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Company Coming? Guest room tips from boutique hotels

If company is coming or if you just want to make some changes in your bedroom, check out these tips from my Home Inspirations column in this weekend's News-Press.

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• April 2, 2011

Photo og guest bedroomIt’s still season in Southwest Florida. If your guest room is not already in use, chances are that it will be between now and the end of April.

Whether your “Vacancy” or “Occupied” sign is out, it is time to think about some simple ideas that will help to roll out the welcome mat for your guests.

A popular trend is to bring the style of a boutique hotel into the guest room (or your own bedroom). Many of us are selecting the clean, tidy look of a fine hotel when redoing your own bedroom or guest room.

Think about your favorite hotel room and what made it a special stay.

Most likely this means that there were:

• No floral prints

• No bright colors

• No matching of drapes and comforters

• No clutter

• Not too many throw pillows (makes making the bed tough)!


• Bed is the focal point of the roomPhoto of ivory sheetsPerfect for a guestroom: Pottery Barn's organic Malelasse bedding.

• Use white or ivory sheets and pillowcases

• Use contrasting neutrals for shams, comforter

• Sparingly, use an accent color (accessories)

• Blinds or shutters at windows

• For wall colors: Taupe, sage, steel blue, linen white

• Soothing artwork

Follow these quick, easy tips and you will have your guest room in shape in no time. As a matter of fact, you may have to nudge your visitors to leave.

• Get rid of the clutter (most important)

If you use the guest room for something else when you don’t have guests (and most people do), eliminate personal items such as photographs, etc. Give your guests as much space as possible for their belongings. Leave one table clear for personal items. Have one empty drawer and carve out a section in the closet for them to use. Leave some pretty, padded hangers for clothes.

• Spend a night in the guest room

Photo of welcome matCheck it out for comfort. Would you like to stay in this room on your vacation? If you would not sleep on the bed because it is uncomfortable, get a new mattress or start over with a new bed. An uncomfortable sleeper sofa or ancient mattress should be replaced with something comfortable.

And don’t forget the pillows. Splurge on new pillows. Don’t make guests sleep on your rejects.

Look around and see what the room is lacking and make a list.

• Good lighting

Have a nice lamp on a table for task lighting. Be sure to have a reading light near the bed that can be easily turned off. Have a night light near the door and in the guest bathroom.

• Great linens

No rejects here. Buy new linens if needed. This is not a huge expense and will make all the difference. Use accent pillows and a throw and you have your decorator look!

•Must-have finishing touches

Fresh flowers, TV, clock radio with alarm, magazines that you know your guest likes, candle, a basket of toiletries, mirror.

— Wrenda Goodwyn is a Southwest Florida interior decorator. Visit her website at Call her at 949-1808 or e-mail For more decorating tips and photos, visit

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