Guest rooms are a chance to indulge some design wild cards. Unless you're running a B&B, they're infrequently occupied, often small in scale, and far from workhorses in terms of traffic. The same way you might go for a bold wallpaper in a tiny powder room, the luxury of a bonus space provides a blank canvas for some dramatic experiments. In this Lake Forest, Illinois, home, on-the-rise Chicago designer Michael del Piero breaks down how she balances tradition and idiosyncrasy to stunning effect.
1. Mix Styles Masterfully. "A mix without some connection between the elements in the room goes bad quickly. I always consider the color palette when blending styles and periods. This helps pull together disparate items seamlessly. In this guest suite, I used texture over color to connect the items. The selected materials are neutral and transitional which gives all the elements in the room a common ground."
2. Let Scale be the Commonality. "Combining furniture in a similar scale gives the room a sense of fluidity, where no one piece jumps out as having a stronger presence than the next. Keeping the pieces balanced as well as having something which unites their differences is key."
3. Reexamine the Guest Room Rules. "This room is not typical, yet it's very functional. A bleached wood ledge serves as a computer desk, a vanity, and a sturdy luggage rack. The custom-made, extra-long beds were designed to be multi-functional as well. They can be used as seating for conversation over coffee or drinks and for the obvious use, relaxing after a long day of travel."
4. Balance Art with Blank Space. "There are no rules when it comes to art selections, as long as it's not hanging on every wall. The eye needs to rest in order to take in and assess more. I love naked walls almost as much as art filled ones."
5. Choose Out-of-the-Box Pieces. "The center table is visually appealing as it draws the eye to the middle of the room. From a functionality standpoint, the wine table becomes a night table, large enough to serve the needs of both guests."