Be my guest with a custom wall bed
When guests visit, it’s a common courtesy to say, “Make yourself at home.” But that’s not easy when you don’t have a bed for them to sleep in or a good spot to store their toothbrush.
Hosting visitors in a condominium puts a crunch on space that is already at a premium. The first step for many is to find an elegant sleeping solution that doesn’t gobble up important square footage.
“(A Murphy bed) makes it feel like a little piece of home, rather than just having things everywhere or feeling like you’re crashing on someone’s couch,” says Jennifer Van Teeling, sales manager for California Closets in Edmonton.
Ten years ago, the company did only a few orders per year. Now, they handle a handful every month.
Condo owners often want to use a spare bedroom as a home office, or craft room, or exercise room. A Murphy bed allows that room to be a multi-purpose space that becomes a guest suite only when needed.
A basic wall bed costs a few thousand dollars, Van Teeling says. Many clients, however, choose to add extras, such as cabinets and drawers to surround the panels that hold in the bed. Those extras not only add visual interest to the design, but also provide storage for guests who can place their clothing or bags in the drawers.
Murphy beds can be designed on a vertical or horizontal tilt, with the latter offering more storage options above the bed. The beds can even be disassembled and reinstalled in a new location, says Lyle Morley, of the Kitchen Studio and Wall beds-Etc.
If it’s tricky to make condo guests feel comfortable with a temporary sleeping situation, it can be even trickier to make them feel comfortable with the grooming situation — particularly if there’s only one bathroom in the condo.
Let’s face it, there must be some co-ordination when you’re sharing a bathroom with guests. To keep things tidy, personal organizer Nicki Parsons suggests keeping bathroom counters as clear as possible.
“That will encourage others to do the same, to tuck everything back in their bag when they’re through in the bathroom,” says Parsons, who runs Neat Organizers Inc. in Edmonton.
To keep countertops clear, condo owners can complete small spacesaving projects, such as using the “dummy panel” found in the front of many vanities. Some simple hinges and tote trays can transform that part of the vanity into a useful storage space for everyday items, Parsons said. And almost any bathroom can be outfitted with a medicine cabinet.
Installing several hooks on the back of the bathroom door is an even easier way to cleverly use space in a tiny bathroom. Install them at different heights, with lots of room in between, so several towels can air dry at once, Parsons says.
THE BOOK SHELF LOOK
In a 550-square-feet condo, there’s not a lot of room for entertaining.
“For a while we had a box spring and mattress on the floor. When people were over, we kept running into the odd situation of hosting people sitting on the edge of our bed,” says Colin Waugh, who lives in a downtown Edmonton loft with his girlfriend Asha Fritz.
The couple started researching different options for their sleep space and finally settled on a wall bed.
“It’s that little bit of Batman or James Bond syndrome where you want everything hidden by a book shelf,” Waugh says.
Their bed is hidden behind bifold bookshelves, which also provide functional storage space for books, art and bedding.