Some we learned the hard way, so you get the heads up right here-
1) Make sure electrical items, TV’s, music systems etc are tough, sturdy, fool proof and not overtly expensive. Accidents will happen.
2) Make sure that everything possible can be washed; not just the obvious like cushions and bedding but curtains, throws & rugs too.
3)Slip cover all seating. I use fitted linen sheets on day bed.
4) All white bed linen looks great but won’t last as the tiniest discolouration or stain will spoil it. Crisp prints on a white ground work really well.
5) Buy quality bed linen and towels, hit the sales. The good stuff stands up to bad treatment and will last season after season.
6) Equip your kitchen well. Even a tiny “coin cuisine” like ours needs good basics- hob, oven, the biggest fridge-freezer you can reasonably squeeze in, dish washer & washing machine (your guests will really appreciate the last two). Some might go out for lunch and dinner every day, but if you have great local shops & markets they will want to cook. French guests certainly will!
7) Accept and budget for buying the following new every year- mattress and pillow protectors, kitchen equipment like pans, (see above) glasses, cups and anything breakable.
8) Buy simple crockery (white ceramic or ribbed glass , easy to match up with inevitable casualties)
9) All floors should be easy clean, tiles are simply the best to clean efficiently and hygienically . Avoid fitted carpets or wood finishes that won’t stand up to spilled drinks, stiletto heels or sand/mud etc
10) Treasure and value your change-over team, cleaning lady, handyman- priceless