It seems to me that nobody really loves their spare bedroom. Am I right? I’m about to embark on my spare room project. I have been putting it off since we moved here in October but I have to sort it out now. The reason is that this October my dad is coming to stay from the UK for two weeks, followed by another friend in November and another couple in December (yes, all the Poms come in summer!).
I am always apologising for my spare room. When people come round for the first time they always, on account of me being into interiors and all house proud, request “the tour”. Hell, sometimes I even suggest it myself… But when it comes to the spare room I’m always saying things like “I haven’t started on that yet” or it’s a bit of a dumping ground or a laundry. It strikes me I have never ever loved the spare room in any home I lived in. And when you think about the fact that you pay a lot more for a two-bed apartment than a one-bed apartment, especially in Sydney, it seems a real waste not to use this room.
I don’t think we are alone in having a spare room which is a guest bedroom/home office. And perhaps that’s part of the problem. Multi-use rooms can be tricky. And like many other spare rooms, it’s not a great size and shape. It’s long and narrow and not very big.
I need a bed big enough for two guests but a double is going to take over half the room. A sofabed might be the obvious choice but the ones which are actually comfortable and not ugly can be quite expensive; often more than our own bed, which we use every night! And there’s the other argument: for the amount of time that second bed will actually be used, is it worth spending a lot on it?
Recently, I’ve been looking into those trundle beds, which are like a single bed, but when you have a couple come to stay, you pull another single out from underneath and raise it up on legs so it looks like a double. These ones are expensive too, especially once you add mattresses. And the ones where the two beds sit at equal heights (which is what a couple wants, let’s be honest) are few and far between. Then again, if people are taking advantage of your hospitality, they should be happy with what they’re given, right?!
And then there’s the desk and fitting that in, with room to move a chair in and out. And storage, for officey things as well as all those other things that are stored in the second bedroom of a two-bedroom apartment (vacuum, ironing board, clothes airer, laundry etc.).
And to top it all off, I’d like it to look stylish and neat, please. And not ugly like an office office! And I’m renting, so I can’t build in any storage. You see why I keep giving up?
I’ve got two months until Dad and his girlfriend arrive. Any top tips or inspirational stories of successful spare rooms would be much appreciated!
I totally hear you! We have the same, same and yes totally same thing going on in our spare room at our house. Am quite envious that your at the “spare room project stage” as I believe we are still at least three stages from that, right now. Will look forward to your spare room updates!
The spare room’s always last on the list eh? And once it’s done where will all the crap be stored?! 😉
Oh I am carrying this dilema around on my shoulders also – like a giant anchor around my neck….I hear it’s chain clanging some nights as I toss and turn, rejecting weak solution after weak solution. We are renovating and so I very much feel the pressure as we are creating an additional guest room. As we are building this room I feel even more presure to make it RIGHT! Like yours it will be a struggle as a bed will suck up the majority of the space. I shall watch with interest as you journey towards the perfect multi-room and hope to pinch every sparkling idea for mine!
Don’t expect too much, please! 😉 I will post the finished article though!
I’m not the only one? *relief*
To top it off, as an emergency/respite foster carer my spare room/workspace has to do triple duty as a child’s room as well. It is quite difficult to decorate for adults AND children. I did a mock-up idea board which I was quite pleased with… but not one of the ideas have I implemented. I too was looking at the converting trundle beds, but don’t like that the mattresses have to be quite thin, or the price tag.
The biggest issue for me is stand alone storage… A space for both my things, and visitors things. I dream of a built-in unit that features clothes storage, toy storage, book shelves and drawers as well as a desk area. Sigh.
Keep going back to that moodboard for inspiration Hannah! you can make it happen 😉
Oliver @ Sabi Style says
Wow that is a challenge!
Whilst some of your guests will be just staying the night after enjoying a fabulous dinner party and the 3rd bottle of red, the others are your OS crowd. They will lively be long stay so you need a bed option that will be comfortable for the 2+ weeks – there goes the air mattress idea. Beds can be expensive but what is the value of a good nights sleep?
The flipside of the coin is that the space also needs the potential to double as an office (and HQ to interiors addict). There isn’t enough space to screen so its a question of making 2 rooms into 1.
My first thought would be to look at furniture (desk and bedside tables) in a similar design style to help create the feeling of a fluid space. Thats doesn’t mean you have to go out and buy a set but just be conscious to tie in the proportions and feel of the pieces so their is visual harmony.
Space is the premium here so next step is to get rid of the dumping ground so as not to overcrowd the space. Everything in the space has to serve a purpose (and ideally 2 – office and bedroom)
How about if you got a dresser that could double as the desk?
The space also needs personality to inspire you (when its an an office) and make for an enjoyable space for your guests.
Wow, thanks Oli for all that fab advice! x
I have the same issue! – a spare room in major need of decoration, but am forever decorating client’s homes in lieu of my own!!! (ocupational hazard!)…
My spare room is also the drying/laundry room, come guest room, come sleep over room for my toooooo many children’s sleep over guests (!). I too have UK relatives coming this summer (to complain it is too hot!) so I have finally set about re-decorating their ‘guest suite’ 😉 (in an effortless attempt to impress the ‘out-laws’).
I love the idea from Oliver to have a dresser double as a desk, I plan to have oversized bedsides to double as dressers/desks in my spare/junk room in the hope it might be pretty and practical.
Best of luck with your spare room dilemma,
This was once my nightmare – and I said everyone of those things too!!! Dumping ground etc. Just a few points about the trundle bed which pops up…. Firstly, the pop up bit of the bed is several inches shorter than the main bed (which completely makes sense once you think about it). And once it is “up” there is nothing to tuck any sheets or quilt into so if you are a stickler for a beautiful bed (which I am, ESPECIALLY in a guest room), this could drive you quite bonkers (so too the uneven bedlengths). But I will say that it was very comfortable and at least a good height for the in-laws (which sofa beds aren’t). Anyway, not much positive there but food for thought!!! Can’t wait to see what you do. Good luck!
I think you’re so right about it driving me bonkers! I have considered that! I am more and more likely to go for a compact ‘proper’ double bed I think! Thanks for the advice 🙂
What about a stylish sofa bed like the Futura Le Vele. You can get a replica from Matt Blatt for $1095.
This way you can have a desk and chair as well in your spare room.
I can’t tell you how comfortable it is as I don’t own one yet. I’m odering next Thursday (payday) for my lounge room 🙂
A sofabed would make sense but having people regularly come and stay for two weeks at a time, I don’t think they’re the best for two people for that long. Thanks for the tips and good luck with yours!
Lucy Keenan says
You mentioned at website: theinteriorsaddict.com you ordered a sofa bed like the Futura Le Velefrom Matt Blatt for $1095. in August 2012. How did you find it?
Reason: we are looking for a sturdy sofa bed as my husband is 120kgs & needs comfort without feeling bars below or bed sagging. It’s to use on very hot nights in our lounge downstairs to get away from all bedrooms upstairs.
He doesn’t like the trampoline style pull out sofa beds as don’t believe they’re strong enough for his weight & mine which is 170kgs.
If anyone has a suggestion, that would be appreciated.
0408 800 789
My spare room had to be a grandparents guest room, a study and the rumpus room for the kids to get out of the lounge and play Wii. I hated it for years, and then NIRVANA!
I found a wall bed on eBay which looks just like a built-in wardrobe. This little gem even came with a bookcase on one side and a wardrobe on the other, so it looks like 4 doors. The bed is magic and just lifts up into the wall. I used my queen mattress and it has a good spring base. All our guests have agreed that it is fantastic to sleep on.
I then got a lounge which can be pushed against the wall when the bed is down. The rest of the time the room is lovely and open for the kids to wrestle, jump etc.
I know these are expensive new, but I picked mine up for $500 from Artarmon, from a couple doing a reno. Then I paid another $500 to get it dismantled and couriered. I painted it white and got new handles and it looks a million dollars.
I think it’s the best thing I have EVER purchased for my home.
Sounds awesome. I would love to see a pic!
I was going to suggest a wall bed too. We are renting at the moment and if this was my house I would definitely put in a wall bed. It would allow me to reclaim floor space in the spare room and potentially have it as a playroom or study.
I would love to put this into our new house when our budge permits.
Fiona Parry-Jones says
My spare room is currently being converted into a nursery. will send some photos once complete.
Awesome. Please do! When are you due?
I think theres a market out there for helping people with their spare rooms! I’ve got one to tackle too, its a dressing room/ craft room/ spare bed/ laundry/ clothes airing room. We’ve been using a futon which is more comfortable as a bed than a sofa bed? But not all people like futons. I’ll be keeping my eyes out for what you do, good luck!