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Norfolk by design

PUBLISHED: 08:49 05 November 2013 | UPDATED: 09:05 05 November 2013

Lanassir Lawes of Swank Interiors in Bresssingham. Photograph Simon Parker

Lanassir Lawes of Swank Interiors in Bresssingham. Photograph Simon Parker


October is really the last chance to organise any minor revamps to your home before the festive season, such as new curtains or ordering a bespoke piece of furniture. It is worth bearing in mind that tradesmen also get booked up with “must be done by Christmas projects” so even getting an electrician to put up a new light fitting can be tricky if you wait until December!

One of the most popular projects at this time of year is transforming a spare room into an inviting guest room for family or friends. Whether you are aiming to create a luxury hotel style room or a cosy, shabby chic, cottage style, the key is to make sure your guests have got everything they need for a comfortable stay. I always think that a clutter free room is more relaxing and of course must easier to clean. A pair of bedside tables, a dressing table or chest of drawers with a mirror and an easy chair alongside some hanging space is just enough.

It is the little touches that change a room into a welcoming space; for instance, a dual function bedside light that offers general light and reading attachment is something that your guests may appreciate. Leaving an extra blanket or throw in the room creates a homely feel and certainly I can remember many occasions when I have been in a hotel room, become chilly in the night and searched in vain for an extra blanket. One of the essentials I myself would appreciate in a guest room – especially after a festive party – is a bottle of mineral water and a tumbler.

The rule of thumb is to look at the room with a critical eye and imagine that you were the guest – have you got everything on hand that you would need? Happy entertaining!

Hard flooring is a really practical solution in many homes- including mine - but as the weather gets colder they can look and feel a little uninviting. Adding a rug not only softens the room by adding texture but can bring a splash of colour. We have just taken stock of a fantastic range of 100pc wool rugs by Plantation Rug Company. With prices starting at £100 for a 120x170cm rug they are great value too.

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