Find some unusual ways for housing overnight guests.
By Karin BeuerleinMore in Decorating
Accommodating groups of overnight guests during the holidays can be a real challenge. Most homes don't have suites of spare bedrooms, so rooms must pull double duty as functional offices or living areas by day and charming guest pads by night.
Fortunately, some great products are available to help you pull this off. And a growing interest in convertible rooms means designers and architects are coming up with ever-more ingenious arrangements that you can duplicate in your own space.
So where are you going to put your guest bed?
Put aside your notions about hideaway beds — older versions may have been lumpy or awkward, but contemporary models are sleek, mechanized and comfortable, and they can come tucked inside sumptuous cabinetry that you'd never suspect of hiding a bed.
Take Zoom-Room: a retractable (rather than folding) bed that slides easily into a room via remote control. It's housed in a versatile cabinet with modular side shelving that can be used as an entertainment center, a clothes closet or a bookshelf. Prices start at $4,450.
Zoom-Room also offers detailed shop drawings — plus a plan review by a staff designer — if you're handy enough to build your own custom cabinet and have a fully equipped wood shop.
Flying Beds in Denver designs custom systems for hideaway beds; president Ron McKey's motto is "Give me any mattress, and I'll make it disappear!" Flying Beds designed this fold-down unit to function as a mirrored wall in a workout studio. The bed occupies the middle two mirrored panels; each outside panel folds down to reveal two drawers and a closet-type cabinet with a hanging rod.
Ron says the most important consideration when deciding whether and how to install a hideaway bed is how the room looks when the bed is closed — after all, that's the room's primary function, and if it doesn't work for you, you won't be happy with the result. "Decide if function change is the main concept desired, or if you want total deception," he says. Then, design your surround to accomplish that goal.