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What's Your Cabin's Sleep Number?

Best ways for sleeping a crowd
Published: November 1, 2007
Do you have just enough bedrooms – and beds – to comfortably accommodate the immediate family? Or are you prepared to put up a crowd at a moment’s notice?

Here are three of our favorite ideas to increase that sleep number.

One Big Happy

Sometimes it makes sense to set aside one room and fill it with beds: bunk beds, twin beds, double beds, poster beds. Attics or rooms under the eaves work great. A one-room building separate from the cottage can work, too. The cowboys had a name for this: the bunk room.

Our favorite addition to the bunk room? Bunk beds with a fullsize mattress at the bottom and a single bed on top – flexibility so you can even sleep a family of three.

Hide-away Bedding

Now you see it, now you don’t. Murphy beds and trundle beds have long been popular wherever space is tight but sleep is needed. And don’t forget the sleeper sofa. Well, maybe you want to forget about some of them. Our recommendation for a sleeper sofa: Purchase one or two of those fold-up supports to put the mattress on – it helps by cushioning those unpleasant bars (Works for futons too).

Temporary Bedding

By day it’s a den. But come night, push aside the furniture and bring out the bedding. Inflatable mattresses and cots are much more comfortable than they used to be. Our new favorite: The inflatable mattress with the built-in pump – a breeze to use, literally!

Crowd Control

Colorful Sleeping Spaces

Colorful blankets and quilts, of course, provide the finishing touch to any bed. But when not in use, they also look great as décor.

■ Fold and stack on a shelf or in an open cabinet.
■ Hang on a wall or over a railing.
■ Roll up and display in a basket or wicker backpack

Feel Good Smells

Aromatherapy really can set a mood or relax your guests.

■ Invigorating fragrances: Clove, lemon, peppermint, rosemary, spruce.
■ Relaxing fragrances: Chamomile, jasmine, lavender, rose.
■ Stress-relieving fragrances: Nutmeg, orange, vanilla.
From “A Gracious Welcome,” by Amy Nebens, Chronicle Books.

Sharing a bathroom?

■ Give each guest his or her
own container for toiletries or sundries. Some ideas: a galvanized pail, plastic beach bucket, wire basket.
■ Color-code each guest’s towels. Instead of getting fully matched sets, buy single sets in as many colors as you can find.
■ For privacy:Make up an “inuse” sign to hang on the door.
■ House full of guests and only one bathroom? Post a signup board for showering (a whiteboard works fine).

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