WE SEEM to have talked about downstairs long enough; let’s go upstairs and view the bedrooms. On my stair landing is an old-fashioned blanket box. It is moth-proof and just the thing needed in every home. I store blankets and woollen clothes in it during the summer and in the winter 1 fill it with sports wear and garden cushions. I picked it up in a second-hand shop for ten shillings and my husband painted it for me to match the stairs. You can find many bargains in the back-street second-hand shops these days.
Our bedroom is really called ‘Mummy’s room,’ for you will notice on the mantelpiece and around the walls all the souvenirs of my married days. And arranged on the four-shelved bookcase at my side of the bed are all the little things made for me by the children at school and at home. I love them so much and as they mount up in numbers, so also mount up my memories of wonderful days spent with my growing children. My bedroom, in fact, is almost like a curio shop. On tire walls are also snapshots of happy holidays and happy days in the garden. It is a room of memories and so friendly.
I have a closed-in cupboard for my wardrobe and there is a bedside table each side of the bed, with a bedside lamp on each table. There is also a light over the dressing table. Our bedside lampshades are of plain parchment with braid top and bottom, and daughter Doreen painted them for us – crinoline ladies on mine and ships on my husband’s.
There is no centre light in my bedroom, which is in cream and green. The carpet is a cream one with many flowers in all colours. There are two easy chairs and a table at the fireside, and nearby an electric kettle and a footstool box in which you will find crockery for two.
Few of us have a spare hedroom these days – but no matter, when a visitor does come, someone turns out of their room and it is got ready for the guest. But if you do have a spare bedroom, make sure it is one of the nicest rooms in the house, with nobody’s stored tilings on top of wardrobes, or in wardrobes or drawers.
Have all the drawers freshly lined with paper and have a comfortable chair in the room. Put a table near the window to act as a writing table; have writing materials on it, a calendar and an ash-tray.
Make sure that the bed is perfectly aired.
Have plenty of clean towels and take the family snaps out of the room. The guest will have her own special picture to put on her table or window-sill. See that there is a good supply of coat hangers, a clock and a handy electric fire.
Use a dainty traycloth when serving the early morning cup of tea, and be sure to tell your guest the times of the family meals. Find out what her tastes are in food and don’t let the children worry her or visit her in her room.
When she arrives she will appreciate a vase of flowers on her dressing table and a card beside the flowers reading: ‘We hope you will be very happy and comfortable during your stay with us, and we are so pleased to have you.’ See to it that the bathroom is tidied up and vacant for the use of the guests when they want it, and keep downstairs when they are moving about dressing – that makes them feel more at home. Don’t leave your guest in the living-room by herself – she may like to be helping you in the kitchen. Let the guests come and go as they please – treat them as if they were one of the family and make them feel happy and friendly, and wanted. And ask them to give a hand or meet the children coining from school – their visit with you will be so much friendlier that way.
Don’t do their room until they have gone out or until they are comfortably settled downstairs in an easy chair with a book. It is not nice for a guest to see her hostess clearing out her room – it makes a guest feel awkward, as if she should be doing it herself.
Many guests do like to clean their own rooms and you should let them if they offer; but do not embarrass those who come for a rest by hustling them about just to get their room clean by a certain time of the day.
I’m fussy about bed-making. I have found that it takes no longer to make a bed properly than it does to make it carelessly. Turn the mattress twice a week and see that plenty of air gets to the mattress under the springs.
Fix an underblanket over the mattress so that thin people do not complain of button troubles. Fix undersheet edges well under the mattress all round, doing the corners as you would the corners of a parcel. Then fix a narrow, padded roll along the bottom of the bed, to save that awful feeling of the bedclothes pressing down on one’s feet. You can take it out when in bed if you wish. You will find that it has made that necessary space for your toes to stretch about without that trapped-toe feeling, too often experienced when the bed is made minus the roll.
Add the pillows and give them a good shake every day. Add the top sheet and pull it twelve inches over the pillows. Add the blankets up to the pillows, turn over the 12-in. Border of the top sheet. Leave the edges of the sheet and blanket loose.
Have you made sure that the bed is in the best position to be out of draughts? … Is there a light and heat plug handy? … Is there a bedside light-switch handy? Bedside comfort makes such a difference to comfortable living.