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posted: 4/29/2014 5:45 AM

Clever tricks wake up underused guest bedroom

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  • A well-aged red desk provides a splash of color against the blue-green wall and offers a vibrant contrast to the room's wood-toned furniture.

      A well-aged red desk provides a splash of color against the blue-green wall and offers a vibrant contrast to the room's wood-toned furniture.
    courtesy of Maurice Victoria/Courtesy of Country Sampler

  • A change from typical night tables, old stools and weathered stair steps offer display space and rustic style.

      A change from typical night tables, old stools and weathered stair steps offer display space and rustic style.
    Photo by Maurice Victoria/Courtesy of Country Sampler

  • Instead of using a lantern for its traditional purpose, take out its light source and replace it with a pretty potted plant. To give it more visual impact, rest it on a platter loaded with moss, and then add a few bird accents.

      Instead of using a lantern for its traditional purpose, take out its light source and replace it with a pretty potted plant. To give it more visual impact, rest it on a platter loaded with moss, and then add a few bird accents.
    Photo by Maurice Victoria/Courtesy of Country Sampler

  • Arrange old-fashioned game boxes on a shelf, hang a game board or a painted plate, such as this one, on the wall, and crown it all with a game-related sign.

      Arrange old-fashioned game boxes on a shelf, hang a game board or a painted plate, such as this one, on the wall, and crown it all with a game-related sign.
    Photo by Maurice Victoria/Courtesy of Country Sampler

  • Cally Powrozek's spare bathroom features classic country touches that turn a functional space into a decorative delight.

      Cally Powrozek's spare bathroom features classic country touches that turn a functional space into a decorative delight.
    Photo by Maurice Victoria/Courtesy of Country Sampler

  •  
    Photo by Maurice Victoria/Courtesy of Country Sampler

 
By Elizabeth Preston Morrissey, Country Sampler magazine

Although Cally and Dean Powrozek frequently hold sleepovers with their four grandchildren in their Hampshire home, those pint-size guests rarely sleep in the spare bedroom. "They'd rather sleep with me," Cally says with a laugh, not complaining in the least about their choice.

The kids' sleeping preferences certainly have nothing to do with how welcoming the guest bedroom is -- with its grayish blue-green paint, antique furnishings and simple accessorizing, the space is warm and inviting to visitors of any age. "I still haven't gotten tired of that color," Cally notes. Balanced by large windows and light carpet, the paint covers both the walls and the ceiling, creating a cozy feel that complements Cally's assortment of antiques. "I'm not particularly good with knowing ages on my antiques," she says. "I just know what I like."

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What she likes, from a scallop-design table to an old bench to antique household goods, combines to create as comfortably prim a design scheme in the guest bedroom and spare bathroom as is found throughout her house. For inspiration on how to work in newer country fare to those rooms, Cally invited Country Sampler stylists Sally-Jo Enstad, Debbie Plantery and Nancy Borsodi to lend their advice. "We just wanted to add in a few spring touches and share some clever ideas," Enstad says. "Who knows -- maybe Cally's grandkids will want to sleep in there now!" Read on for the stylists' 21 tips for creatively beautifying your bedroom.

Lantern of Events

1. Make a moment. Bedrooms are usually more simply decorated than other living areas, so they're perfect for small vignettes that might be otherwise overlooked in a more hustle-bustle space. Start with a distinctive base, such as Cally's old scallop-accented table, and build up from there. 2. Rethink it through. Instead of using a lantern for its traditional purpose, take out its light source and replace it with a pretty potted plant. 3. Uncover the truth. Another clever repurpose: Remove a pretty pillow cover and arrange it under your vignette for extra texture. 4. Plates your bets. To give the lantern more visual impact, rest it on a platter loaded with moss, and then add a few bird accents.

Sweet Dreams

5. Make your bed. Cally usually dresses the guest room's twin bed -- featuring her daughter's childhood headboard and footboard -- in a red-and-neutral-stripe coverlet. To amp up the color without sacrificing country-prim style, the stylists chose a patchwork quilt and coordinating shams, bed skirt and accent pillow that provide pattern via a subdued palette. 6. Get on top of things. Give a sign more prominence above a headboard by hanging it on a vintage window for additional dimension. Mount fabric in the window to lend the accent more texture. 7. Knob on wood. Adjacent to the sign, a doorknob coat rack is repurposed as a distinctive way to display a basket adorned with family photos clothespinned onto ribbon. "It's easy to perk up everyday items, such as baskets or chair backs, this way," Enstad says. "We used chicken wire-style ribbon so we could pin the photos at different heights." 8. Pin big. Clothespins also help hold back the tobacco-cloth panels that cover the windows in the bedroom and spare bathroom, which feature a mix of natural, stained and painted trim. "Colorful pins stand out from the neutral windows and curtains," Plantery says. "They're a fun contrast to Cally's rusty stars." Also dressing up the big window is a metal funnel filled with berries and hung on a plant hook. 9. Step it up. A change from typical night tables, old stools and weathered stair steps offer display space and rustic style. Beside this bed, for example, an antique wood stool hosts a wire basket stocked with books; Cally's tall stoneware pitcher brightens the area underneath. 10. Sit the bench. Similar to the room's smaller accent furniture, an antique wood bench holds court beneath the window. The stylists softened the seating area with a hooked wool pillow, a doll perched on a book and other textiles.

Desk 'til Dawn

11. Red all about it. A well-aged red desk provides a splash of color against the blue-green wall and offers a vibrant contrast to the room's wood-toned furniture. 12. Chair straight ahead. Instead of tucking a chair under a desk, pull it out to free up decorating real estate on the seat and beneath the desk. On this chair, the stylists propped up a sweet primitive bear next to a drum-turned-planter toting geraniums. 13. Have fun. Under the desk, a star-studded rug serves as a gathering spot for a wagon full of juggling pins balanced by a stack of wood boxes. 14. Top it off. Continue a theme on all levels for a look that feels finished. Arrange old-fashioned game boxes on a shelf, hang a game board or a painted plate on the wall, and crown it all with a game-related sign. Bring in smaller jovial accents that help complete a scene, such as the tin elephant toy on the desktop. 15. See it through. "Vintage game pieces are pretty easy to find, and they make great fillers," Nancy says. "Put marbles, dominoes or checkers in glass jars for a fun addition to your display." 16. Be bowled. Transform a bowling pin into an accent light with a lamp kit, and use copies of old-time game cards to dress up the shade.

Bath to Basics

17. Put the fun in functional. Like the guest bedroom, Cally's spare bathroom features classic country touches that turn a functional space into a decorative delight. Against beadboard walls, a primitive ironing board under the window, an antique framed mirror and a bench serving as display space over the sink set an old-time tone in the room.

18. Scale to fit. Repurpose kitchen goods as storage spots in the bathroom. For example, a scale can hold rolled-up towels, or a wall box can holdbath accessories. 19. Compare and contrast. Vary your visual landscape with vertical and horizontal accents -- balance tall, narrow shelves and wall boxes with framed prints or drawered apothecaries. 20. Tie the knot. Enhance ordinary bath towels by displaying them together with a decorative hand or tea towel. Here, a homespun ribbon ties together a star-studded tea towel and a bath towel; coordinating textiles perk up the countertop. 21. Sow creativity. "Look around the craft or home store for items you can repurpose," Enstad advises. "To make bathroom storage jars, we glued knobs onto the undersides of terra-cotta saucers and used them as lids on small pots."

• Editor's note: Story and photos are courtesy of the May 2014 issue of Country Sampler magazine.

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