Friday, April 18, 2008

Furnishings for guest suites

A minimalist theme with basic necessities makes an ideal guest suite.

The guest room is one that requires careful planning as it caters to different kinds of people with diverse tastes. While it is impractical to satisfy diverse preferences, it is possible to meet needs that are more or less uniform.

To begin with, decor for a guest suite would have to be neutral to address the tastes of a varied range of people. Thus, colours used should not be too strong, prints, too garish, and the arrangement within, too crowded.

Once this aspect is addressed, basic facilities should be provided first. For instance, the wardrobe should provide ample space to hang outfits rather than shelves where folded clothes can be placed, as a set of drawers would take care this. Since the guest would be living off a suitcase, some clothes may be used more than once and this calls for having shutters in the wardrobe.

It can be quite painful to have suitcases placed on the floor while packing and unpacking. Hence, having a low table next to the wardrobe for placing suitcases is an excellent idea.

It serves well to have a separate dressing area which opens on to the bathroom. This dressing area could feature next to the wardrobe, with the wardrobe providing privacy from direct view from the bedroom.

If the bedroom opens on to a lawn or a balcony, the seating arrangement should be placed next to this open area. The seating could be a couch with a couple of single chairs complemented by side tables. A sofa cum bed instead of a couch serves as an additional bed as and when the need arises. Alternatively, if the setting is ethnic, plenty of options are available starting from an ethnic rocking chair to artistic coffee tables and magazine racks.

If the seating area is next to a set of large curved windows, permanent seating with attractive cushions is a good option. This can prove very novel especially if an attractive set of cushions is used. An eye-catching vase with wood flowers can be placed on the curved section of the window sill.

A similar flower arrangement can also feature in the absence of permanent seating. A large vase with artificial flowers, preferably of the wood variety, could be placed in a corner between the sofas or chairs, acting as the focal point for this section. If flowers are not desired, an indoor plant would add a green touch to the room.

Whether the seating arrangement is contemporary, ethnic, or permanent, it should be large enough to accommodate more than a couple. Besides having coffee tables and magazine racks, it is a good idea to provide a small writing table to enable the guest to work, if need be.

Given the diverse tastes of the occupants, it is best to limit the number of artifacts in the room. The paintings displayed should not be too large and imposing. They should be of medium size, depicting scenes that are not too strong or colours too bright. Essentially, the paintings should add charm to the decor and at the same time blend into it. Again, displaying too many may not be a good idea. Placing a few in strategic locations should suffice.

Small artifacts made of metal or stone could be displayed on the side tables and writing table. If there is a mantelpiece, these could be displayed there. Placing an elegant vase with fresh flowers on the writing table will add cheer to the room.

As for the bed, too many cushions and elaborate work on the cover can prove stifling for those who prefer a simple straight line decor. The curtains too should sport cool prints with colours downplayed to match the rest of the decor.

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