Category Archives: Decorating

How To Add Bed and Breakfast Pillows That Impress

bed and breakfast pillowsc

 

Bed and breakfast pillows can enhance your inn’s decor and impress your guests.  It is possible to completely change the look and feel of a room just by adding or changing its pillows. What was once drab and ho-hum can now become colorful and inviting.

 

 

Of course, there are no official rules for displaying pillows.  If decorating is challenging, find a friend who is great at adding style and have him or her take a tour of the rooms your inn. Then ask for personalized advice and talk pillows! For more inspiration, look in the following places.

 

Look at Home Decorating Magazines:

 

  • Architectural Digest

 

  • Better Homes and Gardens

 

  • Country Home

 

  • Country Living

 

  • Elle Decor

 

  • House Beautiful

 

  • Metropolitan Home

 

  • Real Simple

 

  • Romantic Homes

 

  • This Old House

 

  • Traditional Home

 

  • Veranda

 

Watch Home Decorating TV Channels:

 

  • Fine Living Network

 

 

  • Style Network

 

  • The Learning Channel

 

Visit Bed and Breakfast Websites Listing Award Winners:

 

  • Bedandbreakfast.com Awards

 

  • BnBFinder.com Guest Favorite Awards

 

  • TripAdvisor.com Traveler’s Choice Awards Top 25 B&Bs and Inns

 

Pillows have all different looks, such as:

 

  • abstract

 

  • casual

 

  • classic

 

  • delicate

 

  • earthy

 

  • eye-catching

 

  • fashionable

 

  • hand-woven

 

  • luxurious

 

  • original

 

  • playful

 

  • soft

 

  • textural

 

  • traditional

 

  • ultra-modern

 

  • whimsical

 

Pillows can be made from a variety of materials, including:

 

  • chenille

 

  • corduroy

 

  • cotton

 

  • faux fur

 

  • linen

 

  • outdoor fabric

 

  • silk

 

  • suede

 

  • tapestry

 

  • velvet

 

  • wool

 

Details can be added to pillows, like:

 

  • applique pillows

 

  • beads

 

  • embroidered pillows

 

  • fabric on fabric pillows

 

  • flocked pillows

 

  • hand-painted pillows

 

  • flange pillows

 

  • fringe trim pillows

 

  • piping and cording

 

  • ruffles

 

Pillow Pointers:

 

  • Use an odd number of pillows on beds, couches, and other furniture

 

  • Decorate with a variety of shapes and colors of pillows to add more interest

 

  • Make pillows for your bed out of the same material as a chair in the room

 

  • Contrast differed textured pillows such as silk and linen

 

  • Relate pillows (in the same room) to each other by the same palette or style

 

  • Feel free to add seasonal or holiday pillows depending upon the time of the year

 

One additional place is to look for decorative bed and breakfast pillows is on Pinterest.  I will give you the link to my Bed and Breakfast Blogging Pinterest board called B&B Pillows. Some of the Pinterest pins even show how to DIY pillows.  Happy bed and breakfast pillow decorating!

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

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Early Inn at the Grove in Rocky Mount, VA

Early Inn

 

The Early Inn at The Grove in Rocky Mount, Virginia offers luxurious accommodations for its guests.  The house, known as “the Grove” to all of the locals, was built and finished in 1854. There have been 3 families that have resided in this house until it was purchased in December of 2013 with the intent to turn it into a bed and breakfast.

 

The house is a Greek Revival Style house. It rests on 10 plus acres full of beautiful trees including ancient oaks, some of which were planted by the second owner in 1900.

 

Innkeeper Keri Jackson loves welcoming guests to this delightful inn.  Famous guests who have stayed at the Early Inn include comedienne Paula Poundstone and The Bacon Brothers band (and Keri did serve bacon to Kevin Bacon)!

 

Early Inn Innkeeper Keri

 

The Early Inn offers five elegantly decorated rooms:

 

Early Inn General Early Suite

General Early Suite

At one time, Jubal Early slept here.  He had his Law office at the foot of the property.  The General Early Suite celebrates the confederate soldier who served as a general.  His sister was married to the first wife of the original owner of the house.  Decorated in browns and burgundy, this room has a private connecting bathroom with shower.  The only downstairs bedroom. Be first in line for coffee and stay in the General’s suite. This is a very cozy, comfortable room.

 

Early Inn Wanderlust Room

The Wanderlust Room

 

Luxuriously decorated, you will feel pampered during your stay here in this room. Decorated in grays and blues, this room looks out over into the side yard.  The beautiful landscape will keep you wanting to stay forever.  The new King mattress, Comphy bedding and blankets, bluetooth radios and your own climate controlled ceiling fan will leave you feeling pampered and refreshed.

 

Early Inn Harvester Suite

The Harvester Suite

This room, decorated with the colors of a harvest, remind you of fall.  The oranges and browns bring you a peacefulness and such a sense of tranquility that you will not want to leave.  This room has 2 Queen beds. The view out the window not only shows you the walkway from a time back in history, you can actually see the Harvester Performance Center doors.  Definitely within walking distance, you will be able to walk right over to see a show.

 

Early Inn Magnolia Suite

The Magnolia Suite

 

When you think of romance, think of Magnolias and ruffles.  This room is beautiful!  With original floral wallpaper from the 1980’s, you feel like you have taken a walk back into a simpler time.  You will not need to leave your room.  The bathroom hosts a soaking tub as well as a double shower.  The King size bed boasts comfort and beauty. You will definitely want to try out this room.

 

Early Inn Conspiracy Suite

The Conspiracy Suite

Was it a conspiracy?  If you want to know, check into this room and settle in with a copy of previous owner Keister Greer’s book, “The Moonshine Conspiracy Trial of 1935.”  This room gives you spectacular views of the front and side yards.  Decorated in blues and browns, this room hosts a connected bathroom with a shower.  This room has a king size bed, two chairs and a small table.  Individual temperature controls along with a ceiling fan ensure that you are comfortable at all times.

 

My husband and I loved our stay at Early Inn at the Grove in Rocky Mount, Virginia. This historic estate has maintained all of its charm yet is equipped with modern day technology including free Wi-Fi for its guests and flat screen televisions in each of their five bedrooms.

 

Whether you want to get married inside the inn (perhaps in their elegant library) or outside (near the large tent with its own dance floor), the Early Inn hosts weddings. The Early Inn also host private parties such as luncheons for class reunions, baby showers, and anniversaries.

 

While Innkeeper Keri Jackson was attending Floydfest, we enjoyed her delicious French Toast casserole. Nacasha took care of us during our stay.  She has a friendly, easygoing personality and she makes guests feel right at home.  Guests rave about Keri’s hospitality and so much more on TripAdvisor.

 

The town of Rocky Mount offers antiques, artwork, and awesome entertainment at the Harvester (which is right across the street from the inn). We recommend that guests also visit the nearby Kupkakery Bakery & Kafe as well as the relaxing Vintage Spa.

 

We look forward to coming again soon to the Early Inn at the Grove in Rocky Mount, Virginia.  Would you like your inn featured in this blog?  Please contact Kristi Dement of Bed and Breakfast Blogging.

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Want Your Bed and Breakfast on TV?

bed and breakfast on tv

Stephanie Hernandez

If you want your bed and breakfast, hotel, or guest house on television, keep reading.  Stephanie Hernandez, from the television production house TwoFour in Plymouth, United Kingdom, is currently trying to find people who are starting up a new hotel or bed and breakfast in the UK and Europe. They are very interested in finding people that have bought a location and want to change or remodel the property.

TwoFour is a UK independent media group that was founded in 1989 by Charles Wace, a former TV news producer. In 2013 it was named the largest true independent media group in the UK and the largest producer of documentary content, employing over 350 people internationally and turning over £58 million in 2013. With headquarters in Plymouth, TwoFour has offices across the globe including London and Los Angeles.

TwoFour is currently casting for a brand new series called “Our Dream Hotel” and they are shooting it over the course of the next year, to go out on C5 in the Autumn of 2016. Each episode will feature one couple/family’s renovation/redesign/reimagining of a building, as they transform it into a hotel, bed and breakfast, or guest house. They are looking to find three such stories in the UK, and film three abroad (Europe).

In an ideal world they would follow each renovation from the very start to the very end – but they are realistic enough to know that life isn’t like that! So, instead, they are looking for projects they can join whilst there is still some degree of work to be done (at least 50%), so that they can follow the journey all the way along to opening.

Here are some of the questions they would ask the people interested in being cast for the show:

  • Tell me a bit about yourself and your family
  • Why this house? Why this ‘project’?
  • Have you had much experience in either building renovation or the  hospitality industry before now?
  • Can you talk me through the work you have had done, what needs to be done, and what the major points on your schedule are?
  • When do you hope to be open, and in what capacity?
  • What do you currently feel most daunted by?
  • How are you funding this build, and how important is it that the venture is a commercial success?”

If you’re interested in finding out more, then simply email Stephanie directly at Stephanie.Hernandez@twofour.co.uk Thank you, Stephanie, for asking me to share this with my Bed and Breakfast Blogging readers!

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The Esmeralda Inn of Chimney Rock

Esmeralda Inn

Don and Kim Cason are no strangers to hospitality and innkeeping.  Before becoming the current innkeepers of The Esmeralda Inn and Restaurant of Chimney Rock, North Carolina, they were innkeepers (for over ten years) at Eight Gables Inn of Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  The couple thoroughly searched twenty-two different properties and kept coming back to The Esmeralda.  Now they call it home and welcome guests from all over the world to visit.  They revealed some of The Esmeralda Inn’s fascinating history.

The Esmeralda Inn built originally by Colonel Tom Turner in 1891 and opened for business in 1892.  Turner named the Inn for the book Esmeralda by Frances Hodges Burnett (author of The Secret Garden), written while she was staying at a nearby inn. A play, based on the book, enjoyed a year’s run on Broadway.

Tragically, a fire burned down The Esmeralda Inn in 1917.  Rebuilt on the original foundation, the location of the Inn was Esmeralda, North Carolina since a post office was at the Inn in 1917 and where Thomas Turner, son of Colonel Turner, served as postmaster. The post office discontinued in 1926.  Later, the town’s name changed to Chimney Rock (after one of its most popular tourist attractions).

Esmeralda Inn

When Hurricane Fran (along with a 200-year flood) hit North Carolina in 1996, the people who lost their homes stayed at The Esmeralda Inn.  The Esmeralda Inn was higher ground than the land of most local flood victims, so the Inn took those people in and provided water, showers, and lodging for several months.

After the flood, lumberjacks salvaged huge wooden logs floating down the river, separating the good ones from the bad.  Unfortunately, a second fire to The Esmeralda Inn occurred in 1997.  This was just a year after Hurricane Fran and, remembering the inn’s generosity, the local community pulled together to help rebuild the inn.

They used about seven hundred of the best logs to rebuild the inn.  The logs were split (and partially hollowed out) to fit around new steel beams.   The steel-girded new structure appears to be made entirely of wood, but owners Don and Kim Cason are confident that this steel reinforced structure, along with added sprinklers, will prevent The Esmeralda Inn from ever burning down again.

A local Asheville artist volunteered his time to work on the stunning staircase.  He wove Laurel Vine throughout the banisters.  Two stones from its former structure cap the bottom sides of the rugged stairs.

Esmeralda Inn

The hardwood floorboards in the Lobby were from the original dance floor, constructed by Hollywood in nearby Lake Lure, North Carolina, for the famous movie, “Dirty Dancing.”  Hollywood has filmed other movies such as “The Last of The Mohicans” and “Firestarters” in this local area as well.  In fact, the inn became a favorite hideaway for famous film stars, including Clark Gable.  Speaking of films, the script for the movie Ben Hur was finished in Room #9 of The Esmeralda Inn.

A more recent addition, the historic mantel (not pictured above) came from Indiana.  Since it matched the right time in history, it shipped to The Esmeralda Inn.  Part of their chandelier comes from a wagon wheel of an old stagecoach.  The Esmeralda Inn was formerly the first stagecoach stop in the area.

A historic photo in the Esmeralda Inn Lobby depicts a car driving up the massive front steps of the Inn to allow President Franklin D. Roosevelt to enter in his wheelchair.  This was before the convenience of handicap ramps.  The Esmeralda Inn now provides wheelchair access.

Many modern day notables also stay at the Inn, but out of respect for their privacy, Don and Kim Cason do not disclose their names.  However, given its consistently high reviews and previous well-known visitors, there is always the possibility of meeting a famous guest at The Esmeralda Inn.

Owners Don and Kim Cason (and the whole Esmeralda Inn team) have a deep desire to serve every guest that walks through their doors.  Along with their attentive staff, they anticipate needs ahead of time.  The Casons enjoy their family-run bed and breakfast inn.  Kim’s sister is the talented pastry chef, her sister’s husband is the executive chef, and her nephew is the Sous chef.

Esmeralda Inn

Each morning guests delight in a gourmet full hot homemade breakfast.  The Esmeralda Restaurant is open to the public for lunch and dinner and offers exclusive wines and local craft beer.  Don Cason said that The Esmeralda Inn sold out of tickets for the last Thanksgiving Dinner.  They served about two-hundred people at three different times that holiday: noon, 2 pm, and 4 pm.

Esmeralda Inn

The bistro lights on the deck of the restaurant are romantic when they shine at night.  We highly recommend their juicy steak as well as their fresh caught grilled salmon.  From our outdoor table, we could see the famous Chimney Rock.  In view, a gorgeous little waterfall trickles down the huge stones.  The lush landscaping is evident everywhere the eye can see.

Exiting the restaurant and taking the elevator leads to the open second floor.  It boasts a high ceiling with view of the main level below.  In addition to two guest bedrooms (each with private balconies), this floor has a huge game room.  Kim Cason, not only has a background in hospitality, she also has a talent for interior decorating.  This is especially evident in her selection of décor throughout the inn.

Kim’s choice of pictures hanging on the walls in the game room gives the room a classy look.

  • Dice framed
  • Pool ball painting
  • Royal cards framed
  • Poker hand rankings
  • Albert Dawson clocks

The game room features:

  • Wrap around couch with ottoman in view of a huge flat screen television
  • Round Scrabble high table with dictionary with two high-back chairs
  • Telescope for viewing the night sky or the pool and landscaping by day
  • Checkers and chess set on a round table with two high-back chairs
  • Red Billiard table with balls, triangle, sticks, chalk
  • Poker table with poker chips and cards—it even has cup holders
  • Foosball table
  • Air hockey table

Connected to the game room is a little kitchen with a dumbwaiter to receive food from the kitchen on the main level.  The Esmeralda Inn often hosts events such as corporate groups (companies will rent the whole inn), local fundraisers, and elegant weddings (with up to 75 people).

The room just past the game room on the second level is a multipurpose room.  A large roundtable, with leather executive chairs around it, is useful for companies who book the entire inn.  This area also has a privacy screen and fits up to two spa tables for couples’ massages.  Their spa is ideal for anniversaries and marriage retreats.

Esmeralda Inn

We recommend going outside at night.  There is a stone patio with an outdoor fireplace for roasting marshmallows and making S’mores. Next to the outdoor fountain, there is a fifteen-person hot tub with jets and lights. There are towels available outside for your convenience.

Speaking of towels, it may seem like a little thing, but I just loved the little black washcloth with the word “makeup” stitched on it.  I am sure this has saved their white towels from cosmetic stains.  The bathroom even had an adorable black bag hanging up labeled “hairdryer.”  It worked well to dry my hair after it got wet from using their relaxing hot tub.

Esmeralda Inn

All Esmeralda Inn rooms come with:

In addition to enjoying the amenities at The Esmeralda Inn, the greater Chimney Rock area offers many activities and attractions for guests to experience.

Area Activities:

  • Championship Golf
  • Fly Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Rock Climbing
  • Water Sports
  • White Water Rafting
  • Zip Lining

Area Attractions:

  • Asheville: art, Biltmore Estate (with its great architecture, gardens, history, winery, shops, and tours), lively music, shopping
  • Bat Cave: local jams and crafts, nature conservancy, old cider mill, working cider mill
  • Black Mountain: historic downtown with great galleries, majestic mountain views, and elegant shops
  • Blue Ridge Parkway: access in Asheville (about 30 minutes from The Esmeralda Inn)
  • Chimney Rock State Park: hiking, family activities, rock climbing, scenic views
  • Dupont State Forest: hiking, breathtaking views, waterfalls
  • Flatrock: home of late poet and writer Carl Sandburg, Playhouse State Theatre of NC, rainbow row
  • Hendersonville: annual NC Apple Festival every Labor Day Weekend, dining, main street shopping, summertime music and events
  • Lake Lure: boat tours, canoe and kayak rentals, swimming
  • Mount Mitchell State Forest: highest point east of the Mississippi with gorgeous views of the Blue Ridge Mountains
  • Pisgah National Forest: cradle of forestry

The Esmeralda Inn is a proud member of the North Carolina Bed and Breakfast Inns (NCBBI) Association as well as an elite Select Registry member inn.

Esmeralda Inn

Nestled in the rocky woodland setting, The Esmeralda Inn stands out as the jewel of Chimney Rock.  Guests will continue to visit The Esmeralda Inn for its unique amenities, beautiful scenery, and welcoming hospitality.  In their restaurant, the wall has a saying written on it, “May all who enter as guests, leave as friends.”  Thank you, Don and Kim Cason as well as the entire Esmeralda Inn team, for a wonderful experience.  As many have written in your guest book, “we will return and next time our visit will be longer!”

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Helpful Furniture Buying Tips

furniture buying tips

Whether you are just starting your bed and breakfast and need to buy a whole houseful of furniture, or if you just want to add a few pieces of furniture, check out these helpful furniture buying tips!

  • Bring swatches or color samples of furniture, drapes, fabrics, paint or wallpaper that you will need to color match. If swatches aren’t available, take good color pictures & bring them with you.
  • If you are buying furniture for a whole room or your entire bed and breakfast, bring a floor plan of each room (include window, door & ceiling measurements) to help you select furniture with the correct dimensions. Measure other pieces of furniture in the room to ensure that your new furniture will be compatible in scale.
  • If necessary, take hall measurements, door measurements and ceiling measurements. If you are buying furniture that will go upstairs in a two or three story bed and breakfast, bring measurements of the hall and stairway so that you can make sure any furniture that you buy can be carried up your stairway.
  • Decide on the furniture style that you like. You can bring pictures of furniture that you like from your favorite home furnishings magazines.
  • With today’s eclectic styles of decorating, many people use different types and finishes of wood in the same room. Select interesting pieces of furniture that complement each other and reflect your taste.
  • If you have oriental and/or decorative rugs that you will be using, make certain that the fabric that you choose for upholstery will complement the colors and design of your rug.
  • To make small rooms look bigger, select furniture and accessories with colors that closely match the walls and floors. Also, reduce the number of pieces of furniture in the room and add reflective surfaces such as mirrors and glass-top table tops.
  • To make a large room look smaller and more intimate, position furniture away from the wall and use taller pieces such as an entertainment center, armoire or screen. Use rugs, patterned upholstery fabrics and printed wallpaper to give the area a warm and more comfortable feeling.
  • When shopping for upholstered furniture, try to get the facts about the basic construction: springs, frames, padding, cushions and fabric.
  • Always test furniture that will be used for seating by doing just that: sit on it! Consider how well the chair fits your particular body build. The height of the arms, the pitch of the back and the support under your knees should feel right for your body.

Remember these furniture buying tips and have fun shopping. Keep track of your receipts so you can write off the expenses for your bed and breakfast. 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

 

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Danthonia Designs

 

Danthonia Designs
 
Does your Bed and Breakfast need a sign? Today Danthonia Design‘s 40 plus designers, artists and artisans use office and work areas of over 60,000 sq/ft to create signage of all sizes for clients across Australia and internationally. Many of their beautiful hand-carved signs belong to bed and breakfast owners.

In addition to their Aussie market – they ship between 100-200 signs per month to the USA. The Aussie dollar is lower than the US dollar and Australia / United States have a free trade agreement – this means that US clients get a good value for their money.

Their on-line sign-designer tools allow bed and breakfast owners to customize your own sign. Try out different colors, change the artwork or font, and order when it looks just right for you! Although each Danthonia sign is individually handcrafted, they have developed a team approach that allows a 21 day delivery for most US orders. For a rush fee they can deliver in 15 days.

Bed and Breakfast Blogging thinks that Danthonia Designs is a great place to go for high-quality, durable, gorgeous signs for your bed and breakfast. They are sure to impress your guests who drive by and those who see your sign on your website.

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Creative and Fun Decorating Ideas

creative decorating ideas

 

 

You want your bed and breakfast to stand out to your guests and make a great impression.  The following is a list of creative decorating ideas:

 

 

 

  • Keep in mind the geographical location of your bed and breakfast when you choose your color theme.  So if it is near water, you can use a them based on light brown sand, pink seashells and corals, ocean blues, and sunny yellows.  If you are in the mountains or a forested area, you can use colors found in the woods, such as deep greens and cranberry reds.
  • There are many different approaches to decorating your inns’ bedrooms.  For a traditional bed-and-breakfast look, use Victorian-style furniture.  For a cottage-style B&B, put handmade quilts on the bed with matching shams.
  • In order for your decor to flow, keep a consistent period or style decor throughout, varying in color themes only from room to room.
  •  Put natural-finish or painted wicker chairs near the bedroom windows.  Put floral fabric cushions in the chairs and add a matching ottoman.  If your B&B has wicker furniture, it is best to use the same style of wicker seating in the main living area as on the front porch.
  •  Decorate the main living area according to its size.  For an extra large living room, arrange several small groups of chairs.  For a smaller room, place a large couch in front of a fireplace, with a chair on each side.  For a relaxed cottage-style look, put loose-fitting canvas slipcovers on the furniture.
  • Accessorize with wall art that reflects nature in the area or local artists and artisans. Fill a large empty vase with rocks or shells that you or your guests have collected from the beach, woods or a neighboring lake.  Place skis on the wall like shown in the above picture for artistic flair.

You can get even more creative decorating ideas for home decorating from Better Homes and Gardens and at Pinterest.

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

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Successful People Help Others Get What They Want

Successful people help others. The late success consultant, speaker, and author, Zig Ziglar, said that

“You can get everything you want in life, if you help enough people get what they want.”

So we must ask ourselves what we can offer people that they would want?  The answer to that question depends upon several factors.

First, do you have positive role models in your life?  Even if you do not personally know someone who is successful in your field of interest, of course you can read about accomplished people. Their success can motivate you.  Do what they did.  Read what they read. Learn what they learned.  Just take action!

In addition, use your resources (this includes your education and experiences) to seek out ways to meet the needs of others.  You can also use your skills (such as communicating or leading or researching) to your advantage.  Use the skills that people tell you they admire about you.

Also, the more connections you develop, the easier it is to refer people to others and to receive referrals from others.  Social media (such as Face Book, Linked In, and Twitter) makes it even easier to be connected to other people.

I think Mr. Zig Ziglar’s point was that when you put others needs before your own, then your needs will be taken care of as well. It is only natural that people will hear about how you helped other people and want you to help them, too.

So take your eyes off of yourself for the moment and look to solve someone else’s problem. In doing so, you will have solved your problem. That is the beauty of what Mr. Ziglar was talking about.

Zig’s most popular book is See You At The Top. Much of his sage advice is timeless wisdom that can be applied in modern everyday life.  

Affiliate Disclaimer: This is an affiliate link. If you click and make a purchase I will earn a commission from Amazon.  I only recommend what I know and love.

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