Sign #1. You furnish your guest room in a patriotic color scheme. Especially when you live by the sea. Red, white, and blue are so nautical. Invest in matching bedding and some throw pillows as an inexpensive way to make everything look like it’s there on purpose.
Sign #2. You purchase your guest room furniture from some place reputable, but you avoid family antiques and other treasures. Your guests would feel terrible if they broke something you care about. You would never want guests to feel badly. That’s the whole point of hospitality.
Sign #3. You stock up on bathroom sundries. For some reason, everyone forgets razors and they are embarrassing to ask for. The disposable ones are perfect.
Sign #4. Your guest room has enough space for a guest kitchen. Yeah, I know. It’s small. Only room for early morning breakfasts, when your guests don’t want to bumble around in your kitchen looking for tea, or eggs, or orange juice. Or late night snacks. Personal eating.
Sign #6. You have a sleeping loft and ladder. This is optional, but makes for very happy grandchildren. Their parents, i.e. your children, may have falling out anxiety at first. They’ll get over it. Sleeping lofts add flexibility come Christmas, when, not unsurprisingly, all your children AND your stepchildren AND their families will want to come down for a few nights.
Sign #7. Your guest room has a guest deck. Used for the playing of board games. Sometimes your daughter will have to take your grandchildren out of the main house and quiet them down. You want to enable her. If her children don’t quiet down after the playing of board games, she will need to send her husband to jump into the swimming pool with said children, while she sits and contemplates a glass of wine. Alone. Aren’t extended families wonderful?
Sign #8. Your guest room has outside stairs. Covered in vines. You hide that pesky ping pong table and grill underneath. You have a ping pong table to begin with. Also a croquet set. FAmly tournaments are a tradition, but someone usually cries. Fortunately that someone is mostly under 8 years old.
Sign #9. The view from the guest room deck requires an iPhone app called “Autostitch” to capture what they call a “Panorama.” Because it is, in fact, a panorama. Click on the photo for a fuller effect.
Sign #10. You understand how privileged you are to have this much space in a beautiful spot, so you share. Your children are always welcome. Your grandchildren and their multitude of friends are always welcome. Even as teenagers. That’s saying something. You house visiting musicians and singers for the local symphony. Sometimes for months at a time. You are a generous soul, and your daughter thanks you in a somewhat complex manner. Because she still hasn’t learned that a simple thank you will suffice.
Images of my mother’s house by me, my Panasonic Lumix, and my iPhone