A lot like home
How can we create a space that's aesthetically beautiful and functional keeping in mind the needs of a visiting guest?
The answer lies in finding the right balance between portraying stylish interiors and offering the comforts of a home.
We Indians have long since adhered to the philosophy of 'Atithi Devo Bhava', which implies that guests must be treated like God. Yet, it is easy to overlook the needs and nuances of guest rooms and spaces while furnishing the home.
In hisher shoes
Put yourself in your guest's shoes to think about what they'll need during their stay. "Regardless of the length of stay, every guest appreciates little gestures of hospitality. Offer them a brief tour so they know where everything is. Keep a printout of your Wi-Fi network and password in your guest bedroom. That way, they'll never have to ask," advises Ritika Dhingra, Design Lead (Interiors), Urban Ladder.
Before you think of embellishments, it is essential to have the basics in place. Retesh Sharma, Director, Zynna lists some requirements of a guest room: comfortable bed and cosy chair, luggage rack, magazines and other reading material, toiletries in sufficient quantity, and coffee and tea arrangements for those times a guest feels like a late night or an early morning cup of tea or coffee. "It's much more comfortable for them to sip it in their own room than have to roam around in a new kitchen," explains Sharma. A mini fridge and a small work station will add to your guest's comfort. "It's a good idea to have a modular table or wall light near their bed. For jet-lagged guests consider placing a few night lights in the bath room or hall way," suggests Sakshi Mittal, Director, Ivan ka Lumiere.
Flowers and plants can add a breath of freshness to the guest room. "Nothing says welcome like a bunch of fresh flowers. Place a simple flower arrangement to lift the décor of the room. A good tip is to add long-lasting greens with some flowers like gerberas or tuberoses that will last a couple of days with little to no maintenance. You could decorate with a potted plant or a terrarium instead of flowers," says Ramachandra Shastry, Director, Rumors Fine Furnishings.
"You can choose throw pillows to match the theme of your room. If you haven't followed a theme, just choose solid coloured throw pillows to go with other elements in the room. Some pop of colour and pattern on your bed will make the bed more inviting for your guests. As a backup, keep an assortment of pillows to satisfy guest's individual tastes," adds Dhingra.
Cleverly placed windows are crucial to ensuring that your guests don't feel cloistered. "Choose window coverings that not only add to the character of the room, but provide privacy as well. Add Roman blinds, roller shades or readymade draperies to your windows. If late night conversations are on the agenda, consider purchasing blackout curtains, which will more efficiently block out early morning sunlight," says Dhingra. According to her, the most effective way to understand whether your guest room is comfortable is to spend a night in it to know if anything needs changing.