Kiera Kushlan figures she has overnight guests at least once a month in the one-bedroom Washington co-op she shares with her husband, Michael.
Guests stay on the sofa, says Kushlan, co-owner of the design firm Residents Understood.
The Kushlans decided to buy a long sofa, the Hutton Sofa from Room & Board, which is 98 inches long and 40 inches deep, instead of a sofa bed. They store guest bedding in a vintage dresser next to the sofa.
We asked Kushlan for some advice for small-space dwellers on how to make guests feel comfortable and welcome, even when they’re bunking on the sofa or sofa bed.
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▪ Replace end tables with dressers: Being able to unpack is key to feeling at home. To avoid mysterious piles of clothing in your living area, use a small dresser in place of a traditional end table to give guests space for their things.
▪ Clear out closet space: Luggage can take up valuable real estate in tight quarters, so making room for your guest’s luggage in your closet helps both you and them feel better about sharing a small space.
▪ Create a thoughtfully arranged amenity area: Whether it’s your coffee table or end table, make sure your guests have useful items such as a small fan, an alarm clock and a table lamp within arm’s reach.
▪ Stage a plug-in hot spot: Set up a charging area for phones, laptops and tablets. That way, guests can recharge at the end of a long day without having to hunt for outlets. Leave a note with your WiFi password.
▪ Provide bedding storage: Carve out a place where bedding can be stored during the day so that the sofa can be used. The storage could be a chest, closet or storage ottoman.