I live in a two-bedroom house. This is pretty much the smallest house that’s readily available, but I always considered the second bedroom a kind of burden to a single (as in number) person. I only NEED one bedroom, because I only need one bed. Why the extra room? What is one person supposed to do with it? And, is it really as big of a deal as I am making it out to be?
The pragmatic reason here is that most people who buy homes have or are planning to have a family, or at the very least would like to have an office or guest room. I don’t have (or plan to have) children, and the minimalist in me would be happy with a couch that doubles as a hide-a-bed to use when guests come over. I don’t entertain that often, and when I do it usually involves friends from college who would be happy sleeping on a couch anyway.
Single-bedroom houses don’t seem to be very common in the US (if anywhere). I guess the solution most people come up with is to buy a condo, but that’s out-of-the-question for me because I’m not living somewhere where I’m beholden to an HOA. Been there, done that. I also like having a garage for my projects, and, from my time living in a high-rise, I don’t like taking an elevator anytime I want to go outside.
All of that aside, though, I tend to regard the bedroom as a colossal waste in ANY modern living space. For a room that is only used for sleeping (well, maybe not JUST for sleeping), having an entire room devoted to something that you do in about 60 cubic feet of space seems needless. This is compounded by the fact that the master bedroom in a typical house is often one of the largest rooms there is. I’m not sure how this practice came about or why we continue to devote so much space to literally nothing.
But I’m always on the lookout for a solution to problems (largely imagined, I suppose), and since I don’t currently have the means of building a half-bedroom one-bathroom house, I think I stumbled upon a way to use my house that gets me the maximum amount of use out of the space.
First of all, my bedroom is in the smaller room. Like I said before, it’s crazy that the bedroom is expected to be the largest room in the house while getting (possibly) the least amount of use ( again, I’m considering sleeping ONLY…).
This works out in my house particularly well because the room in which my bed resides is in the back corner of the house, away from the road noise (and, to some extent, the noise from the international airport that’s just to the south of me).
Secondly, I keep nothing in this room besides the furniture. This includes clothes! That way, if anyone in the bed wakes up and wants to get dressed, use a computer, start soldering some wires, turn the lights on, get a towel to take a shower, etc, they can do so without waking any other sleeping person(s) in the bed with undue noise, light, or solder fumes.
Everything that would be in a bedroom closet is in the closet in the other “bedroom”. I’ve outfitted this room with a desk and futon (so it could potentially double as a true “spare” bedroom if needed; I’m not a savage or anything). This way it’s possible for me to work in the extra room while guests sleep comfortably in the actual bedroom.
As a bonus, the desk is situatied in front of the window so anyone sitting down to, say, write this blog post, has a beautiful view of the beautiful Florida cityscape in which I live.
So, if you too struggle with waking up your significant other, or your guests, or just want a good way to utelize that second bedroom, maybe consider something along these lines. I don’t know if you’ll realize the same results that I have, but it might be worth a shot!
Photo: My actual bedroom. Does it look like it belongs in Florida?