SPARE rooms are often the most unloved places in a home.

They become the house junkyard, if you are anything like me - somewhere to stick the ironing board, or piles of laundry or even to store all the clutter you can’t find a home for anywhere else.

This week, I’m showing my spare room some love and transforming it from shabby to chic.

Entertaining season, in the shape of Christmas (ssh – is it too early to even mention the word?) will soon be upon us, which means guests aplenty. In our case, as we have five nephews and four nieces, there is always someone wanting to stay over.

We used to stay in a two-bedroomed flat, and we didn’t have enough space to have friends and family to stay (or for my clothes – our wardrobes were bursting at the seams).

Moving to a three-bedroomed townhouse just after we got married was ideal – my friends assumed I was filling it with babies, but no, I had shoes and bags in mind.

So my idea was to create a multi-purpose room – guest bedroom, dressing room for me and a practical space into the bargain.

Rather than just another bedroom, this space had to tick several boxes. I wanted it chic and trendy for me and stylish, warm and welcoming for my visitors.

Dogtooth and monochrome have always caught my eye - I’ve seen them all over Instagram and I have been thinking about experimenting with them in my own home. I searched numerous hashtags on Instagram and used Pinterest as my source.

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Black and white were great, but on their own, they didn’t quite fit with the rest of the house so I added sage green in the cushions and accessories to soften up the look.

When it came to furniture, I wanted something practical but pretty. I bought a daybed from IKEA and dressed it like a couch with different styles, patterns and textures of cushions.

The bed pulls out to a double, and the drawer storage is fantastic. I have managed to fit most of my shoes in the two drawers, they are so deep. One little tip - spend the extra money and buy the sprung mattresses, they are so much more comfortable than the foam ones.

The finishing touches included some designer books, from Amazon, and some designer bags, from Chanel. (Not a shop I use often, although a girl can dream - these bags held wedding presents from my husband which I kept as a memento. They match my black and white theme well.) The prints include classic fashion images – I love fashion and interiors and I want the room to reflect my personality.

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My spare room now has a purpose - dressing room during the day, with a comfy couch area, and a visitors’ retreat at night. If you’re thinking of sprucing up your spare room, don’t forget bedside lighting.

But don’t make it too comfortable. Otherwise, those guests might never leave….


I would lose my head if it wasn’t screwed on. The Tile Mate blue tooth tracker (Amazon, £14.99) is a life-saver. You can put these little gadgets on anything - suitcases, keys, wallets and handbags – and all you have to do is download the app and you can GPS track items from your smartphone. If you are within the 150 feet Bluetooth range, it will play a loud tune until you find it; and if you have an item with a tile attached and lose your phone it works the other way round too! Genius.


I go through numerous sponges every month. I became a little obsessed about replacing them after reading that kitchen sponges are by far the germiest, harbouring 150 times more bacteria, mould and yeast than a toothbrush holder. But binning them means costs add up, and it’s not great for the environment. Just stick them in the microwave! A one or two-minute blast on a high setting will kill off any bacteria.