Your weekend guests will feel right at home

A few weeks ago, I rang out the virtues of the space-saving wall bed. But what if some of your family is descending on the city — and you — for Easter, which I’m sure you’ve not forgotten is this weekend?

Before you panic over visions of couch-surfers dancing in your head, there is another way to put up (with) your people, thanks to the vastly improved BYObed.

Far from the glorified air mattress of yore — I remember my brother almost passing out trying to blow up a queen (that sounds a bit nasty) on a camping trip — the deluxe inflatable bed includes a built-in inflater/deflater and the whole thing slips into a casing fixed into a lightweight frame.


Rollers on the storage bag reduce the hazard of lower-back injury, making the whole set-up simple. Just wheel it into the room, extend the frame, unzip the casing, lay the mattress on top, plug the cord into the nearest outlet to inflate, then zip the mattress in to create one stable, snug unit for an outlay for up to $350.

You may be so impressed with the result, you’ll want to go a little further in making the folks feel at home.

This is where the room divider — one of my favourite pieces of multi-functional furnishings — can be pressed into service. It can be moved around to change the dimensions of an open-plan living space, create privacy, fill in a dark corner or stand in for art — or, in this case, a headboard.

A sturdy bi-fold or roll-up divider can also serve as a base for one or two clamp lamps, but make sure the divider is tacked to the wall with something suitable like hooks and picture-hanging wire before you set the bed against it, or risk braining your sleeping guests.

You can also create the effect of a headboard by tacking up a large textile like a quilt, or hanging a drapery panel or matchstick blind on a rod installed high above the bed. A pair of inexpensive fold-down wood side tables can serve as night stands now, patio furnishings later.

Whatever the plan, make sure to include some sort of reading lighting and a surface for reading materials, so everyone can enjoy a little down time.

For extra points, include two pillows and a small stack of clean towels per sleeper, a water pitcher and glasses, and some magazines they’d likely enjoy.

Carlyn Yandle is a Vancouver journalist with her own room-planning business, Home Reworks (

). She dwells on urban-home issues every Thursday in Metro.

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