House Update: Guest Bathroom

The guest bathroom is almost finished.
This room is on the 1930s plans as the “Maid’s Room” and has been somewhat altered over the years. This is how it looked when we moved in:
IMG_0334 The only original thing was a little bit of the tile. So I didn’t feel too bad about ripping everything out and starting again! Here it is in February of this year:
IMG_3705 And here is where we are now:
IMG_5445 The basic layout remains the same, with the tub replaced by a walk-in shower. The original master bathroom sink I had hoped to re-use was damaged during demolition but the new vanity (from Restoration Hardware) reflects the art deco style of the rest of the bedrooms. The medicine cabinet IS original to the house, again salvaged from the master suite.
IMG_5448 The tile design is based on that used throughout the rest of the house, re-imagined in crema marfil and emprador light marble. I love this combination!
IMG_0336 The bedroom doesn’t get much light, so we are replacing the solid paneled door with one of these glazed doors:
IMG_5452 which originally led from the upstairs landing to a sun terrace on the roof. Sadly, the original 1930s glass needs to be replaced for safety, but at least it will allow some extra light into the room when the door is closed.
We are still lacking curtains and a coat of paint, and there is a towel rail to go above the toilet, but beyond that we are done! Roll on the visitors…

House Update: Guest Rooms

What makes the ideal guest room? We are expecting a visit from Loveley Man’s’s eldest daughter and her family this week so this question is very much on my mind. For me, the perfect room combines practicality with comfort, and I take inspiration from some of the nicer hotels I have stayed in.

First is the bed. I’m a bit of a princess when it comes to sleeping, so I add a down topper to the mattress. Good quality linens that feel gorgeous on the skin. A pretty spread. Plenty of pillows for comfort and support. And an extra blanket for snuggling – rarely needed in California I know, but so cosy!


Closet space and hangers. Guests may be only staying overnight, but they’ll probably need to hang SOMETHING. My parents always complained that the guest rooms in our English house had no hanging space so I ended up putting a bar and hangers on the back of the bedroom door. Better than nothing. The house here has built-in closets in every bedroom (got to love America!) so I just need to add hangers.

A night stand with good lighting for reading. Storage for loose items…I use pretty plates.


Adequate (and easily found) sockets/outlets. This is my biggest beef with a lot of hotel rooms – where do you plug in your phone or camera charger? That said, I once stayed in a hotel which had sockets built into the bases of its table lamps. Genius! At home I make do with power strips or charging butlers. I also stash spare phone leads in the drawer of the nightstand in case a guest forgets theirs.

Lots of  towels. I like to wrap myself in a bath sheet when I’m done in the bath or shower but I also add smaller towels and face cloths, prominently displayed.


The guest room also has a couple of hotel-style bathrobes, for extra welcoming factor…

Spare toilet rolls. There’s nothing more embarrassing than having to ask..! I learned from experience and keep a basket by every toilet in the house. I also make sure I have spare toothbrushes, razors etc. available, just in case.


That’s the necessities covered. Then come the welcoming touches that make people feel you are glad to have them stay! Flowers or a pretty plant in the bedroom are a nice touch, but again I tend to lean towards the practical…

Lotions and potions. Shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, soap…you get the idea. I like L’Occitane’s Verveine (Verbena) range, which smells so refreshing in the morning, and is available in travel sizes. And the leaf-shaped guest soaps are so cute!


But this idea


is nice too……a future project! And a scented pillow spray to encourage peaceful sleep…

A hair dryer. And a mirror. This Venetian beauty


came with us from England.

Midnight snacks! So nice not to have to wander around a strange house in the dark if you can’t sleep! While we can’t run to guest mini-bars, I do provide a tray with an electric kettle, cups, and a choice of teas, coffee and hot chocolate, plus nibbles and a water carafe and glass.


An iron. My everyday iron is one of those scary steam-generating types, so I have a spare for guests. I also have a dinky table-top ironing board from my dress-designing days that hangs in the guest closet, too.

And books! I rarely travel without them, but it’s always nice to have some new reading matter. There are bookshelves in almost every room of our house but for guests I try to offer some favourite easy reads, plus a selection of local guides.


What would be in your ideal guest room?