19 November 2014

A true dual-function guest room/nursery

I’ve said it before, but it’s worth saying again today: the guest room, post-redo, was my favorite room in our house. The afternoon light in there is incredible, the view down the street is charming, and the way everything came together when I redecorated still feels like one of my biggest homemaking victories. And because it was the guest room, I felt like an awesome hostess sharing my favorite room with our guests!

But now, with the imminent arrival of Baby P, the room has to play double-duty. And while it still has great light and a pleasant view, turning this room into a nursery means it’s not exactly the guest room haven that I’d hoped it was before. The dresser’s been topped with a changing station, the floor space is occupied with a crib. And as my mother recently discovered when she stayed in there, I’d unintentionally removed all the mirrors.

Oh dear. Not such an awesome hostess.

Given that we’ll likely have an influx of guests around the holidays wanting to meet Baby P, I wanted to make a concerted effort to put back some of the guest-friendliness into this room. I mean... the baby’s not going to be sleeping in there anytime soon. Might as well make it work for the people who are!

There’s a ton of websites out there telling you how to make the perfect guest haven in your room. Martha has one, Real Simple has another, even SMP weighs in. Most of those guides involve super-high thread-count sheets and fresh flowers and emptying out an entire dang closet. Um, that’s great if you have the money for luxury sheets and the time to go out for flowers and EXTRA CLOSET SPACE (hahahahahaha). I have none of those things, and honestly, they’re not things I need when I am a houseguest. So instead, I focused on the essentials and making sure my guests feel like they’re staying in a room at least partly designed for guests, not just in my kid’s bedroom.

First up: I needed to replace the mirror. I once had a full-length mirror in there, because it’s where I got dressed – but when my clothes moved to our bedroom, the mirror did too. I also had a mirror resting on these shelves, but the shelves were displaced by the crib.

So I needed a new place to put that mirror. I realized the best place was actually on the back of the door, but I didn’t want to drill holes into the antique wood. Instead, I picked up one of these:

I got it at Target and it is SUPER DANG HEAVY. Like it could also function as a doorstop. The mirror really isn’t that heavy, but I felt like a sturdy hook couldn’t hurt!

Then it was just a matter of stringing up the (again, fairly lightweight) mirror with grosgrain ribbon. I tied lots of extra knots, plus grosgrain is inherently unlikely to slip (with its grooves), so this should stay up without issue.

(Yes, that is Mr. P’s sweater. I am nine months pregnant. I am allowed.)

Speaking of over-the-door hooks. I have a few extra on that door, as you can see. But because the closet is full of Baby P’s clothes (and before that, it was full of mine), I put this expandable clothes hook on the outside of the closet door.

It’s been in my house since I was a kid, and I haven’t been able to find one exactly the same style. But they still sell all sorts of expandable over-the-door hooks, if your guest room’s closet is as full as mine!

Then there’s electronics. I don’t remember the last time I had a houseguest who didn’t need to charge their phone (or laptop, or iPad) upon arrival. And when Mr. P and I stay someplace with a single outlet, we’re budgeting charging time between the two of us. So, because there are precious few outlets in this room, all hidden behind furniture or curtains, I stuck an extra power strip I had in an obvious place. It’s right by the nightstand (which, I note, has the essential alarm clock and kleenex, as well).

It’s not that aesthetically pleasing to have a power strip out in the room (nor kid-friendly when the baby becomes mobile), but at least my guests won’t be trying to move furniture around to locate a place to charge their phone!

Also required for technology: our wifi network and password. It’s easy enough to communicate verbally, but Mr. P and I don’t always remember to do that (and our guests are often too polite to ask). So, I wrote it on a post-it and stuck it on the desk.

Maybe one of these days I’ll get around to making it all fancy or laminated or whatever. For now, this is functional!

As a bonus, I also tell the guests they are welcome to use that laptop if they have emails or work to do that is easier on a laptop than a phone. It’s just an old laptop of mine (with a dead battery, so it has to stay plugged in) that would otherwise be in a box somewhere, so might as well make it useful!

And finally, in the “totally not necessary but shows I am thinking of you” category, I have this reading material out on the desk:

I confess, I’m the sort of person who flips through the local guide in hotel rooms just out of curiosity, so I’d actually look at these in someone’s guest room. I’ve had these out for awhile – obviously, given that magazine is two years old – and thought about putting them away when I was organizing all the baby’s stuff, but ultimately left them right there.

So! After giving the whole room a critical eye, I think it’s back in guest-worthy condition. Feels good to be ready for baby and the people coming to visit him!


Janice said...

It is MORE than "guest room ready"! Keep in mind while you want everything "just so", your guests are coming to see YOU and your family. They are not coming to photograph the room, so if it's not exactly what you like, but there's a bed, blanket, pillow, nightstand (for eyeglass storage), you have everything a guest could need. The rest are just nice luxuries :) Your home is VERY welcoming and beautiful. Soooo, no need to fret. :) Besides if it's too nice, they may never leave ha ha.