An assortment of books. One of the most enjoyable pastimes when visiting someone else's home is rummaging through their book collection. Whether you have a full wall of shelving or a slender cabinet or case, stock it with a variety of reading material that appeals to all tastes: mysteries, bestsellers, nonfiction, short stories and more. Don't forget to add bedside lamps or reading lights, as well as a cushy spot in which to curl up. A folding luggage stand. This hotel‐inspired touch saves guests from having to squat all the way to the floor to rifle through their suitcases. Stash it in the closet when you're not expecting company or leave it open as a design detail. Here it takes the place of a bench at the foot of the bed. Piles of pillows. Some like them flat, some like them fluffy. Some prefer down, while others sneeze at the mere thought. Keep an assortment of pillows on hand to satisfy guests' individual tastes. And while you're at it, invest in a couple of good blankets (one light, one heavy) and the best bed linens you can afford. Hooks and hangers. Unlike you, your guests don't have a designated spot in your home to tuck away purses and hang car keys. Make it easy for them by mounting hooks and wall racks (might we suggest the Eames Hang‐It‐All?). And make sure that there are plenty of coat hangers in a closet or an armoire.
You can find old painted shutters at any salvage shop. Just remember to seal them before using them as a headboard. Unpainted shutters add to the earthy, exotic feel of this room. A large, framed piece of corkboard does double duty as a bulletin board and as a ... well, as a headboard. Hurray for pallets! They are often free (check first before taking), and they make excellent places to hang stuff on as well. Old fireplace mantels are salvage shop treasures that frame a simple upholstered headboard beautifully. In many places earthquakes prevent hanging anything remotely heavy over the bed (lest it fall on someone's head during the next tembler). This fabric art looks like an extension of the plain, nearly invisible headboard here and adds a danger‐free way to decorate the wall.
A bedroom is a very private space. Hotels know this and add a beautifully wrapped chocolate on the bedside table for that personal touch. The bedside table can tell a lot about a person. I love decorating these spaces because they are so personal. Bedside tables are important because they're the last thing you see when turning in for the night and the first thing you see when you wake. These small, intimate spaces have to pack a visual punch, by adding color and texture. At the same time they serve practical needs, like holding our alarm clocks and eyeglasses. They come in all shapes and sizes, different colors and styles. I've been asked many times about accessorizing these spaces. Here are some ideas for what I call the bedside vignette or, in simple terms, nightstands and the stuff we put on them. This is the area where you can really make a statement with lamps. I find that square lampshades, or round lampshades that are 14 inches or less in diameter, work best against a wall. Drawers are always great for storing things you need but don't want to get up for. I love this alternative lighting detail instead of a table lamp. A hanging chandelier on either side of the bed provides beautiful symmetry and frees the nightstand for other personal accessories. A pendant works just as well as a chandelier visually. The light wattage is lower, though, so I suggest using a pendant light in combination with can lighting. Stacked books look great with their colorful binding facing the room and are also good for elevating alarm clocks. This beautiful vignette is perfectly balanced with a lamp, family photos, fresh flowers and a candle.