Latest posts by Tracy Kaler (see all)
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When we bought our one-bedroom co-op, a room for a guest was high on our list, but many New Yorkers live in such compact spaces that their living room is the only option for hosting a visitor. Don’t fret if this scenario applies to you. There are a few viable alternatives to sleeping on the floor or putting your BFF in a hotel.
If you plan well when you decorate your apartment, you should be able to make a guest or two quite comfortable, even in the closest quarters. What’s more, with the addition of a few ancillary items, you’ll be ready to host a guest in no time.
Invest in the appropriate piece of furniture to accommodate an overnight guest, such as a futon, convertible sofa, or daybed. A futon is a fairly practical piece of furniture since it can act as or replace a living room sofa, and can almost instantly transform into a bed.
When shopping for a convertible sofa –– also referred to as a sleeper sofa –– you’ll notice that the upscale models tend to have a plusher feel, both to sit on and to sleep on. If spending several thousand dollars isn’t in your budget, a potential alternative is a daybed.
Ultra practical, a daybed can act as a sofa and be a bed too. Placed against a wall with pillows lining the back, you can use a daybed as your sofa by day, and then swap out the decorative pillows for bed pillows by night.
Be sure to have high-quality sheets for whichever piece of furniture will serve as a guest bed. Having a storage trunk or chest to store the pillows and linens is also a great idea if space permits. Although NYC apartments rarely get cold, have an extra blanket or hand as well.
Create a place for your guest’s belongings. Whether you can free a corner in your living room for a luggage rack, or have a freestanding piece of furniture with drawer space, your guest will appreciate having a place to unpack and get organized. And you’ll avoid the clutter in your living space.
Be thoughtful and clear a few inches in your closet for your friend’s hanging garments, as well as bulkier items such as boots and winter coats.
Invest in a comfy bathrobe just for guests. A terry cloth robe will make your friend or family member feel at home and they won’t be prancing around your apartment in a towel. Keep the robe on a hook in the bathroom along with soft, fluffy towels.
Spruce up with flowers or plants. Fresh flowers add color and will brighten your apartment. Just be sure your guest doesn’t have allergies. If you have enough light, a houseplant or two can bring life into a space that might otherwise look drab and boring.
New Yorkers aren’t known for keeping stocked fridges, but if you’re hosting a guest (or two) have a variety of beverages including coffee, and some basics such as eggs, milk, and fresh fruit for snacking. Point your guest to the nearest bagel shop, as almost everyone who visits New York City wants a fresh bagel with cream cheese in the morning.
Most importantly, to make guests feel comfortable in a tight space, ask if there’s anything in particular they need. Not only will friends and family appreciate your kindness, but extra thoughtfulness will personalize their stay.