Privilege Blog

Ten Signs You May Have A High WASP Guest Room

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 #5. You absolutely have to hang a framed etching of seashells. All scientific-like. The frame matches your bedspreads. A dark red for timeless style.

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

40 Responses

  1. My guest room has a double bed, bookshelves with old paperbacks and a cedar chest. The dog sleeps there when it is without guests.

    I obviously need to polish up my High WASP act.

  2. Oh gosh! You reminded me. The most important is the row of old paperbacks! See in the kitchen photo?

  3. The panorama shot shows the ocean views! How lovely!
    You have created a welcoming oasis of tranquility for your beloved guests…I am certain that you are a divine hostess, and that your suite is in high demand!
    Crocquet on the lawn is something I enjoy…and why does someone young always cry?
    In our experience an older cousin usually wins by a huge margin and the wee ones are frustrated…lots of teasing is involved.
    It's Bad form…

  4. That's not a guest room! It's a back house!

    I never felt more adult as a teen than when I stayed alone in my grandparents' back house. They belong at grandparents' houses because if you have teenagers and you have a guest house, you end up having a party palace, no matter how frequently you change the locks.

    Teenagers are master locksmiths.

  5. Your mother's home is gorgeous LPC. What a lovely oasis she's created for family visits.

  6. Absolutely perfect, not bragging at all. Very fortunate and after all the title is "…A High Wasp Guest Room".
    Several years ago I bought thick fluffy spa robes in different sizes to put in each guest bedroom closet. Guests love them.
    The photos are wonderful and the house is perfectly inviting and comfortable. All details have been well thought out and carried through. It's just right!

  7. How wonderful! It is peaceful and serene in its simplicity. Makes me remember why I chose UCSB for school. So wonderful there.

  8. I love that whenever you feature your mother and stepfather's places, there's always a gorgeous shade of red around. The chairs in Sweden, the frames from the hall a few months ago (I think), and now the guest room blankets and another set of chairs and frame. Love.

  9. Wow, now THAT's a guest room! Just lovely and I can almost feel those Santa Barbara afternoon breezes…aaahhhhh.

    I had to crack up about the patriotic color scheme, as my step-mom has done that with the kids' guest bedding for the sofa bed.

  10. Who wouldn't love to be a guest! I'm sure they never want to leave that gorgeous view! Fabulous!

  11. Now I understand where my desire for lots of guest space originates. Afterall, the president of your professional association may call you late Friday afternoon and need emergency accomodations for four. . . .tonight. . . .and storage of the contents of his daughter's apartment. (Don't ask.)

  12. Not to nitpick or anything, but that's a hand-colored engraving, not an etching. :-) What a gorgeous house!

  13. Can you let your mother know I'm on my way?

    It is just beautiful, we love that part of California, it is one blissful spot, and the guest quarters look perfect for the locale!

    Thanks for sharing, it was a delightful little escape!

  14. What a fabulous post! Our guest room is a 6 bedroom carriage house, with huge kitchen, balconies, and a private patio with a grill. The house is decorated both with nice non-antiques, and family heirlooms. My childhood bedroom set, which was originally in the Cranbrook House as my grandmother's childhood set, is in one room. The carriage house is decorated with various artwork, especially chickens, horses, and sailboats.

  15. Hostess – Would that it were mine:). It's my mother's house.

    Agatha- Perfect. I didn't want to call it the guest house, although that is what we say, for fear of sounding ostentatious. Back house is perfect. Thank you.

    Susan – Thank you.

    Diane – Spa robes are wonderful.

    Muffy – How did you get any work done.

  16. Yes! Old paperbacks. Or ancient falling-apart cloth editions (maybe a first or two, but in deplorable condition, sigh) of Kipling's Plain Tales from the Hills and The Stars Fell on Alabama and The Boy's Charles Lindbergh and an old guide to Birds of New England…

    My grandmother had a guest room in her Adirondack house that sounds much as you describe, without the kitchenette (don't know anyone who had one!) but with battered but serviceable old mahogany furniture. And twin beds. Always twin beds. I wouldn't sleep there, though–I always slept on an old Army cot in the attic where there were hundreds of old books to read late at night and a little window seat that looked out over the tops of the other houses in the village to the green mountains beyond. One of my favorite memories.

    When she died, my brother (who was getting his first apartment) got the furniture. I got all the books, many of which are now in my guest room, which looks out not on mountains, but on cornfields…sigh…

  17. Charlotte – Thanks. You are right. They do always have a bit of brick red somewhere.

    Deja – Ah, the breezes, yes.

    Walking Barefoot – Yes, we like it when it's our turn. Although I kind of like to stay in the main house because it's cozy.

    theduchess – Thanks!

    JMW – Ha! I bet you're a lovely guest.

  18. DocP – As Cathy said, famously, AAAACK!

    Booklady – I love your nitpicks! I had no idea what it really was:). Thank you.

    TPP – See you there:).

    Patsy – You're right, now that I think of it. All the influences are visible.

    Miss Muddy Paws – So glad you liked it. A carriage house with so much space must be fantastic for family meetups! Farm animals, like chickens, or pigs, are definitely another common High WASP theme.

    Staircase – Oh how evocative. And I was just looking at some more old books in my daughter's room. Those illustrations are so wonderful.

  19. "Your children are always welcome. Your grandchildren and their multitude of friends are always welcome. Even as teenagers. That's saying something."

    How wonderful that your mother feels this way about you and your family. Whether it is a back house, an en-suite guest room or an old childhood room, that is the greatest privilege of them all.


  20. Ha! We have way too many of those scientific looking posters on our walls. And the croquet tournaments, oh the croquet tournaments.

  21. Oh gosh.
    I'd been satisfied that my Mom puts my husband and I up at the Holiday Inn Express and lets my kids stay at her house when we visit.

    There's always someone with a nicer set-up, although I do greatly prefer the HIE to the mattress in her spare bedroom at home.

  22. We're very, very far from being High Wasp, but we're fortunate enough to have a wee cottage for guests — my young nieces and nephews have been thrilled that they get to sleep out there, away from the main house altho' within an easy ýell from company. Most important is that there are two teeny bedrooms, so our granddaughter can have a separate room and her parents don't have to do lights out at 8:30.

    We've been meaning to outfit it with a very, very basic kitchen — tiny fridge, tea kettle, and toaster, and you may just have provided enough inspiration to get me from thought to action. Your mother's guest quarters look fabulous and I can only hope my children and grandchildren may someday have similarly warm memories about being guests here. Thanks for another lovely post.

  23. Captain Dumbass – I'll talk to my mom:). Play an instrument?

    Stacy – I so agree.

    The Cape House – Why am I not surprised! Our Cape House was in Wianno, BTW…

    RoseAG – I dunno. HIE sounds pretty good if someone else has the kids.

    Barbara – Thank you so much.

    Mater – I'd love to see your wee cottage. What a lovely life.

    Julia – Thank you. In Santa Barbara there's almost always something blooming.

  24. I have only once visited a home, which had a special guest house. It was like living in a hotel. A great solution, if you have guests staying over night. Unfortunately so few have the chance to build and keep one. It is a great relief to spend some privacy as well. Your mother is a very lucky lady, and you are very lucky to be able to visit her every now and then!

  25. Seriously adore this post. Reminds me of the farmhouse I grew up in – almost wish my parents didn't build their dreamhouse, but I can let go of that because the view all makes up for it. Amazing views. Looks like Hawaii, although I have been to neither Hawaii nor California!!

  26. A wonderful post… don't think that I do have all the attributes of a High Wasp guest room but maybe a couple. Must try harder! x

  27. Lisa, this posting is excellent! At first I was not sure if the pics are "image pics" because I felt like this is not how I imagine your house to be. And finally the notice "Images of my mother's house …" :)

    I also like the new word I learned today: sundries. I particulary enjoy those baskets full of goodies.

    Mr Paula and I have spent the last 7 weeks in a "guest apartment", my parent's home. They return tomorrow by lunch-time from their summer resort. I feel very grateful being invited to stay at their place in the refreshing suburbs during summer season. But for tonight it is house cleaning-time.

  28. AA Flight 803 will be departing from JFK shortly. I'll be on board… with a perfect hostess gift for the perfect WASP, of course!

  29. My husband would be incredibly jealous of the climbing flowering vine thingy…I'm not the one with the green thumb, obviously.

  30. Wow! Sweet digs! The Cranky Product Manager now wishes she were a high wasp. Alas, instead she is a recovering boston irish catholic.

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