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.
Find a quiet corner in your home where you can draw the curtains. This daybed with great light control provided by the Roman shades is perfect for a 2 p.m. date with the sandman. Use a light blanket to cuddle up with. You will have a hard time falling asleep if you are chilly. Be careful to not overheat with heaters and blankets, as this may cause you to oversleep. Surround yourself with blue. Blue is associated with tranquility and produces a calming effect. It is good for the mind‐body connection. Think of the sea and the sky and the calming effect of being outdoors. Try to find a space in your home where you feel removed from everything that is going on. Ideally, you want to be away from the noise of TVs, cell phones and the doorbell. This cozy nook feels just like a nest, and curtains provide a visual barrier.
I love the inventive way a screen has been used here. It's a hugely flexible item, too; if bought cheaply in poor condition, it can be creatively re‐covered in wallpaper or fabric. The brass bed often appeared in Victorian bedrooms. If you like the design but the finish feels a little too traditional, then get out your paintbrush. White makes for a soft and romantic aesthetic, or go for a bold and contrasting color choice to get a more eclectic look. Bedside tables were seldom matching, as this was not the era of uniform bedroom sets. Try using one plain table, covered with a tablecloth or lace, and an antique table or old military chest for the other side. Traditional Victorian bedrooms also had a washstand – a free‐standing piece of furniture with a marble top, a bowl and a water pitcher. Put a washstand to good use in your en suite. They can even be converted to hold modern plumbing. Fixtures and fittings in a Victorian bedroom would have been much the same as in the rest of the house, including architectural moldings and a fireplace, of course. Many houses have had fireplaces taken out or blocked off, but the recesses make for great storage, and the mantel is ideal for a mirror. While open fires can be messy in a bedroom, consider a gas alternative for a convenient and clean flame. Pure indulgence and, in true Victorian style, the perfect spot for an armchair. Finally, don't be a slave to your Victorian bedroom. You can keep all the traditional features and throw in some glamour and contemporary pieces for a gorgeous eclectic look. I'm sure Jane Eyre would approve.