It’s a simple fact that not everyone is blessed with a spare room for guests. And it’s a simple fact that sometimes, despite this situation, we’ve got to do the decent thing by putting up a loved one for a little (or long!) while. Whether it’s an old friend visiting from a faraway country, or Granny and Grandpa coming to see the kids – it’s a scenario many of us have to make the best of, no matter how little room we may have.
But who said a living room can’t give your guest a good night’s sleep? Get ready to ditch that clumsily put together camp bed or dodgy blow-up mattress and find out how to transform your living room into a sleeping sanctuary worthy of any guest that walks through the door.
Declutter your space
What works for your living room may not work for your living-room-turned-guest-room. So, when your guest comes to stay, it’s time to de-clutter.
One of the easiest and most efficient ways to do this is imagine when you stay at a hotel – you’ll notice that the room is clear, neutral and doesn’t feel too lived in. Get rid of all the things you would never expect to find in this imagined hotel room, from old newspapers, magazines, piles of DVD’s, paperwork, clothes or anything else that may make your guest feel conscious they are living in someone else’s life.
Instead, you could add a few standard items to treat your guest to that luxury hotel room vibe. This could include a clean, fragrant-smelling candle or a lovely bunch of fresh flowers to well and truly welcome them into your home.
Respect the boundaries of the ‘bedroom’
Have you ever found yourself staying in someone else’s living room and being forced to sit up bleary-eyed waiting for the others to leave your “room” so you can sleep? It’s important to bear in mind that there are boundaries to be respected for your guest’s sake.
It may be a good idea to set a curfew for staying in the living room, so your guest knows when they’ll be given some privacy – especially if you have children. Also consider giving your guest an idea of what time you’ll be coming downstairs in the morning, so they can get ready without worrying someone will walk in without warning. If your morning or night time routine won’t permit it, why not buy a folding screen?
Get clever with storage
When it comes to a makeshift bedroom, it’s neither realistic nor reasonable to have the usual storage options. So what to do?! We hear you cry.
Ottoman storage is a great way to keep your living room looking tiptop, while offering stow-away space for your guest’s clothes or for towels or extra blankets you are providing. Storage footstools or sofa beds with chaise storage look fantastic and keep your living room clear of clutter.
Allow your guests to get plugged in where possible
Living rooms weren’t built for beds, so it’s not all that likely you’ll have a lamp right where you need it. If you can, try and install a lamp within reaching distance of where your guest will be lying down. We love the elegant Lustre Ombre Glass Table Lamp, which suits both classic and contemporary interiors.
And, if at all possible, give your guest access to an electrical outlet so they can keep their phones and tech accessories charged up.
We’re not going to pretend that having long-term guests in your living room is easy, but there are ways to make it work (and dare we say it, work well!). Putting in that extra effort to make it feel more like your guest’s own space is worth it, especially when you see the relief on their face upon arrival. All that’s left to do now is welcome your guest with open arms, put on the kettle or crack out the bottle of bubbly and enjoy some precious time together.