As the holidays are wrapping up many of us are wondering how our friends and family liked our tiny house. They commented on the incredible craftsmanship. They enjoyed the morning light coming through the sky tube. My mother even said the stove was a good size for one of those “foreign looking jobs.” But oddly enough the room grew really heavy when it came time for bed. I can’t figure out why. I gave my parents my sleeping loft and from what I understand my momma only hit her head twice and my dad learned by night two to wear socks so his feet wouldn’t freeze hanging off the end. My sister looked quite comfortable on my “couch” (you know, the one I have talked about before that I am so proud of…remember? It’s a couple of navajo blankets corded up around some egg crate to make cushions?) Her husband said he didn’t mind the floor. I did, after all, let him use my Therm-A-Rest! If anything, it should be me who was reticent. I slept in the bathtub trough with a few throw pillows. Buy hey, solid exchange for the joy of living tiny, right?
WRONG! There simply is no need for you and your family to be uncomfortable just because you live in a tiny house. Below are a few ways you can find and offer comfort to your overnight (and longer) guests!
Invest in a high quality futon. While making your own couch can be quite comfortable if you know what you are doing it is probably not the best idea for most. Futons have come such a long way since your first apartment in college. In fact, they actually make 10″ thick futon mattresses now that have memory foam and heater coils in them. Put a good set of sheets on them at night and you have a bed worthy of even your in-laws!
Blow IT up, not them. That’s right. Invest in a good air mattress, put some air in it, and voila! Instant guest quarters. I have been so impressed the past few years at what companies like LL Bean and Serta have done with air mattresses. In fact, LL Bean sells an Aerobed Adventure Air Mattress, Extra-High Queen for less than $150 and with its heavy-duty, puncture-resistant vinyl and oval coil interior, it is as comfortable as most beds even!
Stow the luggage. Nothing is worse than having to sleep cuddled up with your carry-on suitcase or your Kelty backpack. And in a tiny house nothing says cramped quarters quite like a suitcase on the kitchen countertop or shirts hanging from the loft ladder. So to make your guests more comfortable define a place for luggage. In our tiny house we had a “storage closet” built on the tongue of our trailer and when people visited it offered a perfect place for bags and extra luggage.
Develop a schedule. When the living room is also the den, the dining room, and the sitting room, as well as a bedroom in this case, it is important to respect the privacy and schedule of your guests. This may mean you have to call it a night a bit earlier than you like or that you have to ask other guests to carry conversation outside but it will provide the quiet, quaint atmosphere all guests deserve.
Let go of your habits. Every morning you start the coffee pot at 6:30am. You have a cup and then do yoga at 7am. You are in the shower by 7:45am and then at the stove making breakfast by 8am. LET IT GO! That sort of schedule can be compromised but the attitude you’re guests will have when woken by the brewing of a pot of Folgers will not. Learn to bend a little and rearrange your schedule some so it is more accommodating to your house guests.
Is this list complete? Have you had guests recently? How did you handle the company in your space?