Accommodating groups of overnight guests during the holidays can be a real challenge. Most homes don’t have suites of spare bedrooms, so rooms must pull double duty as functional offices or living areas by day and charming guest pads by night.
Fortunately, some great products are available to help you pull this off. And a growing interest in convertible rooms means designers and architects are coming up with ever-more ingenious arrangements that you can duplicate in your own space.
So where are you going to put your guest bed?
Put aside your notions about hideaway beds — older versions may have been lumpy or awkward, but contemporary models are sleek, mechanized and comfortable, and they can come tucked inside sumptuous cabinetry that you’d never suspect of hiding a bed.
Take Zoom-Room: a retractable (rather than folding) bed that slides easily into a room via remote control. It’s housed in a versatile cabinet with modular side shelving that can be used as an entertainment center, a clothes closet or a bookshelf. Prices start at $4,450.
Zoom-Room also offers detailed shop drawings — plus a plan review by a staff designer — if you’re handy enough to build your own custom cabinet and have a fully equipped wood shop.
If you have no choice but to put your guests in a high-traffic area, such as your dining room or living room, you’ll need some kind of moveable partition for privacy. Amanda loves this solution from architecture firm Inscape Studio: Recessed tracking and wheeled shelving units create a useful and chic moveable wall that can hide a bed and double as nightstand storage when guests arrive. “This is a great alternative to plain sliding doors or a collapsing wall,” Amanda says.
Got more space outside than inside? Do all of the previous solutions seem a little, well, small to you? If you’re looking for a fun, adventurous building project that you can reuse as a studio or garden retreat after your guests go home, consider investing in a yurt.
Modern yurts, modeled and named after the homes of Asian nomads, are like a cross between a tent and a cabin. Sold pre-fabricated by companies such as Pacific Yurts, yurts are canvas-covered, typically feature a skylight at the peak, can be plumbed and wired for electricity, and are tough enough to withstand rain and snow — some interiors, as in the photo shown, are positively luxurious. Someone with basic carpentry skills can put one together in as little as a few hours, or during the course of a weekend.
Basic kits range from about $2,500 to $15,000 and up, with extras like porches or wood stoves adding to the cost.