So my boyfriend’s parents came to stay the weekend before last. It’s the first time we’ve had anyone to stay in our guest room. I’ve always wanted a space for friends and family to come over and feel comfortable in so it was important to me that our spare room is a dedicated guest room. My stepmom in The Netherlands has a beautiful purple and white room for whenever I’m there and I stole a couple of ideas from her to help make my spare room “guest friendly”.
The colour scheme
Although it wasn’t my first choice, as The Boyfriend and I unpacked our collective horde of linen when we first moved in, we realised that we had more than enough linen to house an eight-bedroomed house. So going out and buying new stuff just seemed like a waste of money – especially since we’d rather put it into buying other things, like for the kitchen. When it comes to linen, we’re both really practical, so we have a lot of white! It made sense to keep that as the base colour and just zhoosh it up with a touch of something else. We had a lot of the reds and browns, which went really well with the wooden bed frame, which we sanded down and restained. I love the way it looks and feels cozy at night (with the curtains closed and bedside lamps on), but still has a modern, fresh feeling in the day.
The decor items
After choosing the colour theme, I went around the house picking up random objects that went with the colour scheme. The matryoshka doll (you probably know them better as babushka or nesting dolls) was a present from my dad when he went to Russia. It kind of adds to the “guest traveller” feel of the room, I think. The heart paperweight was part of a press pack I got many years ago. The theme was for a heat protectant shampoo and conditioner so we were hosted at a glass blowing factory. We got to choose what we wanted to add to our custom-made paperweights and what shape we wanted.
I work in magazines. I’m currently the copy editor on SAA’s in-flight magazine Sawubona. I really love working on a travel mag and often find inspiration for future holidays while I’m working. Not only does this issue go with my colour scheme (bonus!), but it also gives guests something to browse while they’re staying with us.
The guest basket
I still receive an abundance of cosmetics and toiletries to try out and review, and often I end up with doubles, or even triples. Since I can’t use everything, it made sense to put together a little welcome basket. I’ve often forgotten a moisturiser or sunscreen, or found myself needing a lip balm. These are for guests to use or even take home with them – they’ll get replaced soon enough.
The Wifi welcome
This was actually an idea I stole off Pinterest. A woman suggested putting the password to the Wifi in the bedroom so guests can access it quickly and easily, without having to worry about hassling you for it. I got my graphic designer sister to quickly tweak some images I found on Pinterest. I printed them out and put them into a wooden photo frame on a bookshelf above the guest basket. The red flowers match my colour scheme, obvs.
Other things I’ve added:
- A double adapter. EVERYONE forgets to bring these and you always need them. I’ve also put our spare cellphone chargers in the room, just in case. Another trick I stole from my stepmom (thanks, Debbie!)
- A basket with fresh towels in. There are tons of towels in our guest bathroom, but I thought it was nice having designated “guest towel bathrooms”. We already had one red and one orange one so I added those first and then popped out to @home one day and grabbed another two (R200 each).
Things I want to add:
- A luggage rack. It’s super useful in case your guests aren’t staying for more than one night and don’t want to unpack. (TIP: I’ve deliberately kept our cupboards free. It drives The Boyfriend insane – “But we’ve got place for storage!” – but I hate arriving somewhere and having to move things around to clear a shelf for myself.) My next purchase for the room will be one of these ones from Whitehouse – stainless steel for R300.
- Fabric coat hangers. I love these ones from Mr Price Home (R70 for a pack of 5!). You don’t need a lot, but it does really come in handy for coats, jackets and dresses.
- Eye masks. I sleep with one. I can’t sleep without it. I cringe if I arrive somewhere and realise I’ve forgotten mine. As you know, Typo has some fabulous ones. Think I need to stop by…
- Dressing gowns. I know, it sounds excessive. But don’t you just love arriving somewhere and after a bath or shower, wrapping yourself up in a fresh, fluffy bathrobe. I remember the first time I stayed in a hotel with robes – in London with my little cousin. We were more excited about the robes than the fact we were in London, baby! Whitehouse sells these ones at R400 for a large.
- Mohair throws. With winter just around the corner, I think these are perfect for our guest room. I love mohair and these ones from Hinterveld @ Linen Drawer are such a spoil. They’re a little pricey at R1 360 for a throw (up to R2 315 for a King), but they are such good quality. I love the bicycle red for our room, but may also want to grab daybreak (the purple one) for our bedroom.