Easy and Elegant Life

The Search for Everyday Elegance and the Art of Living Well.

Guest Room(ination)s

(should have saved this for the Mother’s Day post. Subtle hint, guys….)

Yes, I know, I sometimes find myself punning uncontrollably. Especially after two nights with very little sleep.

Cokie Roberts is everything you expect.

(We saw her speak at the Junior League’s Book and Author Dinner with a host of other very impressive and entertaining writers.)

They were all hosted by our friends and The Architect mentioned that she was just as charming, quick-witted and at-ease in person. Can you ask for more from a house guest?

Not that the authors all spent the night, but since I made the implication a sentence ago, I can now broach the topic of the day.

Next month, our daughter and son will begin to share the large’ish room at the back of the house. Which means that Mrs. E. and I will once again have a dedicated guest room after almost four years of making do. (Thank you, those of you who have spent the night in hotels and on our couches…)

Of course, having a guest room means that we might have guests. And we would like our guests to be comfortable. Pampered, even.

But not too comfortable.

(The quotation on an ashtray in the bathroom at my former in-law’s “cottage.”)

What do you think makes up a good guest room?

We’ll have a queen sized bed, of course. And a mirror, en suite bath (albeit shared with the kids), and a cozy chair of some sort. Thanks to Aesthete, I have a pair of splendid reproduction B&B wicker breakfast trays.

Is it heaps of white, turkish terrycloth towels? Should the room be painted a darker colour? (It’s pretty good size.) Or should I strive for Hemingway’s “clean, well-lit place.” Lots of pillows? A down comforter? Puddles of light? CD player with iPod inputs? Fresh flowers? Art? I’m tempted to make it much like the library. And we do need somewhere to store all the paperbacks as the hardback collection continues to grow.

(Looks like Pottery Barn to me… but you get the idea.)

Then there’s one of my frequent tear sheets from Mr. Lauren.

In many ways I want the guest bedroom to be everything that the master bedroom is not … organized, restful, elegant — a sanctuary.


Stay tuned as the Battle for the Bedroom commences.

9 thoughts on “Guest Room(ination)s

  1. Years ago, in Tatler, there was a swell article (very large) about the best guest rooms, which were photographed, whether a mere fold-out sofa or a majestic country-house chamber (note: “guest room” in print, “spare room” in conversation) … various guests wrote about their favorite guest rooms, their positives, their drawbacks … and even better … their reading material … which reminds me of a true story of a hostess who rang a soon-to-be-guest and asked what language her maid spoke … “Why?” the STBG asked … “Because I’m choosing books for her room,” the hostess responded …

  2. “The quotation on an ashtray in the bathroom…” I think I may just love your former in-law?

  3. Someone told me that you should spend a night in your guestroom to make sure it’s comfortable for guests, and that it has everything they need.

  4. You know, I was wishing for a guest room just this very morning.
    We live in a tiny Cape Cod. My father-in-law is visiting for the weekend, as my son is graduating from college (yes! one down, one to go!). Which means I lose my bedroom for the weekend, and will be sleeping on a futon for the next four nights.
    The alternatives were: 1) make my FIL sleep on the futon, or 2) make one of my sons clean up their rooms. The first seemed too rude, and I just don’t have the energy to initiate the second. So futon it is.
    Wonder if my FIL will enjoy the Vogue magazines and my collection of fashion books stacked by my bed? I should probably run to the book store and stock up on Field & Stream and Gun Digest.

  5. Aesthete, that’s just about the most elegant thing I’ve heard of late. It’s precisely the kind of thoughtfulness that I’d like to see return to everyday life. Well, that and staff…

    HOABC and Peak, you would both have loved her. The quotation was actually on an ashtray in my former grandmother-in-law’s cottage at “The Lake.” She was a wonderful piece of work. Her home was a scale reproduction of the Governor’s Palace in Williamsburg, VA. Right down to the gardens…

    Fairfax, that is an excellent suggestion!

    CL, try a book by Robert Ruark. Sentimental, but heart-warming. I don’t miss my futon days!

  6. I have an embroidered pillow on the bed in my guest room that says Don’t mistake endurance for hospitality.

  7. Fresh linens, a small vase of fresh flowers, carafe of fresh water, fresh light, perhaps a pair of fresh slippers bedside and a fresh robe, fresh fruit and a “do not disturb sign.” A bookshelf with a fresh supply of books.
    Fresh coffee and breakfast. Fresh for company.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.