comfy armchair creates a reading nook next to the console table. Add a textured pillow with a hint of holiday color. Pillow, www.dashandalbert.com

MAGIC CARPET

"Break up wall-to-wall carpeting with area rugs," Stephen says. "They define zones in the room and camouflage stains or wear spots." Rugs, www.dashandalbert.com

PHOTO READY

Sea salt "snow," small ornaments, pine branches, and family photos transform a glass lamp base into a festive still life. A cork top holds the light-bulb hardware for easy display changes. Table Lamp, www.potterybarn.com.

FEELS LIKE HOME

A portable DVD player gives guests independence during their stay. Without bothering others, they can watch Christmas movies, play music, or pop in an exercise DVD.

Bottled water, fruit, and gift-wrapping supplies are thoughtful additions to the room during the holidays. Portable DVD player, about $99; philips.com

WINDOW STRATEGY

Stephen moved the bed away from the windows and placed the console table there instead. Now guests can enjoy the view outside.

PAINT COLOR

Mountain Haze, 400E-3, behr.com

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MORE AT BHG.COMSee behind-the-scenes photos at BHG.com/stephenmakeovers© 2008, Better Homes and Gardens.Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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