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Hamptons Life

Jul 3, 2017 10:57 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Well Pampered Guests

Jul 3, 2017 11:05 AM

What is the use of a big, fabulous East End home with fabulously decorated guest rooms without fabulous guests to fill them? And what more clever way is there to fill those fabulously decorated guest rooms with fabulous guests other than spoiling them rotten? And how better to spoil them than by stocking not just the guest room, but also the guest bathroom, with every thoughtful amenity? My go-to list will prepare you for even the most persnickety New Yorker or other far-flung personality.

Attention should be paid to the guest bath, but only once the host has stocked the guest bedroom. A well-stocked guest room may include (not necessarily everything on this list—or else you, the host, will have to retire to an early grave) these fabulous items: fresh flowers, chilled fizzy water and flat water, a comfy reading chair with a cashmere throw, a TV, good bedside reading lamps, a couple of New York Times bestsellers, a stack of current magazines including the best tabloids and the latest Southampton Press or East Hampton Press, of course, for good local flavor and events, 400-thread-count linens, a comfortable mattress, decent privacy shades at the windows, but never blackout shades, because you don’t want your guests to sleep all day, a phone charging station, a decorative spritzer for room freshening, a clock with the alarm discreetly set to 45 minutes before you want guests to come down for breakfast, then you exclaim “Oops, I forgot that pesky alarm!” Also included might be a guest book, picture frames with your guests’ photos in it sharing memorable times with you, customized stationery, possibly with a hand-drawn sketch of your home (yes, I stayed in the guest room once with this) and a little note with the Wi-Fi code.

Storage is essential to think about as well. Commodious side tables with empty drawers for guest clothing can be scented with a lavender sachet. In the closet, place matching wooden hangers with enough hanging for women’s skirts, men’s sports jackets, pants and long dresses, and of course a spot for their luggage. This prevents the decorative hangover appearance of an exploded suitcase all over the guest suite. A small steamer and iron, the feature of every hotel, keep your houseguests looking sharp.

Once your well-stocked guest room has been finessed, the guest bath awaits. Interior designer Katherine Reid outfits her clients’ bathroom shelves and vanities with a host of amenities. “You don’t want your guests wasting hours of beach time dashing to the local pharmacy for anything, so I fill a tray placed on the vanity with sunscreens, lotions, face wash, sheer pink nail polish with a base coat and top coat, and polish remover too. Ladies love to do this on their off-hours and it looks so pretty in the tray.” It’s such a luxury for guests not to have to bring anything, so having toothpaste, toothbrushes, disposable razors, aftershave and shave creams keeps your guests from fretting over forgotten items.

Ms. Reid jokes, “To keep your guests at their peak performance, have aspirin, Advil and Alka-Seltzer at hand, so that Saturday night’s celebration doesn’t ruin Sunday’s brunch.”

Designer Melissa Powell concurs, “A magnifying mirror also helps wonders in the guest bath. We always provide a pretty stack of navy or dark green face cloths for makeup removal. We commission the Monogram Shop to stitch on bold colored letters that spell out “makeup” on the face cloth. Everyone loves it, and the dark face cloths don’t stain and my bed linen dry cleaning bills are far lower.”

Ms. Reid places combs, brushes, and a Harry Josh hairdryer—which she highly recommends for its power—in the bathroom, and after a day at the beach, she also longs for hair straighteners and hair ties, which she happily provides.

Many clients are quite taken by scented candles or room diffusers placed near the WC. However, she warns, “the diffusers can be overwhelming, sometimes the unlit candle can scent a small bathroom even more delicately.”

With the long, dog days of a hot summer ahead, the well-stocked guest bath and guest room will pamper those fabulous guests, and not only enhance their time spent with you, but have them clamoring for a return trip!

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