Author Topic: House guests privacy vs damage to things  (Read 3877 times)

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Pippen

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House guests privacy vs damage to things
« on: May 05, 2012, 06:53:18 PM »
Hi, I have just found a wet towel draped over a antique chair in one of the guests rooms. I noticed it when I was outside so went in and took it off and put it on the towel rack in the bathroom. It has done some damage to the varnish which hopefully I can fix. They are out at the moment but will mention it when they get back but I don't want them to feel bad about and I don't want them to think I just went into their room while they were not here, even though the door was open.

Do you think they will see this was an invasion of their privacy? I am mildly peeved at the damage but it would have been a lot worse if it had just been left there and I really don't want them to feel bad about it.

VorFemme

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Re: House guests privacy vs damage to things
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2012, 07:15:01 PM »
This is the sort of thing that hosts can (hopefully) head off before by mentioning some things that need to be done "differently" in this household than back home - due to climate, antiques, or whatever.

I grew up in semi-arid West Texas and moved to Phoenix, Arizona (Sonoran Desert) after college.  I grew up EXPECTING that any damp towel I dried off with after swimming or showering would dry off quickly, as would my hair (even when shoulder blade length) in an hour or so (at most).

Visiting relatives in more humid areas, a reminder to hang my towel flat so that it could dry or that  my hair might still be damp in the morning if I washed it before going to bed was first greeted with skepticism......then dismay when I realized that they weren't kidding (wet braid of hair was still pretty damp the next day - so was my pillow). 

Since "the damage is done" the best thing to do is to mention that the chairs in their room are "antiques with the original finish" and that food, drinks, and damp towels need to be left elsewhere, to avoid (further) damage being done to the furniture.

I sleep on antiques when visiting my parents (Great-Grandmother's bedroom suite in one guest room and Grandmother's iron bed in the other) - but the mattresses & bedding are new.  Their house has more antiques NOW than it did when we were growing up, as they have inherited pieces.  But other families redecorate with NEW furniture, not with OLDER furniture, over the decades - so the guests may not have experience with antiques.
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Pippen

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Re: House guests privacy vs damage to things
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2012, 07:33:42 PM »
Thanks. I would never even occur to me to mention it. I just thought everyone knew that water and varnish don't go well together. Never assume anything I guess

Tilt Fairy

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Re: House guests privacy vs damage to things
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2012, 07:40:55 PM »
To answer your question about invasion of privacy, I don't think it's wrong to go into the guest bedroom in your own house when you have people staying there and they go out. I've done that in my own home to open up a window, to hunt for any dirty mugs of tea that need to go in the dishwasher, to water a plant or replace flowers or towels etc... If the guest was in the room at the time, I would simply knock. Or is it an invasion of privacy? I've never thought about it before. I never thought it was and I wouldn't have thought guests would have lots of private things lying about even in a guest room in someones home (it's different to a hotel room for example). Or would they? I don't know. I certainly don't think guest expect an unequivocal level of privacy (within reason) when staying in a guest room.Therefore, I don't think you did anything wrong in picking up the towel and placing it on the towel rack. I doubt the guests would even notice it was on the towel rack now instead of the chair or if they did, they might think they put it there.

If they do ask about it and/or you feel guilty about doing it, when they come home, you could just say to them with a kind smile "ohh I hope you don't mind, I was passing your room and I just moved the used towel to the towel rack. The chair in there can be a bit of a pain when it reacts with water. It's so old and feeble that it can't handle anything!". Make it out like you're annoyed with the chair (even though you're not- the beautiful chair's done nothing wrong!) rather than them (although they didn't know what they were doing either). I doubt any guest would mind at all! It gets the message across in a nice way and they won't do it again. They won't even feel hurt or like you are blaming them. Let the chair take the pretend brunt of the annoyance to spare the feelings of your guests.

FoxPaws

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Re: House guests privacy vs damage to things
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2012, 08:34:08 PM »
I don't think it's an invasion of privacy unless you go through their personal belongings. Pulling your own towel off your own furniture is fine; opening drawers or closets where you've told them they can store their things is not.

Even in a hotel, the housekeeping staff is going to be picking up towels, making beds, vacuuming, etc., around the guests' things.
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gramma dishes

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Re: House guests privacy vs damage to things
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2012, 10:40:13 PM »
...   you could just say to them with a kind smile "ohh I hope you don't mind, I was passing your room and I just moved the used towel to the towel rack. The chair in there can be a bit of a pain when it reacts with water. It's so old and feeble that it can't handle anything!". Make it out like you're annoyed with the chair (even though you're not- the beautiful chair's done nothing wrong!) rather than them (although they didn't know what they were doing either). I doubt any guest would mind at all! It gets the message across in a nice way and they won't do it again. They won't even feel hurt or like you are blaming them. Let the chair take the pretend brunt of the annoyance to spare the feelings of your guests.

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cicero

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Re: House guests privacy vs damage to things
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2012, 03:54:46 AM »
as PPs mentioned, it's not a n invasion of privacy (so long as you weren't snooping through their things). going through a room to air it out, freshen the bedding, take out trash, etc are certainly acceptable things to do. and i like tiltfairy's suggestion on how to approach them.
Hi, I have just found a wet towel draped over a antique chair in one of the guests rooms. I noticed it when I was outside so went in and took it off and put it on the towel rack in the bathroom. It has done some damage to the varnish which hopefully I can fix. They are out at the moment but will mention it when they get back but I don't want them to feel bad about and I don't want them to think I just went into their room while they were not here, even though the door was open.

Do you think they will see this was an invasion of their privacy? I am mildly peeved at the damage but it would have been a lot worse if it had just been left there and I really don't want them to feel bad about it.

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SoCalVal

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Re: House guests privacy vs damage to things
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2012, 12:11:44 PM »
Do people really normally think it's okay to hang damp things directly on wooden furniture?  It would never occur to me to hang a damp towel on a chair; I always hang bath towels in the bathroom and kitchen towels in the kitchen.

I guess I've seen beach towels hung outside on patio furniture but never indoors.

In answer to OP's question -- I don't think it's rude since it is a room in your house, and it would be different if you were going through their things (which you weren't).



AdakAK

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Re: House guests privacy vs damage to things
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2012, 12:27:46 PM »
Do people really normally think it's okay to hang damp things directly on wooden furniture?  It would never occur to me to hang a damp towel on a chair; I always hang bath towels in the bathroom and kitchen towels in the kitchen.


Yes, I regularly hang things on my wooden kitchen chairs.  It's warm and dry enough here that they dry quickly with no damage done.  I do know that it can damage things though and would hopefully not do it as a guest in someone's house. 

If I'd had a brain lapse and hung it on a chair in someone's home,  I wouldn't be upset at them for moving it or reminding me.  Mad at myself probably, and embarrassed for forgetting but not upset with them.

Zilla

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Re: House guests privacy vs damage to things
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2012, 12:43:50 PM »
I would mention it casually.  I never would dream of hanging wet stuff on wooden furniture let alone an antique.


If they are oversensitive or you don't want to cause a discomfort, I would remove the chairs and put them in your room during their stay.

Surianne

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Re: House guests privacy vs damage to things
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2012, 12:45:57 PM »
Do people really normally think it's okay to hang damp things directly on wooden furniture?  It would never occur to me to hang a damp towel on a chair; I always hang bath towels in the bathroom and kitchen towels in the kitchen.

Before this thread I had absolutely zero idea this could be a problem in any way.  I've definitely hung damp towels on chairs at home, at hotels/B&Bs, and probably at friends' houses too.  No idea if the chairs were wood or not, it's nothing I'd have thought to check.

QueenofAllThings

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Re: House guests privacy vs damage to things
« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2012, 01:43:13 PM »
Same principal as a sweating glass on a (varnished) wood table - it will leave a ring every time.

FoxPaws

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Re: House guests privacy vs damage to things
« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2012, 05:17:27 PM »
A lot of modern furniture is treated (waterproofed) in such a way that a damp towel hung on it would not create a problem. It's also possible that leaving it over the char was unintentional - the OP's guests may have meant to hang it up, but gotten distracted before they could do so.
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Pippen

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Re: House guests privacy vs damage to things
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2012, 08:36:50 PM »
Yes it depends on the finish, if it is varnish (no way ever) or polyurethane as well as the type of wood. Just like a glass ring it leaves a kind of milky stain but luckily I have a sneaky trick for fixing it.

If it is varnish you also run the risk of damaging the wet item so your favorite white shirt hung over the back of a chair to dry will end up with big stains all over it.  Also if it is a woven cane type furniture it is most likely pretty much just made of paper with a coating on it. My general rule of thumb is if you wouldn't leave it outside in the rain don't hang wet things over it.

gramma dishes

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Re: House guests privacy vs damage to things
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2012, 08:44:53 PM »
Yes it depends on the finish, if it is varnish (no way ever) or polyurethane as well as the type of wood. Just like a glass ring it leaves a kind of milky stain but luckily I have a sneaky trick for fixing it.

It is a nice thing to share sneaky tricks that fix things.   :)