When allowing guests to reside in the intimacies of your home it is imperative to provide for them a proper and private haven in which they feel they can relax and relish in their visit with you while not impeding or interceding in your personal space or pestering you for "necessities."
Guest Room Essentials:
1. A beautiful and architecturally interesting side table- the furniture in your guest room should be varied and dynamic and should set the tone for your guests experience in your home by providing an atmosphere of comfort, leisure, luxury, and hospitality all while reflecting the distinct aesthetic taste and personality of you and your home. The side table is essentially the carry-all for all your guest's essential comforts and necessities and should be able to bare the load of that without looking overcrowded and cluttered. Arrangements of side tables should be thoughtful and carefully considered. If you think all your guest necessities will make the tabletop look fussy and crowded opt for a table with interesting cupboard doors to mask the less "pretty" items. A great way to visually minimize clutter while maintaining style is to select bar carts with glass/lucite shelving or structured tables with sleek and slender legs. Either way, ensure that it is a statement piece that commands the style of the room.
2. Water Carafe- Any guest room essential. Think ahead and prepare your guest side table with any and all necessities you can possibly imagine your guest needing. A great way to do this- think about the last time you stayed at some one's home...what did they have/do you wish they had that made/would have made your trip more comfortable? What did you desperately need/wish for but were embarrassed to inquire about? Even with small items such as a carafe, select things that are beautiful to look at, that represent your style, or that will add to the interest of your bedside table arrangement. I love the weight of the hand blown carafes above, and remember, you can never go wrong with vintage.
3. Coasters- Tactfully ensure the beauty and longevity of your carefully selected table by providing your guest with coasters. Selecting beautiful wood and gold leaf coasters may seem frivolous but it will enhance the variety of your table scape vignette and provide protection for your pieces without insulting your guest with cheap, cardboard ones shamelessly skimmed from your last vacation hotel.
4. The 3 F's- Fresh Fruit and Flowers. A MUST! Now, flowers can be expensive and the ripeness of fruit fades so this is, obviously, only suggested when guests are actually occupying the room. But, introducing some live elements into the space provide an instant refresher to your guest room and graciously greet guests with an unspoken welcome. These don't need to be elaborate bouquets, maybe just pick a few from your backyard and place in a small bud vase...it will just be a small gesture to ensure your guests that they have been thought of, prepared for, and anticipated with excitement. A bowl of fresh fruit, some apples and oranges or bananas, will provide your guest with an "out" in case they get the munchies and feel uncomfortable going into your kitchen or asking you about a snack.
5. Entertainment- Stack your side table with a few reading options to entertain guests during that awkward lapse of time when everyone is getting ready for something and they are finished before you or for sleepless nights. Whether it be beautifully recovered classic novels, inspiring art books, or a few of the most recent publications (stick to Vogue, Architectural Digest, Elle Decor, and esteemed magazines....Star and OK! (although I totally adore my celeb gossip too) don't exactly scream, "welcome to my grownup home") these will provide thoughtful options for your guest (and, bonus will provide "height" for arranging table displays.)
6. Sleep Masks- If you can't afford/ don't have blackout curtains provide your guest with a stylish sleeping mask (like a remake of the one from Breakfast at Tiffany's.) Sometimes it is difficult to get comfortable and find sleep when in a different environment from your own home, outside lights and morning sun can interrupt guest's sleep and, consequently, set them up for a groggy and unpleasant following morning/day activities as they have to pretend to be up-and-at-em and are really desperately yearning for a nap.
7. Blankets and Pillows- Ensure guest comfort and visual panache with lots of luxurious pillows and throw blankets. Have fun and layer/play with texture, pattern, color, and style. It is important to present the room in a way that your guests feel they can cozy up in the wool throw on the bed and lounge around on a mound of bed pillows with the aforementioned books and magazines. This means that crazy, beaded silk pillows and way-to-neatly-folded throws, although beautiful, may make your guest feel afraid to move/touch them...and that is NOT the point of a guest room. Comfort is key. Don't skimp on luxury but present it in a way that is inviting.
8. Artwork and Prints- Guest rooms are NOT the space for family photos and portraits. I'd even venture to say that oftentimes recognizeable artwork can lend a sense of unfamiliarity in a space and "brand" it as cold and unapproachable. Select abstract prints and photos that encapsulate bold colors, broad and gestural movements, intrigue, and excitement. Select pieces that will interest guests in a general sense and provide beautiful visual interest within the space.
9. Lighting- Make sure to provide your guests with plenty of ambient light next to the bed. Whether it be a table lamp, floor lamp, or wall sconce provide a way to concentrate the light for night time reading. It is also a nice consideration to provide candles throughout the guest room (and of course, if you provide candles also ensure to provide a lighter and snuffer in a visible place so that your guests are aware that they can light the candle...duh).
10. Fresh linens/towels- Provide your guests with fresh towels and extra blankets/linens/etc. in a clearly visible and easily accessible space. If they aren't visible please ensure that you tell guests where they are located upon arrival so that guests aren't faced with uncomfortableness or the awkward task of asking you later on. Perhaps lay a few out on a beautiful side chair or prop open the door to the armoire where they are located. Make sure everything is neatly pressed and neatly folded- presentation is key!
11. Extra Toiletries- We have all forgotten our necessities at some point or another in our travels so make sure you prepare for the worst for your guests! Provide tissues, cotton balls, toothbrush/paste, razors, toilet paper, shampoo/conditioner/soaps, deodorant etc. for your guest. Display these items in a user friendly and beautiful way by placing them in dedicated bins, baskets and boxes. The "prettier" of these items display in glass apothecary jars in the guest bathroom.
Be Our Guest,