Most of us would love to have a guest room like this inviting one designed by Peter Dunham. But space limitations -- and budget -- often make it impossible. (Yes, the sofa fabric is the oft-posted "Fig Leaf.")
Even in the 1960s, Vogue knew that in many American homes, children's bedrooms and dens did double duty as part-time guest rooms.
Here's the advice from Vogue's Book of Etiquette, 1969:
"Provisions should be made for as much space and comfort as possible for guests. If the guest bedroom is usually a child's bedroom, some of the surfaces -- certainly the tops of the night table and chest -- should be divested of trappings such as toys, stuffed birds, and baseball mitts. These are precious things, but not all together amusing when a guest is looking for some place to put his own odds and ends."
Specific things to do:
Empty a drawer or two.
Clear space in the closet.
Don't forget to provide ashtrays, cigarettes and books.
Have darkening shades or curtains.
Whatever the child may need during the course of the weekend should be removed so she won't have to rummage around at odd times.
If the child's blankets are drab, it is considerate to provide prettier ones or add an attractive blanket cover.
"The study or library equipped with a convertible bed is even more of a problem. Sometimes end tables or coffee tables must be moved, and lamps shifted. But the biggest problem is usually drawer or hanging space."
If there is no closet, consider keeping a good-looking storage chest in the room and/or a portable clothes rack.
A considerate hostess should help her guest make up the bed; a thoughtful guest will try to keep personal belongings out of sight during the day.
Photo credits: Images one and two, Peter Dunham designs as seen in Elle Decor, November, 2008; Third is Betsy Burnham, as seen in In Style Home, 2005.