Spare Spaces

Do you have a design question? Send your query to and it may appear in a future issue.

Q: How do I transform a small upstairs room into something more than a resting place for unused items?

— Kelly Dillman, Kansas City

A: It’s easy, in the midst of our busy lives, to dump homeless items in a spare room. But these out-of-the-way spaces can become real jewels. Using a twin bed as a daybed is always a good idea as it can serve as seating (or lounging) if you sneak away to watch To Catch a Thief one more time or to accommodate an overnight guest. A wall of bookcases can keep your library in order or hold your collection of seashells. Spare rooms can make great offices or home gyms with the addition of a yoga mat or some weights. Without a doubt, have some fun with color or patterns. It’s a room of your own; open up and play.

Patricia O’Dell Shackelford

For more design advice from Patricia O’Dell Shackelford, see STYLEish