With Christmas around the corner creating the perfect guest room is high on our to-do list. We caught up with Antonia Sanchez-Toomey blogger and owner of of luxury lifestyle store Tinker Tailor Online to give us her tips for welcoming visitors for the holidays.
1. How would you describe your interior style?
That is such a tough question! In all honesty I believe my style evolves in line with my life and the style of the house of course. When I became a mother our interiors were practical and cheery, I loved pattern and collected a lot of Emma Bridgewater pottery but as the children got older and we entered a new phase, my interior style grew up as well. These days I would describe my style as contemporary with both Scandinavian and Boho influences. I always choose a neutral colour palette for our walls, light bright spaces make me happy. I'm definitely not a minimalist but I like order and uncluttered spaces, they bring a much needed sense of calm to our chaotic life.
2. You've recently designed your new bedroom, what did you learn from the experience?
To have a plan and a good sense of what you want your room to look like at the end but to be flexible and be able to adapt when things inevitably go awry. Also be clear on what you will and will not compromise on, try to stay positive and have a problem solving attitude. Finally be patient and know that every project will have a few hiccups.
3. What elements are key to creating a good bedroom for you?
Good lighting and the best bed and bedding you can get your hands on. Lots of natural light is desirable in any room but you can't always control that. I make sure every bedroom has lamps and down lighters so you can create the right ambience. You want your bedroom to feel cosy and welcoming.
Always buy the best bed and bedding you can afford, you are going to spend a lot of time in there and we all need our beauty sleep. For me bedlinen should always be white or in very pale neutral colours. You can't beat the crispness of fresh bedlinen.
4. The holidays are often a time for house guests, what do you add to spare bedrooms to make visitors feel at home?
I love flowers and plants, they really cheer the place up so I like to make sure there's some foliage somewhere in the room. A couple of spare hangers and somewhere for overnight bags to go helps guests to settle in. I often have a stash of hotel style miniature beauty products which is a nice touch in case our guests have forgotten anything. Finally, a bottle of mineral water on the side never goes amiss. If you want to go the extra mile, waffle style hotel slippers and some tea and coffee facilities will make your guests feel completely at home.
5. Christmas can leave the most organised host frazzled, what advice would you give to people having guests to stay this Christmas?
Deep breaths and tell yourself that it will soon be over! Only kidding of course, I think preparation is key. Try to have as much shopping and as many chores done as possible before guests arrive. Also keep things simple, it is nice to go the extra mile for guests but don't overstretch yourself with brand new recipes. Stick to tried and tested favourites that work well, guests want to spend time with their hosts, don't forget that.
Also think about a few tasks that your guests can help with, in my experience when people come to stay they like to feel useful too. Factor in some downtime or time outdoors where you can all either get some fresh air or have a bit of space and time to yourselves.
6. What's on your own wish list this Christmas?
I'm always happy with new pyjamas and I'd love some cashmere bed socks. A bottle of Gucci Bloom would hit the spot too!
7. What are your plans for 2019?
My plans for 2019 are mostly work oriented, I want to continue to develop my business and launch new Tinker Tailor branded products but I also want to find that elusive work-life balance. Life has been too busy and chaotic for the past 18 months and when work and home life are indistinguishable, it stops being enjoyable. Next year is all about calm and a spot of travel if I can make it work.
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