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How Spare is your Spare Room? - 18th August 2015



Do you have the facility to accommodate overnight guests?  

Do you have a dedicated guest room?

Or maybe you have a bed settee or similar in another room?


If you ever feel as though you're bursting out of your home then it might be time to take a look at how you manage space for your guests.


Of course, we all want our guests to be comfortable. However, when space is at a premium some common sense should be applied.  How often do you need a guest bed or beds? If you love to have people stay with you and do this on a frequent basis, then it makes sense to have a dedicated room if possible.


My view is that it would be madness to compromise your own living space for the sake of an occasional visitor. Think about it. Why would you have a room in your home that is only used 3 or 4 times a year? Especially when you and your family are struggling for space.


I hope I’ve convinced you that it’s not really a good idea to have a guest room when you’re short of space?



What are the alternatives?


Lots of people like bed settees or futons. I’ve encountered these used as regular furniture in a living room, for instance. This can be a good idea because you’re using the furniture to maximum benefit. Most days you can sit on it to watch TV or read. From time to time the settee can be converted for sleeping and you have happy and comfortable guests. That’s definitely a win-win solution that makes the best use of your precious floor space.


My advice would be to buy a good quality item. Make sure it is comfortable to sit on as it would be a waste of money if it was only any good as a bed!! I speak from experience as my husband once bought a cheap bed settee many years ago which gradually deposited people on the floor because it was so squashy! Equally, consider that a regular settee is not the most comfortable thing to sleep on.


Bed settees in other rooms can work sometimes. Try to be objective. If the settee is in any room other than your living room, will anyone actually sit on it? If the answer is “no” then I would suggest that the settee is taking up too much space. I’ve worked for clients who run a business from home and their office has been cramped due to the inclusion of a bed settee. More often than not this just gets covered in paperwork! Always consider the footprint of furniture and weigh it up against its usefulness.



What other options are there?


If you can’t accommodate a bed settee - or don’t want to compromise your living space in this way, don’t worry. There are other options that take up less space and your guests will still be comfortable.



The desk that turns into a bed!


I love this clever design. No compromises. A full sized bed and a large desk, all in one. Minimal footprint in your room.


The StudyBed is perfect for school children, students or home based businesses where there is no scope for a separate spare room. Converts in 3 seconds. Visit the StudyBed website to see a video of it in action.  Genius!



Inflatable beds


I’m not talking lilos, here! In recent years the inflatable bed option has really improved in quality. I can thoroughly recommend Aerobed, as we own one ourselves, and indeed I have slept on it myself a couple of times.


The mattress is a decent size. Thick enough to be comfortable on even the hardest floor.  No exhausting foot pump - just plug into the mains and the bed inflates in a jiffy. Various models available.




Deflation is also speedy and you can then roll up the bed and store it in the carry bag supplied. The really good news is that it easily fits into the bag. You don’t have to be an expert in origami! The bed can then easily be stowed away out of sight until needed.


The main thing to remember is that your guests are visiting because they want to see you and they enjoy your company. If they’re only staying for one night, then they won’t expect to be accommodated in the lap of luxury.


Some younger guests might even welcome roughing it a bit! Sleeping bags on the floor or tents in the garden? Much more fun than home! The more mature guest would be delighted with a quality fold-up or air bed, even if that has to be installed at the end of the evening in your living room or dining room. Really, it’s fine.





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