Monday, 23 November 2009

Temporary bed solutions to beat the Christmas Crush!

Yorkshire Post - Wednesday 18th November 2009

Interiors - Sleeping Solutions

Christmas is a time for seeing friends and family, but sometimes the logistics can be a nightmare.  Interior Designer Jamie Hempsall looks at how to beat the crush.

If your family is anything like mine, then you will now be involved in delicate negotiations over who is going where for Christmas. The coming weekss can often lead to houses bursting at seams with a steady parade of friends, relations and well-wishers.

Critical to the success of any celebration has to be the sleep solutions to ensure that all of your revellers can settle down for a decent nights rest after a day of fun – to awake bright and early to help you with the clearing up (or at least make you a cup of tea when you have finished it!).

If you have more guests than bedrooms it can be a bit of a challenge, but there are plenty of stylish and practical solutions out there to help you provide superb accommodation; without having to move home.

One of the great inventions of the modern age has to be the inflatable mattress, which nowadays seem to have reached new heights of sophistication (quite literally with raised models the same height as a normal bed).

No longer the uncomfortable beach lilos that many of us were used to in childhood, these options now often come with “no roll together” zones and integrated motors so that no one need get a hernia trying to inflate them.

Their key advantage has to be that whilst offering sleeping room equivalent to a full size bed, they often fold up to the size of a small bag when not in use (perfect for storing in cupboards or the loft). Consider solutions from Aerobed (; 00 800 00 20 20 00 – from £59.99) or Scotts of Stow (; 0844 482 5555 – from £69.95).

Chair beds are another great solution, particularly in child or teenage bedrooms where they can successfully lead a double life as an everyday piece of furniture and a quick sleepover solution.

These are both practical and reasonable and are likely to see more use throughout the year as you welcome a few more school friends over. Most seem to favour colours and designs appropriate for a youthful decorating solution, so you may not be as keen to feature them in your living room.

Children’s furniture and accessory company, ASPACE, offer the terrific Dotty Chair Bed (£245; – 0845 872 2400) which is also available in Blue & White Stripes. On a similar vein B&Q sell the Pumpkin Teens 2 Bed Candy Stripe (£75; or visit your local store).

If you have a little more room and a bigger budget then the trusty sofa bed is the ideal solution. The key to choosing a great bed solution is to check the depth of the mattress that you will be offering, some are frankly too thin and you might as well let your guests sleep on the floor.

Additionally, check the width of the sleep area available as frames can often be a lot smaller than a normal bed and not exactly comfortable for two grown adults to share. If you are going to house this in a living room, rather than a bedroom or study, check that they are also comfortable to sit on to ensure you do not end up with a white elephant.

The Multy from Ligne Rosset offers a super chic solution for the modern interior (from £1,928; – 0870 777 7202).

Whatever your chosen solution, send your guests off to bed with a selection of warm hot water bottles and you are guaranteed to create cherished memories of family sleepovers that will last for years to come.

Jamie Hempsall is one of the region’s leading interior designers and a member of BIDA. Visit him at or contact him on 01777 248463.

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