Since the supposition is that the guest will not be staying over a long period, new items of decoration, within reason, of course, may be tried out in this room. ~ Elizabeth Burris-Meyer, Decorating Liveable Homes
For once, Mrs. Burris-Meyer doesn’t tell us to look to a room with an eye toward entertainment. No, in the two paragraph long passage on decorating a guest room, she essentially tells us to use the guest room as a decorating laboratory and to use our guests’ reaction to the room to determine if the accessories or wallpaper are suitable for other rooms.
Sure, she tells us not to get outlandish and that the room should follow the same scheme as the rest of the house but if you’re not so sure about that “wallpaper with the amusing design” you’re seeing at Home Depot, put it up in the guest room! The guest room is a great place to try out that new chair style or fabric or lighting!
In her defense, she does remind us that the guest room should be a place of rest and that books, reading lights, cigarette boxes, and flowers will help the guest feel at ease.
While I understand Mrs. Burris-Meyer’s rationale at using the guest room as a laboratory, the truth is, I’d rather put my focus on making sure my guests feel welcomed and pampered. For many of us, we just don’t have the luxury of a dedicated guest room and it may double as our home office or sewing room. The goal, then, is to decorate it in a way that enables our guest to feel at home rather than like she is imposing on “our space” while also being respectful of the everyday needs of that room.
When we first moved back to Los Angeles, we lived in an artist’s loft downtown. But, except for the bathroom, it was one very, very large room. During our tenure there, we had two guests stay with us. To help them have some sense of privacy, The Mister made a screen similar to the one we had used to delineate our “bedroom” and we set it up near the fold-out couch. It wasn’t a perfect solution but it helped create a sense of “this is our guest’s space.”
What about you? Do you have a dedicated guest room? Do you think Mrs. Burris-Meyer has actually come up with an excellent scheme to ensure that guests don’t overstay their welcome?
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