Re: sofa beds in guest rooms?
From: evdavwes (
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2011 04:53:59 -0800 (PST)

I would agree that comfortable beds are very important.  
There are many, including my parents and inlaws, who do not do well with 
typical sofa beds or futons.  My mother at age 86 had a particularly hard time 
getting up from our very low futon bed, having to slip out of the bed, then 
crawl from the bed to a chair to get up onto her feet.  She stayed in a hotel 
after that visit.      
We now have a high-quality conventional queen bed in one guest room.  There is 
a full-size sofa/futon in the second guest room, but I do not think we ever 
have meetings in this room.   I would choose to have a better quality queen 
size bed in the second room as well.

Does your Community want to make things easier for those with disabilities?   
Our Common House was built without wheelchair accessibility, and the guest 
rooms are accessible only by a flight of stairs.  I understand that it the 
Community were being built today, it would be required to be handicapped 
accessible.  Any additions we make now will have to be accessible.  I 
personally think we would have been better off if this had been required of us 
in the first place.

I like the idea of adding a murphy bed to a room that is normally used as 
meeting room, to provide the option of using it as an additional guest room.
Another guest-room issue: The design of our common house requires guests to 
come out in full view of the dining area when they want to use the bathroom.  I 
would recommend having the bathroom for guests be accessible directly from the 
guest rooms.  It may be especially important to older guests to have privacy, 
to make it more like a hotel and less like a hostel.
David, Westwood Cohousing, Asheville, NC


Message: 2
Date: Wed, 9 Mar 2011 11:53:06 -0700
From: "Kay Argyle" <Kay.Argyle [at]>
Subject: Re: [C-L]_ sofa beds in guest rooms?
To: "'Cohousing-L'" <cohousing-l [at]>
Message-ID: <003a01cbde8b$3ac21750$b04645f0$@Argyle [at]>
Content-Type: text/plain;   charset="us-ascii"

The downstairs guest room at Wasatch Commons does double duty as a small
meeting room. Based on our experience, even though a Murphy bed costs maybe
twice what a sofa bed does (or as much as a high-quality one), it's worth

The sofa bed we used to have there wasn't that great as a sofa, and worse as
a bed. My brother would request a sleeping bag on the floor in preference
(mind you, this is not some agile twenty-something, but a portly gentleman
who has strangers stop him on the street to ask if he ever does gigs as
Santa Claus). My elderly mother insisted on making the long drive home
rather than try to sleep on the sofa bed. That meant she had to leave while
there were still a couple hours of daylight so she wouldn't be driving after
dark, which tended to cut her visits short. :(  For a guest making a week's
stay, we spent hours moving furniture to get a borrowed bed into the guest

Admittedly, the sofa bed was a hand-me-down like all our common house
furniture; maybe a new one would be better. Others in the community found it
perfectly adequate. On the other hand, perhaps they never had guests with
bad backs -- but because all we had to offer was the sofa bed, my household
rarely did either. 

We found a used Murphy bed. Installation by a professional cabinetmaker
added a couple of hundred to the cost. It can be gotten down or put away by
a single not-very-strong person. When closed it simply looks like an oak
cabinet, maybe 18" deep. 

Wasatch Commons
Salt Lake City

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