Randolph County Herald Tribune - Chester, IL
  • How to deal with lots of guests

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  • Washingtonians started getting inundated with texts months ago as family, friends and friends of friends began inquiring about places to crash the weekend of Jan. 20.
    Whether headed this way for inaugural activities or the Women's March, many are planning to descend on local guest rooms, sofas and floors - preferably carpeted - next week.
    Because many close-in apartments, townhouses and condos can be tight on space, it's going to take some creative thinking, and maybe a trip to Costco for paper products, to get through the weekend.
    We polled several Washington area designers for creative ideas on how to deal with larger numbers of guests, whether providing reasonably comfortable sleeping accommodations or making sure you have a clean towel for everyone. There are plenty of things you can do to help out-of-towners feel welcome, even if they're not getting their own luxuriously appointed bedroom with 500-thread-count sheets and a private bathroom.
    Upgrade your inflatable bed: It's been a couple of decades since inflatable beds became the standard for kids' sleepovers and in-law visits. (You sleep on it while your in-laws sleep in your king-size bed.) The one that Silver Spring, Maryland designer Iantha Carley thinks is best of class is the Frontgate EZ Inflatable Guest Bed. She bought it in queen size. It inflates and deflates with a push of a button. "I was looking for something relatively inexpensive and easy to store; it deflates into a storage case," she says.
    Replace your sofa: Carley recalls that when her kids started bringing college friends home to visit, she realized that her house needed a comfier couch-surfing zone. She and her husband bought a tailored model from Lee Industries, and she says that if you remove the back cushions, it's a pretty good single bed.
    Uphold basic standards: Everyone should have their own towel, says Alexandria, Virginia designer Maria Crosby Pollard. And include a bar of soap and a washcloth as well. She suggests giving each guest a Frost Flex Plastic Cup with their name written on it with a Sharpie for whatever beverages they consume while bunking in.
    Create your own bedrolls: A place to sleep doesn't have to involve sheets and towels. For one client, Pollard sewed two comforters together face-to-face to create extra bedding. The Company Store St. Tropez Down-Free Comforter is a good choice, she says, because it comes in lots of colors. They can be laundered in a large washer and dryer.
    Create a (realistic) sense of adventure: Washington designer Mary Drysdale says people coming together for a shared experience can be a blast and like one big, long slumber party. The key is to manage expectations by telling everyone in advance that they will be sharing bathrooms and maybe living rooms, Drysdale says. Then put out some little flower bouquets in jars, stock up on snacks and breakfast foods, and count your spare keys.
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    Author Information:

    The home and design coverage of Jura Koncius has taken her inside hundreds of homes, from tiny studios in Penn Quarter to country castles in Warrenton. Jura also hosts the Home Front live chat, Thursdays at 11 a.m. ET. @jurakoncius

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