If you have made it this far you are probably one of the people I am talking about when I say that I am so grateful for the love and support of our clients, family, and friends. What a lucky girl I am to have a career that brings me into people’s homes (where all the good stuff happens). This inaugural blog post coincides with the launch of our website www.shopStarling.com. No longer will you be waiting for text photos and emails with the latest goods, although I think it is safe to say our Pinterest game won’t be slowing down. We will continue to offer the personalized service our Chicago clientele has come to expect including personal shopping, free local delivery for many items,and prop/event rentals. The rental program will be expanding to include upholstered furniture as soon as we get our pieces back from the upholsterer. Our website is a newborn at this stage. It will continue to grow as we fill in our product line over the next few weeks and we appreciate any feedback you have that will help us improve our service. Keep checking in.
The leaves are changing, the air is crisp, and I am looking forward to spending time with the people I love over the holidays. Sleepovers, regardless of your age, are fun because breaking out of a routine makes everything seem a little more special. From my adventures in guest rooms across the globe I have gathered some ideas for making any temporary space welcoming.
Light. Whether you are working with a luxe suite, or a comfortable sofa, it is important to make sure that your guests can easily access a light source. Fumbling around unfamiliar areas in the middle of the night is never fun. My preference is a bedside lamp so that I can unwind reading at the end of the day, and find my glasses in a pinch. I do have one friend (yes, he is available ladies…) who believes whole-heartedly in The Clapper. I wrote the words I-am-not-one-to-judge after that last sentence and then realized what a terrible lie that was. I judge, but there is some admiration mixed in there. Whatever gets the job done. I lean toward 60 watt bulbs and am anti-fluorescent.
Temperature. When traveling, wardrobe choices are limited and the weather is unpredictable. (Unless you are in San Diego, then skip this part). Indoor temperature is not always under our control especially with old buildings and the like. To help your guests rest comfortably I would recommend making the bed with layered sheets and blankets to allow for more or less heat, and leaving an additional throw folded at the end of the bed as backup or a wrap.
Water. At home, I rarely drink in the middle of the night. While traveling, I get so dehydrated that water is imperative. A bedside decanter is the perfect solution to water by the bed. Pitcher and glass in one, pet proof, and an eco-friendly alternative to the plastic water bottle.
Your WiFi Password. on an index card, next to the bed.
The Next Level
Sustenance. Whether all your meals are planned or you are operating independently of one another, access to a snack and coffee or tea is a considerate gesture. I like leaving a welcoming basket with apples or oranges, trail mix, and granola bars or cookies. Anything will do just try to make it portable and non-refrigerated. Having an electric kettle and a french press is ideal (my ideal) but just leaving a note with instructions and directions to coffee or tea can help people start the day off right.
Comfort. Unless you are staying in a hostel it is common practice for towels and pillows to be provided by your host. Slippers, a robe, and extra toiletries are taking it to the next level. Start a collection when you see good quality products at reasonable prices. They will be appreciated many times over. and get the house monogram on your guest robes! My friend EC had Baller monogrammed on a bag once and it opened my eyes to the endless possibilities.
Catchalls. I never remember to take off my earrings until I Iay my head on the pillow. I keep vintage ashtrays on the nightstand for jewelry, hair pins, and other smalls that need to be corralled somewhere. They are funky and functional.
Reading material. I like to start at the bottom with trashy magazines people would not normally buy for themselves. Mindless grocery store drivel. Make sure they leave knowing who Justin Bieber is dating. I also leave out a stack of my favorite novels, nothing that requires a trigger warning, or will make you sad. Stealing a few minutes to yourself is one of the luxuries of traveling and being outside of your daily routine. Another great idea if your city offers it, is a local guide like the Not For Tourists which has info about grocery stores and public trans in addition to the sights.
Spare Chargers. Alarm clocks are rare in this age of cell phone use but we still rely on electronics. Keeping a spare charger or two on hand could be incredibly helpful.
candles, matches, chair or ottoman, tissues, waste basket, pen & paper, postcard stamps, fluffy pillows, music, fresh flowers
Of course the most important part about having guests is just spending time together. Connecting with the people we love and making our vision of our lives a reality. What are your favorite tips when it comes to having guests (or being one)? Let us know!