Homify recently featured a beautiful pair of blackout lined silk curtains we had specially made for a recent project to highlight the luxury of uninterrupted sleep for your guests and a little extra “you” time with your morning coffee before seeing to the duties of hosting.
I've highlighted my tops picks from the list along with a couple of extra embelishments for those that want to be the ultimate housewife (or house husband).
1) Fresh Bedding...I'll go further and say that not only should it be fresh it should be made of good quality natural fibres too. My own mother's a magpie and is often charmed by brightly coloured and patterned polycotton sets but with sensitive skin and a tendency to get hot in the night she always makes sure the 'jazzy' sheets are swapped for pure cotton ones that benefit from being hypoallergenic and breathable when I'm visiting.
As someone who developed a bed linen fetish at the ripe age of 12, spending their pocket money in Rosebys not Boots, I'm acutely aware that 'Bed Linen Bores' are the interiors equivalent of 'Wine Bores' i.e. self righteous know-it-alls BUT...I still can't help myself and decree 200-800 thread count (1000 is too rigid and thick) Egyptian Cotton as ideal, 400 thread count being the optimum balance of silky smoothness and lightness.
The White Company- A trusty source of great linen
Soak & Sleep- A gem of a discovery! Frequent flash sales and reasonable prices
Amara- For decadent, statement duvet sets at decadent prices
2) Fresh Flowers- Nothing adds life and colour to a room quite like a bouquet of fresh blooms. Apart from being inviting and pretty many varieties will also add a sweet scent to your guest bedroom. Stocks are a favourite, in season right now, that will fill your room with their spring like scent. Roses, lavender and sweetpeas are all beguilingly fragrant too.
We're blessed with a fantastic local florist on Lordship Lane in East Dulwich but occasionally if sending blooms to friends or for something extra special for a dinner party or occassion I'll order a bouquet from Wild at Heart who do the most breathtaking bouquets
McQueens Florist also create stunning arrangements that never fail to please, their blooms having decorated Vanity Fair's Oscar party to fashion shows and 5* hotels!
3) Reading Material- Not everyone dozes off the second their head hits the pillow and even if the surroundings are comfortable sometimes it's especially hard to drift off in a bed that's not your own. A few books or magazines on a shelf, bookcase or bedside table will offer a spot of relaxing bedtime reading. Short-story collections are a wise choice, with hefty tomes being ambitious even for voracious readers staying a couple of nights. Non-fiction books on light hearted topics like travel or the city where you live are a favourite choice, the latter especially good at acclimatising guests and giving them a glimpse of the history and culture of their home for a few days. Coffee table books and ones with lots of pictures might not be the best bedtime reading material but are great for guest to dip in and out of if they're early risers or want a little time alone to recharge after a day sightseeing.
4) A Scent- Add a stylish scent by including a scented candle or natural oil-diffuser in the guest bedroom. A handy bottle of room fragrance can also be a nice touch. Whatever you do, I'd recommend steering clear of cloying synthetic plug-in fresheners that are full of chemicals as bad for us as the environment.
Diptique are a perennial favourite for their high quality scents made using natural ingredients in a vast array of intriguing combinations to fit the season, mood, climate etc.They've recently introduced a travel collection of transportive fragrances that conjure summer holidays and voyages to foreign lands from a sensual Asian dusk to a breezy morning in provence that are small but perfectly formed making them ideal for a guest room bedside table.
5) Soft Lighting- Layers of lower-wattage lighting as opposed to one or two ultra bright fixtures will keep your guest bedroom restful and serene. A dimmer switch for the ceiling fixture can usually be added relatively easily and will maximise control whilst overhead lighting can be complemented with a table lamp or two on nightstands (perfect for bedtime reading). If you're planning to repaper or repaint and don't mind chasing the walls to install wall lights above the nightstands then you can create a luxurious hotel look and free up surface space on the stands for books, teacups, blooms etc. A larger refurbishment is also the best time to consider a proper overall lighting plan for the room that incorporates specialist task lighting for key spots like dressing tables and wardrobes as bespoke fixtures are hard to install retrospectively.
6) A looking glass- Because everyone's hair and face needs a little attention in the morning and no one wants to hog the bathroom! A full length wall-mounted or free-standing mirror is ideal but if space is at a premium a smaller wall mounted mirror to help guests spruce would still be much appreciated and will save you getting under each others feet whilst getting ready.
West Elm have a wide range of cool mirrors, from bone inlay full length leaners that would look great in a boho space to chic colour blocked wall hung mirror that would be ideal for a compact space.
7) Luxurious toiletries- Because there's nothing like a hot shower after a long journey...
Molton Brown- For travel sized treats that will deliver a pampering punch in miniature form.
Cowshed- Their pocket bath and body set is the perfect gift for a tired traveller.
8 Blackout blinds or curtains- definitely worth the extra!
9) Wifi - This may be a controversial additional but most would admit if pushed that being connected is creature comfort that they'd find it hard to live without. So unless your guests are planning a tech detox make sure you've got the bandwidth to accommodate!
10) Fluffy bathrobe- If you truly wish to create the boutique hotel vibe and out do the Jones' then a fluffy white bathrobe is sure to set you apart. A bit try hard it might be but no one can deny they wouldn't enjoy slipping into one, after all, it's the ultimate visitor's comfort blanket.
Liberty stocks the most fluffy, sumptuous robes by Balineum that in their words 'Bridge the gap between absolute comfort and glamorous sophistication'. Swoon.
LOVE to hear your thoughts...what have I missed? What would you include...OR exclude?
Please share with your friends and comment below! A.x