Kiera Kushlan figures she has overnight guests at least once a month in the one-bedroom Kalorama co-op she shares with 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.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. Stage a plug-in hot spot: Set up a designated 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.
5. Provide bedding storage: Carve out a place where bedding can be stored during the day so that your sofa can be used while you are entertaining your guests. This could be a chest, closet or storage ottoman.