Friday, October 20, 2017

Friday -- Another Sleepover Guest, Another Test for the New Urban Lifestyle

 Okay, these photos really have nothing to do with the text of this post -- except that they testify to the compensations an urban lifestyle offers against the reduction of space it cost us. . . . This stunning mural adorns a concrete wall not too many blocks from me. It's not signed, and my Google-sleuthing didn't lead me to the name of its artist, but I posted an image on IG, asked for information, and a blogging friend I've never met, someone who now lives in London, told me that it's by Nomi Chi, whom you could follow on Instagram to see more astonishing art. . . 
And now, onto the text proper . . . 
At our previous home on the island, we had the great luxury of a separate guest cottage (you can catch glimpses of it, if you click on that link), two teeny bedrooms, a bathroom with a shower -- originally an outbuilding on the property, we'd finished the 300 square feet so that we could keep the main house to 1700 square feet, knowing our four kids were already beginning to move away but would be coming back someday with partners and, eventually their own kids. That happened, and the teeny two bedrooms were very well used, by our kids and our friends and the occasional author billeted for this or that writing event. Our neighbours used it once or twice when they had a superfluity of visitors. "The cabbage," our granddaughter called it, her charming combination of "cottage" and "cabin." I do miss that space. . . .(although I truly don't miss cleaning it for guests, checking for spiders under the beds,  scrubbing out an extra shower, cleaning an extra toilet -- not to mention making up beds in an awkwardly tight space. . . . washing and putting away all those sheets and towels. . . . Ah, the good old days!)

Once upon a time, when we contemplated moving to the city, Pater promised that we'd find a great apartment in which we could set up a dedicated guest bedroom so that all the wonderful friends I'd be leaving behind could come and visit. And then the realities of the Vancouver condo market made themselves shockingly clear. Instead, we managed a Library/TV/Guest Room which we outfitted with the best leather-covered sofabed (our) money could buy. We managed to tuck an Ikea dresser into the full-sized closet in that room, and we store all the pillows and bedlinens in it -- when the bed's made up, the drawers are empty so that a guest could unpack should she choose, or there's room on top of the dresser to open out a (small) suitcase. 

The room's a very tight squeeze once the bed's opened, but there's a good reading light on either side, and a good surface for a book, glass of water, eyeglasses.  So far I've had two good friends for overnight visitors (and one was a repeat, a good sign, right?), and I'm excited to bring another back with me later this afternoon. We've also accommodated my son's family (he and his wife in the sofabed and their little girl on a narrow foam mattress (one of those fold-up ones that stores nicely but could also serve as floor cushion seating) on the floor just below them, squeezed between their bed and the wall, but apparently quite comfortable. The two oldest g'daughters have had sleepovers here, sharing the sofabed, and we've also managed with a brother-and-sister team, little guy in the Bjorn folding bed/crib, big sister in that narrow foam mattress. 

Everyone who's slept on the sofabed assures us that it's very comfortable (the mattress is dense foam, with a clever design that folds across the width rather than the length). Guests have their own bathroom right next door and a fountain singing water lullabies through the night just outside the window.  So far, it all seems to be working out fairly well. Of course, it would be lovely to have extra space, but we're managing nicely as is. I thought those of you who contemplate a downsizing in your future might like to know. 
Okay, that's the first in a few intended posts updating you on how I'm feeling about the downsizing move to the city, now that we've been here a year.  I'm off to meet my friend, launching a busy weekend of visiting and opera-going and celebratory lunches. What are you up to this weekend? And how do you manage when friends want to kip for the night? Do you make them a pallet on your floor? Unroll a futon? Unfold a foam mattress? Pump up an airbed? Or are you able to offer them a room of their own? Do you really need your privacy, so refer them to a favourite hotel or B&B? Do you wish for more space or are you content to have less to clean?  I'm curious. . . . let's chat!

20 comments:

  1. I've presently got two spare bedrooms which can serve as guest accommodation. But these days we have fewer overnight visitors - when the children were smaller, we were always putting people up. Once managed to get 11 of us in this house, Lord knows how or where they went. We used to have trusty sofabeds and make up kids' beds on the floors. I don't miss the scrabbling for bathroom time or hoping I had enough bedding but still love it when visitors come. Feels luxurious now. This weekend is a belated 60th birthday outing which is a secret for the two of us who are celebrating it. I have to be ready at 9am on Sunday morning and have some money in my pocket for lunch. If you never hear from me again...keep blogging, Mater.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like a fun birthday weekend -- happy 60th!
      Isn't it amazing how many you can stuff into beds and couches and corners, if you're happy to host? Like you, I still find it luxurious but I'm glad enough to be doing it on a much smaller scale now. . .

      Delete
  2. We've lived here for thirty-two years. What were once our two sons' separate bedrooms are now a guest room and a craft/guest room. We are right now having our four grandchildren, all under seven years of age, here for the weekend. Here is our ace in the hole...a pop up tent trailer parked in our driveway. It has a queen, full, and twin bed in it. One of our best memory-makers! Years ago, I went out there on a Saturday morning to find six teen boys sleeping in there! Our son left his buddies and was comfortably sleeping in his own bedroom. Now we're creating more memories with the next generation...our grandkids!
    We are thankful to be able to offer rooms for sleepovers to family and friends. Fun times and memories!
    Have a fun weekend with your visiting friend...
    Charlene H.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a grand weekend, all the cousins hanging out together, wearing out their grandma and grandpa!
      And that tent trailer sounds brilliant!

      Delete
  3. After three years in this little old cottage we are still struggling with the guest room question. We have a sweet room in the basement with twin beds, perfect for the'big boys who are 8 and 10. There is also a hideabed in the playroom. There is, however, no bathroom down there. The main floor guestroom is about to undergo a rebirth as a den/guestroom. We just can't see leaving all that real estate empty and ready for guests 365 days a year! We are looking for a comfortable convertible. Could you tell me what make you bought? Our challenge is that we rarely have overnight guests.....they all come from away and stay a week or more!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's exactly how I felt about our potential guestroom -- with limited square footage it's important that it primarily serve us well day to day, but we seem to have found something that's working for the occasional guests as well.
      And yes, that's a difference, having guests who stay for a week or more. That would be more challenging at our place . . .
      The sofabed is an American Sleeper by Industrial Revolution. We had ours covered in leather (they have a range of grades; ours is weathering wear very well).

      Delete
    2. I just looked at the site -- it's a Reese Comfort Sleeper that we chose. . .

      Delete
  4. Although we have two spare bedrooms there is only one laid out as a bedroom . It has a single bed with another that slides out from underneath & I'm told it is comfy enough . We don't often have people to stay , perhaps because most of our friends & family live within a twenty mile radius & the little nephews & nieces who used to stay are grown up now . Anyway we live on a busy road into the city & traffic can be annoying when you're not used to it . No tinkling fountains here . We don't notice traffic noise now , which is handy when we visit noisy places but I can see why any visitors would probably prefer to use the well soundproofed hotel chain nearby .
    That's an amazing mural . Do you ever see the artists at work & how long do you think it would take to complete ? Days/weeks/ months ? Perhaps they just appear overnight
    Wendy in York

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's hard for me to imagine your place as having traffic noise, given how tranquil your large garden looks!
      During the mural festival (in August), it's so cool to watch the artists work -- such a physical and ambitious process! Most works take days, but of course they've been very carefully planned for weeks, perhaps months, before that. The logistics are considerable, and some use a lift that they have to acquire the proper driver/operator's license to use. Many/most of these artists have a Fine Arts degree or some post-secondary art-school training, and many of them are travelling internationally, on commission. Currently, I've been following the work of the Swiss duo, NeverCrew, on Instagram, and it's fascinating to see the scope of their work, their career.

      Delete
    2. Really interesting Frances , thankyou
      Wendy

      Delete
  5. I am still living in my 4 bedroom house on 7 acres of land. I am still loving the gardens, ornamental tree collections and lawns. Various relatives from the UK regularly visit and stay for a month. I enjoy having them and they have a loft living space, bedroom, and a dedicated large bathroom. When I think about a change, I believe I would rent this house out and buy a second home to test it out. Something ocean front might be the answer when and if I make a move.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You -- and your guests -- are very fortunate! Your grounds (and your home) sound just marvellous.

      Delete
  6. Your sleeping arrangements sound great, perfect in fact. Always good to have space to put people up. It reminds me of when all the boys lived at home and guests came to stay. Always tricky as there was no spare bedrooms . Oldest son was often sent to sleep on a camp bed in the summer house...tiny.. with the spiders. It always got him up early as the sun soon made it far too hot to sleep in the morning :) we usually ended up on a mattress on the floor somewhere. Fun. Much better now we have two bedrooms spare. B x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can picture that exactly, accommodating guests with that kind of creativity. When we moved from our 2400 square-foot place to the cabin that we then renovated into a 1700sf house, we had to be similarly creative and flexible, and we made good use of blow-up air mattresses and foam roll-ups, etc. Luckily, most of that happened before our old bones began to creak to much! Lucky you with two bedrooms spare although I might speculate that your quilting and other projects sometimes colonizes those rooms. . . . ;-)

      Delete
  7. gotta weigh in--I LOVE your guest room (but that's also because I love visiting with you both)--it's ultimate luxury

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We loved having you here -- when can we book you in next? ;-)

      Delete
  8. Nomi Chi's work is beautiful!
    Your guest/living room seems perfect and comfy enough.
    As you know,I have a lot of space but have made a major mistake buying Natuzzi two- and three-seaters,without possibility to expand beds. I've learned a lesson,so when/if I'm going to move from the house to the condo,there'll be a sofabed :-) in a living room (and a bed in a study,too)
    My son's apartment above mine, had a sofabed,but boys have damaged it almost at once,so guests are sleeping on an airbed.
    The pop up tent trailer seems like the great idea and your "cabbage" was perfect
    Dottoressa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't it gorgeous, that mural and everything I see on the website. Expands what we think of as street art and/or tattoos, for sure.
      You will need to have extra space for your son when he comes to visit, if you ever move from your house. I hope you don't have to do that for some time -- such a good arrangement you have there!

      Delete
  9. We are still The Big Country House with three guest rooms, including the bedroom downstairs in my mother's apartment (she lived with us 8 of the last 12 years of her life). We also have couches throughout the house and an airbed or two tucked into a closet. And extra quilts and extra pillows on closet shelves and in old hope chests. So we can put up our guests, your guests, and other readers' guests -- at the same time.

    Our time to downsize hasn't come yet, but it will sometime in the coming few years. We have already made lists of what to take and what to scrap. And we've made serious progress in getting rid of a lifetime's worth of books, old work files, tax papers, mementos, clothing, etc. That's a serious job -- getting rid of "stuff."

    Love "cabbage," by the way. And gorgeous mural!

    Ann in Missouri

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love it! TBCH must be rather magnificent -- shall we all come down for a weekend? ;-)
      Clever of you to be thinking ahead, making those lists, starting to sort and cull and figure out what could go where.
      We loved "cabbage" as well, and we were all a bit sad when it disappeared when she figured out the "correct" usage. . .

      Delete

I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...