Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Reverse Sofabed: The Bed-Sofa

Living in a studio and having a bed in your living room is kinda awkward. When you have guests over, you’re essentially inviting them into your bedroom. That can get weird when you don’t want to have sex with them, and extra-weird when you do.

To try and mitigate this cringe-worthy situation, you need to make your bed feel less like a bed. While it'd be pretty cool to make your bed feel more like a bathtub or refrigerator, the most reasonable solution is to make the bed more like a second couch.

One trick is to keep your bed as neat as possible. Be sure it’s made before anyone comes over. Tucked-in sheets and propped-up pillows make it look smoother and more couch-like. Rumpled sheets only make people think about things you do to get them rumpled, so practice those hospital corners.

From Design*Sponge

Daybeds are great for studios, as well as other rooms that you'd like to have double as a bedroom. If you're so lucky as to have two-bedroom and want to have an office but also a guest room, going for a daybed makes it easier to dress the room as an office and back to a guest room when needed.

From Habitually Chic and Apartment Therapy

From Small Furnish and Design*Sponge

From Design*Sponge

You can still achieve a daybed look without actually purchasing one. Ditch your bed's headboard and foot if you can, or opt for ones that are of equal height. Add large bolster pillows to the wall-side of the bed, and pile on the throw pillows to create the illusion of a sofa back. (The example pics below look great, but I imagine it'd take you at least fifteen minutes to get all those pillows off the bed if you actually want to get INTO it.)

Use simple linens, opting for something more geometric as opposed to floral. Think about if you'd purchase a couch with the same pattern as your linens. We're going for a stylish pseudo-couch here, not something your Aunt Gertie would have under a plastic slipcover. Apartment Therapy writer Sarah Coffey discovered that using striped sheets visually gives your mattress a more cushion-like edge.

From Apartment Therapy and Domino

I also like these bedskirts that are designed for daybeds (aka daybed covers). They're super-tall, and hide the bed behind their folds. Your bed now just looks like a really, really tall couch. Just tell people you're expecting LeBron James later and you want him to be comfortable. (I'm so proud of myself! A sports reference!) The skirts come in handy when hiding underbed storage bins, too.

Now all you need to do to complete the pseudo-sofa look is to scatter some loose change amongst your pillows and lose your remote somewhere under your mattress. But don't forget the true identity of your bed-sofa. Remember: if someone asks if they can "crash on your couch," you gotta make sure they're cute first.


  1. They all feel too stuffy for me. Maybe it's just because they're made and there aren't toys thrown everywhere, but I want a bed to look like it's ok to mess it up.

  2. These are great! I hope someday soon I will get to have a 2nd bedroom that I can use as an office, and when that day comes, I will surely consult you as the daybed expert! Gracias! Oh, and next time, you could at least pick a Laker player! But I applaud the sporty effort.

  3. Now Queerie, this post's about beds that are dressed up to look like sofas; they're role-playing if you will. Don't worry, one day there'll be a post about the most sturdy beds that have the best headboards for attaching handcuffs.

    Megan: Thanks! LeBron James is not a Lakie? Eh. He's still tall, right?

  4. I love the amazing reverse sofabed that Jonathan Adler custom-made for Nanette Lepore's home:

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  6. thank you for making me laugh today

  7. this is what I have intended to do for 3 months, since I knew I would move to a smaller space. I would get twin bed, mattress and base and set it on the floor, white sheet on base, and on mattress, then cover it with linen or whatever I coud find that is beautiful. Then make pillows and bolsters. Also make colorful pillows to lean against larger white pillows. I can sew; much cheaper. ha. sincerely, mary. I will take pictures when I am done and show you.

  8. Hey thanks for all the ideas. I am currently living in a VERY Tiny-ass Apartment with my two kids and I was just given a daybed to use as a couch... All these thoughts will come in handy as I start to make my house a home.

    I am gonna spend some time browsing the rest of your site!



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