4 Nov 2009

The Guest Bedroom

 The Guest Bedroom on vickiarcher.com

I often think that the guest bedroom is the most important room in the home because more often than not it is occupied by nearest and dearest. It is a room that does not have to be entirely practical but should be supremely comfortable. It is a room that must be friendly but private and above all it should be a room that expresses the host’s taste and style. I believe that staying in a person’s home is the ultimate compliment and it is for that reason the guest room should be as welcoming as possible.

A guest room should be far superior to any hotel room simply because the room is arranged and designed with love and care for the individuals who will spend time there. It is not about the size of the room, the quality of the antiques, the priceless art or the pedigree of the contemporary design; a great guest room is simply about comfort and the amount of effort we make for our friends and family to feel cocooned. There are certain ingredients that make a guest bedroom a delicious experience for friends and family.

*Soft lighting everywhere – staying over means not having to see it like it really is – and never ever a set of bathroom scales, they are an immediate downer for a visitor in France. Eating and drinking whatever and whenever is what the holiday is all about.


*A comfortable mattress.
*An armchair or sofa to lounge on.
*A pair of both feather pillows and firm pillows – sleeping with a familiar pillow goes a long way towards a sound sleep.
*Large square pillows for resting and reading.
*White linen or cotton sheets freshly pressed.
*Extra blankets and a duvet in case it turns cold.
*A throw blanket to curl up in – to nap or rest in the afternoons.


*Fluffy white bath towels, face cloths, hand towels and a cosy bathrobe.
*Bathroom soaps, lotions and potions to luxuriate in and practical pharmacy items that may have been forgotten.


*Too many coat hangers and a drawer or two.

*A super industrial strength hair-dryer.

*An iron and ironing board
*A fan and anti-mosquito plugs – obligatory for the southern French summer if you want them to stay.
*French market baskets for promenades.
*Writing paper, postcards and pens.
*Plenty of magazines to browse through, some photographic/coffee table books that require little concentration and the latest airport novels for some light reading. Serious readers need to relax, a little literary trash from time to time is good for the soul.
*Local maps and tourist information.
*Bottled water and pretty glasses to drink from.
*A tray with a kettle, china cups and saucers and a selection of coffee and herbal teas.
*A bowl of fruit, some sweets, biscuits and chocolates to munch on.
*As many flowers or potted plants that the garden can deliver.
* Scented candles galore.

Sweet dreams, xv.


image archi-living.com

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Could you adopt me, Vicki ?!…..I need a night in your wonderful guest bedroom…it certainly sounds idyllic.
I love every comfort that you have described and I am so heartened to hear a writer say that a bit of literary trash is good for the soul. !! Nothing beats a trashy novel when on holiday. XXXX


Love your house. Orchards…lavender…terrace. Who wouldn't want to be your guest! Forwarded a photo to my sister when she was about to put an offer on a larger piece of property…lobbying hard for an orchard like yours. Heavenly. Merci, Trish

La Maison Fou

So true, guests are a wonderful thing, we do not get many at our home as most of our friends & relatives live near by.
Thanks so sharing, maybe I will get your way someday!


I have to figure out a way to make my way into your guest bedroom, it sounds and looks divine, and that Anne is the greatest and sweetest artist!
Happy Tuesday!



I love your blog. Seriously, you have great posts! I've been trying to find your French Life book here in Canada… I may just have to order it online, both books look good though!

Chemin des Muguets

Good Morning Vicki,

I would definitely have had a peaceful sleep had I been staying in this lovely space. What a great checklist-I particularly agree about the choice of pillows, and the fresh pressed bed linens. But you have thought of everything. "No worries mate", except for guest who don't want to leave!



Waouhhh you are a real treasure host ! You think of all the delicate and "raffinés" details ! I love to receive and take care of people who are at home in order they could be loose and natural ! Only one thing disturbs me … the furniture which is at the feet of the bed ! It cuts the feng shui and the energy when you sleeps ! Sunny Side


This is wonderful! I have a friend who creates exactly this when I visit and I feel like a queen. I have actually looked for books on guest rooms, done a search on google..the whole lot and have come up with very little. I dream of the day when I can create the perfect guest room. You managed to capture it all perfectly. Thank you..this is a definite keeper!

My Carolina Kitchen

Everything you need to make your guest feel pampered and welcome. These are excellent suggestions that we all should follow. My late mother-in-law felt very strongly about her guest room and that has influenced me a great deal.

my favorite and my best

sounds like you are ready for my visit vicki. i would wear those shoes around and i would stoke that fire and i would lounge in that big, beautiful bed. i would snatch up that market basket and promenade my ass down to the local farm stand and i would cook you up something fine.


Sounds wonderful! That's what I also try to do while having guests stay….but your guest room sounds and looks fabulous! Have a great day!

Shelley Trbuhovich

'fresh market baskets for promenades'….you are becoming more french by the minute, v! i love it! you sound like the perfect host to me. your guests must love being at your place. until my little people grow, our guest room consists of a blow-up bed (albeit a super good one!) in one of their rooms. i'm all for fresh towels and plenty of room in the wardrobe. no complaints yet! x


"Hi Vicki, it's A-M, yes A-M from The House That A-M Built, yes, from Australia…yes…. well, I'm calling from a telephone in the main square…. just down the road, yes well I was wondering……"


Wow it sounds heavenly…can I come over :) How lovely that you have a water color of your guest room…and a beautiful room it is!!

:) T


Am utterly seduced by the idea of a fire in a bedroom, and staying in a house where there is one and the health & safety issues are automatically the hosts' responsibility os the ultimate in luxury! Your lists are perfect, I (and many hosts I've had) could do well to take our lead from you. Thoughtful and relaxing – perfect!
Lovely, lovely blog

My Castle in Spain

oh i do so agree Vicki !and honestly the sketch of your guest room is so lovely, i'm sure your guests never want to leave ! especially with all the exquisite attentions you bestow on them…Heaven in Provence !

Dumbwit Tellher

Terrific post and very helpful. I am always determined to have a guest room that I personally would love to stay in if I were far from home. Since we get a lot of guests (family) from Europe, I attempt to provide them with all the little luxuries. From a small plasma t.v. to wine fridge. Only downside is sometimes they stay too long.
All the best to you ~ deb


I never seem to be related to or make friends with people who have nice guest bedrooms. I always end up sleeping on someone's futon or bunk bed and sharing a bathroom with the six year old. Sigh.


Really, don't feel you need to go to all of that trouble for Kasey and I… ;)
I do however have a couple of links that I would love your opinion on, being the foremost authority on St. Remy and it's accommodations~
Fabulous post – now only if we had an extra room to create such a dreamy space!


Can I come and stay?
But seriously, that is one wonderful guest room!
I must admit, I also try and have a well stocked guest room … comfy bed, nice white linen, fluffy towels, magazines and flowers … but I think I need to add those special extra little touches that you mention!


I have a very inviting guest room!!!! It gets used about 2 or 3 times per year!!!! It is decorated in a warm cinnamon color, with birds and bird nests for decor!!!
I love to have my MOM or sister in for a visit!!!!
Love being a guest in someones guest room as well!!!! Makes you feel like you are at home!!!!


especially love the white linens,
flowers from the garden, reading material and local information

very thoughtful accommodations!


Mmmm, delicious…sounds so wonderful…I have to design a guest room for a school project and you have given me great ideas…I think I will include a nice settee at the end of the bed and I was going to include a desk for writing correspondence. Your guests are very lucky…!


Vicki, I love your descripition of a guest room, what lucky guests you have! I turned my spare room into a sewing space just for me, but if you come and visit I promise to change it back;)


Vicki, you have the perfect ingredients for a guest room – what more could a visitor want. I am quite sure your nearest and dearest appreciate the effort that you go to to make them feel oh so welcome. Have a wonderful day. Lee :)


Annes drawings are fabulous, aren't they. This room looks so inviting. Wonderful listing of all of our wants and desires for a perfect stay.

Southern Aspirations

LOVE this post, as this is the kind of host that I aspire to be. However, you had a few things on there that I've forgotten about (iron, ironing board for starters). I also like to make sure that all the luxurious soaps, lotions and potions are travel-size so each guest can feel like they were put there especially for them. And totally agree with the bed linens, chairs, throw pillows, etc! Again, great post.


I have friends staying at the moment but don't have the luxury yet of a guest room – DD has to leave hers to help the plan. It is so nice though having that place where people can fully relax. I love your ideas and will be stealing a few.
Inspiring today – thank you x

Enzie Shahmiri

I feel the same way about the guest room. My guestroom started with a bunch of cast off's from other rooms and eventually got centered around a color scheme and a better combination of nick nacks.

In my guest bathroom, guest can find an assortment of small and fragrant soaps and toiletry items that make it possible to sleep over on a whim.

Great post!

Angie Muresan

Do you know what I did?? I copied this post and placed it in my "Important Information" file. I'm in the process of preparing a guest bedroom for my lovely holiday guests. Just didn't know how to start. Now I do!! Thanks Vicki!!!

manon 21

dommage j'habite vraiment trop près pour aller dormir dans cette chambre d'amis!!!!
merci Vicki de tes mots gentils chez moi.



Velvet and Linen

You have such a gift Vicki!
Your descriptions are just delicious.
Who wouldn't want to stay in your guest room?
The trick is going to be getting your guests to leave!



Vicki – you're a girl after my own heart – am so pleased that the first item on your sleeping comfortably list is a good mattress!! If (as I can attest to from too many stays in superficially glamorous places which didn't have them!) you can feel the springs through a hard and horrid mattress no amount of pillows, fluffy towels or upmarket toiletries can compensate…..great advice – wish all b & b owners would read this!!! Love Susie x


Hi Vicki–I'm on my way!!! Thanks for inspiring me to redo my own little guest room. So wonderful to think that a one night stay (or two) can be so refreshing to the soul.

red ticking

hi vicki…what a lovely post… i too agree that it is sooo important and i love all of the "bits" that go into preparing the room… sheets, towels, goodies and lighting… and lots of love… you can be a guest in my home anytime… pam

Porchlight Interiors

What a gorgeous picture Anne has done…that looks luck one fabulous guest bedroom! The only problem with all that comfort is your guests would never want to leave! Tracey xx

Dustjacket Attic

THANK YOU I just adored reading all these fabulous tips. I'm going to be following up on everyone, you are the best!

Oh I just read Jacqueline's comment, me too please .. how funny.


What a thoughtful gal you are Vicki, your guest room sounds perfect in every way. My newly tissied up GR has had one regular guest of late – MOTH who's been told to take his Teddy Bear & pillow up there at all hours of the night. He's had 'break-through' snoring around his Snorer's Friend appliance & the noise of his slumbers are starting to cause the koalas in the tree outside our bedroom window to drop like stones from the branches!
Millie ^_^

la la Lovely

Can I come for a visit? I always try to have the extras in my guest room. It is horrible when you have to bring EVERYTHING with you. Thanks for some new ideas!
xx Trina

mondo cherry

I am booking my trip over! Love your comment about never having scales, especially in France. I totally agree…holidays are for enjoying yourself and that includes eating all those delicious pastries (my mouth is watering at the idea) without any thought to consequences!
Clare x


Guest rooms are so special. You can create a little spa-like, fantasy-like "haven" – to welcome those near and dear, and occasionally, to enjoy yourself.

We don't have a guest room in this little house, but we had a house guest from Bretagne for part of the summer (19 years old). We transformed a hall storage closet into the coziest mattress-on-floor art-bedecked walls little space. She loved it.

Now I'd like to hear more about those olive trees. What kind of olives? (Life without olives is like life without Louboutins.)

Ms. K @ Write On Thyme

Oh how I love having a list of the perfect things to have in my guest room! Thank you for sharing this. You've reminded me of what's still missing and inspired me to make it even more cosy and special.
Love the picture too!


Wonderful guest room description to achieve the 'cocoon' feeling ~ a term I often use to describe space!
And to emphasize the homy~welcoming feeling, colors are key! Earthy ochre hues and brown wood tones would achieve this feeling ~ such as in your painting! Ensuring the space is 'not too grounding', some bright accents like yellows and oranges would ensure a lift, while still offering a secure feeling ~ for the 'cocoon'!

Thanks for the discussion ~ love it!

~MCJ ~

Laura [What I Like]

Wow, your guest room seems better than the best hotel out there! I look forward to the day when I don't have to make my visitors sleep on a blow up mattress on my living room floor…


Hi Vicki, with such attention to detail in your guest bedroom, I can safely say that your guests are the luckiest guests in the world. Now I must rush off and work on my guest bedroom, it is sadly lacking….. Hugs, Margie.

Joanna Jenkins

We absolutely agree on this! My guest room is pretty darn nice, if I do say so myself. I sleep in there a couple times a year too, just to be sure :-)

Live In Full Color


I want to stay in your guest room!

After leaving a small 2 bedroom in Manhattan for a small 4 bedroom in the burbs I cherish my guest room (even though it is the tiniest room ever!)

Guests make a house come alive, since my guest room didn't need a lot of furniture due to it's size- I really splurged on the mattress.

Most of my family and friends threaten that they plan on never leaving because of just how cozy and comfy it is!

Love all of your 'host' ideas! Have a great weekend!!xo


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