As you all know by now, Fox Hollow is small. Not hobbit sized or anything, but practically speaking, it’s a little on the diminutive side.

It was advertised as a three bed bungalow by the estate agent. But the master room is small, and the other two rooms are generous boxrooms. One has become my study, the other is the guest room. The challenge for me was to make this small room feel welcoming, not just a space to shoehorn in a guest when needs be.

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Ready to welcome guests to Fox Hollow

1. Strip it back

Clear out the clobber. As much as you can to be honest. Our lack of storage at Fox Hollow is an ongoing issue, and the guest room can be a bit of a dumping ground. The ironing board, some stools and a couple of spare chairs were all in residence. It seemed like a good time to have a harsh cull and pay a trip to the charity shop. Now we had a blank canvas (and the ironing board now hangs out in the utility room, which makes way more sense).

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Before picture


2. Don’t skimp on the basics.

The one thing that needs to be right is a good bed, even if its just a flying visit. All the bells and whistles in a room won’t make up for an uncomfortable mattress, and a rotten night’s sleep. We squeezed in a double bed frame and a medium firm mattress from Ikea. Oh and a full length mirror of course.

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Before picture

3. Restrained colours

You know me, I do love colour, but in the guest room I have toned it down and gone for pink and earthy tones, giving it a cosy, warm feeling even on a grey day. I went with  Tikkurila paint for this project (gifted from the Carlow Paint Hub), choosing Rustic and Carnosa with a stripe of their Taika Gold too, because naturally I can’t be too restrained.

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The palette choice



4. Use trickery.

I am not advocating getting guests drunk before showing them their sleeping quarters and hoping they won’t notice the room’s square footage. Just make the best of what you have. A timeless trick is to hang the curtain pole high and wide, so you are not losing any of that lovely light during the day. The gold stripe adds brightness and opens the space out. And I also decided to paint the door the same colours too, to make it all flow better.

The gold stripe going on

5. Banish dust traps

This is really a tip for anyone who is as lazy as I am, I cannot bear the though of cleaning when I really don’t need to. As the guest room is used so infrequently I am loathe to do much but run a vacuum over it, so take out the needless paraphernalia. We decided to forgo lockers and just put in a shelf for a morning cuppa.  There are no bedside lamps either, just bulbs hanging by the bedhead.

Beside shelf from Ikea

6. Soften it up

Finally, to prevent it being a too austere space, don’t forget to add soft elements. I made a DIY headboard with fabric and foam. Rugs on the floor and cushions on the bed also give it a more relaxed vibe.

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Thank you for reading

B x


  1. Great tips Bronagh. Love the idea of no bedside tables or lamps. Going to be stealing this one.

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