Innkeepers are not the only ones who want to pamper their guests. When travelers return from deluxe bed and breakfasts, they want to provide some of the luxuries they have experienced for their own visitors.
It’s not the amount of money you spend to give guests in your home the inn experience, but how you use those funds to make their stay memorable.
Such was the case when my husband and I bought and furnished a house by the seashore for our family many years ago.
After a decade of selling mid to high-end bed and bath furnishings to innkeepers and getting their feedback, we decided to use their advice to give guests at our shore house a stay that was comfortable and left them feeling as if they had just stayed at a seashore B&B.
Seashore home décor that keeps the beach outside
First of all, we considered why people would stay at our house on the seashore. Obviously, they would want to enjoy the ocean and the beach, but also to experience the companionship of our family and friends. The home that we had purchased had been built in 1928. It had its own charm but we wanted to furnish it “like an inn” so that we could entertain and pamper our guests while keeping the sandy shore outside.
That meant building an open-roof shower house, complete with a changing room and hidden from street view for privacy. There’s an open-weave, non-skid mat on the floor of the shower, and a container with soaps, razors, shaving cream, shampoo, shower caps and lotions.
There’s another space in our garage – across from the shower house – where we store bath towels and wash cloths as well as beach towels and suntan lotion.
It’s become everyone’s favorite place to shower, but also deters guests from coming inside covered in sand or suntan lotion, as per our house rules. We keep a clothesline behind our garage for wet towels and swimsuits.
Inside the house
Inside the house, we used sand-colored Berber carpet throughout and off-white, non-warping wooden blinds on the windows. All furnishings were done in order to ensure the house needs as little care as possible.
We use Sealy mattress sets for all the beds, covering the mattress and box springs with Bed Bug Protection covers and a quilted mattress pad that can be washed again and again.
On top of the mattress, we used cotton sheets, all cotton blankets, cotton blanket covers and cotton reversible duvets filled with down alternative fillers. Pillows are both down-like soft and medium firm non-allergenic – to meet each person’s preference. All bedding is washable. Bedrooms are bright, cheerful and airy with the walls and bedding reflecting sun and sea in the colors chosen.
The bathroom has nice fluffy towels, amenities which include our InnStyle makeup remover, facial wipe washcloth, hairdryers, razors, shaving cream, cotton balls, cotton swabs and disposable bags.
Kid-friendly and user-friendly
If you plan on having guests at your shore house, remember that they’ll have kids. We have young grandchildren, so we’ve kid-proofed the entire house. We also have a number of toys to help occupy our guests’ children, and to give their parents fewer things to pack.
The kitchen is user friendly. We tell guests to help themselves to whatever is in the cabinets and the fridge. My husband is the superb coffee maker, using a brand that we found many years ago at a Bed and Breakfast conference.
Without an eat-in kitchen, the dining area is always set with cork backed placemats which can be wiped clean. The chairs have laminated fabric pads, which leads to less worry about spills.
We’ve gone with a relaxed, seashore home décor for our shore house. We wanted our family and friends to visit, enjoy the ocean and be comfortable, and a fussy décor and fragile furnishings usually aren’t synonymous with a relaxed vacation.
Serving the innkeeping industry has taught us many wonderful things. In order to be a host, you need to create an atmosphere where everyone feels relaxed, including the hosts! I thank my innkeeping friends and customers for educating us on how to entertain our guests and make everyone feel at home!
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