Hospitality is defined by the online dictionary as the “friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests…”. It’s also synonymous with words such as kindness, warmth, and generosity. It conjures images of a beautifully decorated guest room with fine linen and thoughtful touches, always at the ready for guests or even friends who came for dinner and stayed for breakfast. And who wouldn’t want to be received in that way and offer their guests the same warm-hearted welcome? Unfortunately, our families seem to fill our homes to the brim – no matter the size of either – and few of us have the luxury of a dedicated guest room, let alone cottage or suite. So, we make do. We cozy up, accommodate our guests in the room that can be spared, and declare: “The more the merrier,” because South Africans are hospitable people. Here are a couple of tricks to quickly turn your nursery, TV room, playroom or study into a guest room that is as comfortable as possible and requires the least amount of effort on your part.
Tip #1 Embrace the sleeper couch
I know, they take up a lot of space when all you really need is an armchair most of the time, but they are a life saver for that odd occasion when you really do need an extra bed.
I’ve had an exhausting look for alternative sleeping solutions for my own home the last few months and, unfortunately, I couldn’t find the traditional sleeper couches that form real couches and then fold out into real beds. The stores are filled with futons – kind of a couch, but not nearly as comfy, and kind of a bed, but not nearly as big or comfy either.
One positive is that they fold out with absolute minimal effort, are generally very affordable and often have removable covers that you can throw in the wash.
Tip # 2 Don’t waste floor space when you can use the wall
Chances are, after adding a futon to the dual purpose room, there’s not much space left for a guest bedside table, and the desk or change table may not be in a good position to double as a place for guests to place a reading lamp, book or morning coffee. In addition, the built-in-cupboard no doubt is also completely occupied, leaving them no space to pack out some clothing or a toiletry bag.
Here’s where wall mounted hooks and shelves come in very handy. A low wall mounted shelf next to the futon doesn’t hold much but opens up just enough space to place a coffee cup, cell phone and pair of glasses. The fact that it only held a few books or trinkets to start with, also means there’s less stuff to stash away before guests arrive.
Wall mounted hooks provide the ideal space for guests to hang a jacket, laptop or vanity bag, or freshly ironed evening wear, without taking up any floor space that could otherwise be put to good use.
Speaking of good use – the humble cube or ottoman is a firm dual purpose favorite of mine, as it can be used for seating, a coffee table or even a step ladder. They’re also really light and easy to move around, and you can have removable covers made for them in a jiffy.
Reading lamps shouldn’t take up valuable space either, as they can be replaced with ceiling pendants on extended cords. Consider adding ceiling brackets that allow you to move the pendant to a different spot in the room at a moment’s notice.
Tip #3 Don’t hold back on soft and small furnishings
I’m talking throws, oversized pillows, and mounted picture frames. Just because the room serves two purposes, doesn’t mean it can’t still look every bit as pretty as a dedicated guest room would have.
The very same throws and large scatters you place on the futon as part of the room’s normal décor, can double up as a blanket or throw once the bed is made (white bed linen is your most versatile bet here), and maintain the room’s carefully designed harmony.
If you opt for two 60 x 60 scatters or even slightly larger, custom-made ones instead of the popular 45 x 45 ones, these can double as continental pillows when guests arrive and won’t take up any additional storage space.
Finally, make an effort to get wall art that ties in with the décor of the space – even if it’s not in a place you’d see it all the time when the room is used as a study, for example. If it’s in a place where guests see it when the futon is all made up, it will round off the room beautifully.
If your futon is a little worse for the wear or the wrong colour, you can have a removable, washable cover made for it like I did. Alternatively, you can also have a traditional sleeper couch or single sleeper chair made up. Get in touch if you’d like any of these soft furnishings made up, or need some space saving advice.
Feature Image: Bloglovin’