By Sue Ann Truitt, Etiquette & Entertaining Consultant
As sprigs of tender grass peek out from a frozen sleep, people begin to anticipate spring. This excitement brings lots of planning for upcoming events; Keeneland, Easter, The Rolex, and graduations. With these festivities come the advent of house guests. Having advance notice, it is the perfect time to reinvent the guest house, guest room or guest quarters. The space can come together with a lot of planning. Imagine the most luxurious hotel where you have stayed. What made it so very “over the top” wonderful? Those coveted details are the areas which you might try to reproduce in your Guest Room or at least some version of this luxury. Obviously you cannot reproduce the Ritz in your own home but you can make the space inviting and comfortable.
Begin with cleanliness. Check the walls, ceiling, trim and floors. If any of these areas look tired, now is the time for a redo. Fresh painting will make a huge difference in the room. Buff the floors and add an area rug to further the new look. Then, move on to the fun part of preparing for your guests.
Recently, luxury hotels have placed an emphasis on top of the line bedding. Such should be the case in a Guest Room. The bed should be visually inviting with a soft, puffy look – an illusion achieved by adding layers upon layers. Every well-designed bed should begin with a good quality mattress and box springs. A bedskirt should be added to conceal the box spring. This gives the bed a finished, uniform look whether it is made or not. The style of the bedskirt, lined or unlined, could be tailored, gathered or pleated covering the mattress with a quality mattress pad and an optional feather bed. Follow with a fitted and a flat sheet. These two sheets should be ironed, if possible, either at home or at the dry cleaners – another “over the top” luxury touch. Next, layer a down comforter and a decorative bed spread to cover the bed. Finally, carefully select pillows of several different degrees of firmness. Some may be placed on the bed while others may be on the shelf in the closet. Now that the bed is complete there are some special touches to truly put this room in a luxury category.
• Treat your guest with a small wrapped gift placed on the bed—
a ‘pillow present’! This could be a book, box of candy, scented soap, monogrammed luggage tag, picture frame, etc. Select this gift to be meaningful and special.
• Bouquet of fresh flowers
• Bowl of fresh fruit
• Alarm clock
• Night light
• A few pieces of specialty candies
• Good reading lamp
• Several current magazines
• Books on topics of interest to your guests.
• City map
• Framed photo of something your guest would enjoy
• Chair or a bench
• Luggage rack
• Space in the closet with all the hangers alike – recycle the wire hangers
• Bottle water or a bedside carafe
• Additional clean towels
This list could be endless and should contain as many “over the top” touches as you can imagine. Be certain each guest feels welcomed and comfortable. They are the special ones and you are the host or hostess. Use all your creativity to make this happen!