A room with two views
WHEN IT COMES to setting up a space to
accommodate guests, most of us don’t have
that coveted spare room. But as the story
“Guest-room guidance” on page 43 explains,
pulling out a worn hide-a-bed doesn’t feel
very welcoming to guests unless they’ve been
living in a college dorm.
For the once-in-a-while guest room that
spends its days as a home office, den or even
a child’s bedroom, the secret is to incorporate
furniture that can do double duty.
Probably the most important item in any
guest room is a comfortable place to sleep.
Traditional solutions include a fold-out sofa
bed or a futon. Today’s sofa bed has taken on
a new twist with the versatile Euro Lounger
(see Buyer’s Pick, page 44). In its everyday use
when you are guestless, it’s a stylish sofa for a
den or office. When guests arrive, a quick
fold-down turns it into a bed, capable of
Furniture designers have been tuned into
the need for multiuse furniture for some time,
probably because nearly everyone needs the
extra storage. For example, many ottomans
and benches now have removable tops—a
perfect space to stash extra bedding.
Media stands are another example of furniture manufacturers responding to a trend.
As the size and number of TV sets per household continues to grow, the versatility of
media consoles has expanded. Not only do
they hold a big-screen TV, DVR and other
electronic equipment, but many have drawers
and shelves that could easily accommodate a
guest’s clothing or personal items.
To separate a guest space from the rest of
a room, consider a wall unit or bookcase—
but be sure it’s finished on the back. The shelves
or cubby holes (some now include slide-in
baskets) can be used for storage as well as
For guest rooms that also double as home
offices, try to keep clutter down with plenty of
storage. Some workstation units let you hide
the computer behind closed doors. Speaking
of clutter, this is probably the biggest bane to
creating a comfort zone for guests, or even for
one’s family. Here again, multiuse furniture
can come to the rescue. A traditional-looking
coffee table can fulfill its normal functions
(snack table, footrest), but, with sectional
pieces that lift up or pull or fold out, can also
provide extra storage.
With the help of multipurpose furniture,
a bit of creativity and thinking like a bed-and-breakfast owner, anyone can transform his or
her space into a functional and pleasing
retreat for guests.—Anita Thompson
The Costco Connection
Look for furniture and accessories at Costco
warehouses and Costco.com to help you
organize a dual-purpose space.