Hello from The French Bedroom Company – we’re rather excited about being asked to write the first ever guest post for L&S! As thoughts on the L&S blog turn to renovating Jeska’s new bedrooms, guest bedrooms are first on the agenda and we hope to inspire with some words and our moodboard vision of the pretty feel you can achieve in one, just by gathering, and not forgetting, a few key elements…
A guest bedroom doesn’t have to be a room where the door is shut up until the guests arrive. Fling open that door as it needn’t be a dumping ground within – it can be like any other room in the house. Everything can have its own place and actually it could be an invaluable extension of your home when dressed and used a proper room, a complete space. It could be exactly that little extra space you need for displaying that overspilling artwork or those treasured pieces of collected sculptures or ceramics which there’s just no more space for in your home. Use the mantelpiece in the spare bedroom, some little painted wall shelves or hang a tiny slim shelf all of the way around the circumference of the room, quite high up and painted in the same or similar colour to your walls, and then add to it over time – a dedicated space for an ever-evolving curated collection. When the guests aren’t there, it could be that little haven for quick perch on the end of the bed with Radio 4 in the background and a great book.
A great guest bed which will last for years to come is well worth the investment, making a forgotten space feel like a real room. So re-jig that dressing room or home office and see what space is really free for a “proper” French bed, that doesn’t need inflating and dressing with bed linen when you have an impromptu guest. A French day bed is also a great option if you know that your spare space or area within a room will be used for relaxing in as a sort of extra lounge or reception area space as it can be transformed from sofa to guest bed in an instant.
A substantial bedside table with drawers, or ideally a mini chest of drawers or narrow tallboy in the spot where a bedside table would normally sit, will provide both a tabletop for guests to pop their perfumes and makeup on, whilst also allowing them to be able to properly unpack their suitcase and stow things away into drawers, enabling them to feel at home. Also very importantly, it will provide invaluable year-round storage space in the drawers beneath for spare bedlinen and more when guests aren’t there. Pop a French mirror above it, a decorative French table lamp with dainty shade, and a silken goatskin rug or patterned cowhide in front of it, and you’ve got a complete dressing area.
Invest in just one crisp set of pure cotton white bed linen, a good duvet and pillowcases and you’ll have guests flocking back for return stays. Layer up the cosy blankets and decorative cushions to ensure your guests will love you for giving them a luxurious night’s sleep. And to create an even cosier bed area, a deep-pile rug like our reindeer skin or an Icelandic sheepskin wouldn’t go amiss, providing warmth underfoot beside the bed.
The finishing touches are a real treat for friends and family who stay – guests are obviously there to see you, and a comfy bed is a real bonus – you’re not running a B&B, but a beautiful candle with an pretty matchbox beside it, or diffuser will be so appreciated. Fresh flowers – even if it’s just a beautiful display of something plucked from the garden (a magnolia branch is a favourite for The French Bedroom Company’s show rooms) will also fragrance and lift a room. Cosy lighting, so some twinkling battery-operated fairy lights along a little mantelpiece or window ledge, or indeed a grand small-scale chandelier will feel so luxurious to guests. You could always treat yourself to a stay in the room to test out what is lacking and what works and don’t forget to pop in a request for breakfast in bed the next morning!
Persian Cowhide Rug in Black & Grey: £688; Arthouse Cluster Shelves in White: £99; Mimi 4-Arm White Chandelier: £99; Miss Lala’s Gold Looking Glass: £395; Reine de la Nuit Diffuser by Cote Noir: £35; Emily White Painted Bedside Table: £220; Couer Cushions: £40 (pair); Colette Charcoal Quilted Bedspread: £185; Can-Cannes Table Lamp in Ivory: £150; Provencal Linen Single Bed: £830.