We are moving to a much bigger house soon and I’m struggling with figuring out where to put the guest room and playroom. We’ll have a large finished basement with a full bath down there, and a large finished attic. Part of me would prefer the guest room in the attic and playroom in the basement because throwing all the kids downstairs would mean they don’t need to traipse through the upstairs to get there. But then guests would share our kids bathroom on the 2nd floor. Which I think is fine but seems weird we have another full bath we probably won’t really use. Anyone with a similar setup, what do you have in each space?
pomelo / 5563 posts
Is there an actual bedroom in the basement, or would the full basement be the guest room? I ask because I think the basement could be both if there’s an enclosed bedroom. I think it would be preferable to have a bathroom just for guests, but I also think having the kids in the basement might contain the noise a little.
nectarine / 2240 posts
@erinbaderin: the basement is just a giant open space. It would be big enough to be both but since it’s all just open is kind of weird. Maybe I’ll look into adding a wall to make an actual bedroom. I hesitate to put a bed down there with it all open because I can’t imagine someday having teens hanging out with a bed haha.
nectarine / 2010 posts
Will your guests typically be older or younger? I ask because many of our guests are our parents age and they would want to do the least amount of stairs possible. So if going to the basement is only one flight of stairs but going to the attic is two, I would put the guest room in the basement.
In general I would prefer the kid space be in the basement for noise reasons. But I do think, when you have an extra bathroom, it is nice for guests to have their own. Especially since there isn't a bathroom at the attic level, it could be disruptive in the middle of the night or early morning to have people moving up and down from the attic.
But also, think realistically about how often you will have guests. Your immediate family lives in the house every day and should use the house in the way that best works for you.
And on that note, I would remind yourself that whatever you choose doesn't have to be permanent. If you set it up and it isn't working, you can flip the spaces. And your preferences might change as your kids ages change.
persimmon / 1365 posts
I would be inclined to put the guest room where the bathroom is, but I also like basements as play spaces. How often will you have overnight guests? You could get a murphy bed for the basement and it could still be the play area AND a guest space when needed.
persimmon / 1409 posts
@HappyBaker: FWIW, I had a friend growing up with a similar set up—bed in finished basement hang out space, and we always joked that it was “the sex bed” in high school, but to my knowledge very little happened in that bed and the girl whose house is was was a virgin until college. You could also always get a pull out for the playroom if the aesthetics of it are what’s hanging you up.
pomegranate / 3230 posts
Assuming that you have house guests infrequently… Pullout or Murphy bed in the basement. Proper guest room in the attic. Maximized options while still keeping the kids in the basement most of the time.
nectarine / 2240 posts
@catgirl: good point about the stairs and it not having to be permanent! The only older person who stays with us is still pretty spry but that definitely might be a consideration in the future.
@LadyDi: Murphy bed is a good idea, we have a pull out couch now but the mattress isn’t very comfortable and I’d love a real mattress for my mother in law. We have her stay with us for a week or so every two months-ish.
@karenbme: lol at the sex bed but it makes me feel better your friend stayed a virgin
@ElbieKay: that’s a great idea!
Thank you all! I love hearing other people’s opinions on house stuff because everyone has a different frame of reference!
kiwi / 556 posts
It sounds like your mother in law is a pretty frequent guest. I think I'd put the guest room in the basement so it's with the bathroom in that case. Maybe move it to the attic later? That's a tough one.
If it's in the basement, you could add a giant bookcase or fabric wall to sperate out the space?
grapefruit / 4466 posts
Our setup is an attic guest bedroom; guests share the kids bathroom that's down a flight of stairs. Our guest room is super cute and it's a nice quiet, private space, but to be honest, people hate it. Going down a flight of stairs to use the bathroom at night is a pain, especially for older guests but to an extent for everyone. Also, in the summer, heat rises, and to get the temperature comfortable for people up there, we effectively freeze our kids out of their rooms, as it is the same hvac zone. Our basement is unfinished, so I don't have the alternative.
apricot / 364 posts
We've had both set ups and the basement was better primarily because of the separate bathroom. We now have an attic guest space with the tiniest bathroom ever up there. The stairs are steeper so grandparents won't be able to do it forever, but I wanted a bathroom on same level as where we'd have guests sleep. One other thing is it's also my office....I fully believe in making the house for the 90% of the time when it's just your family and figuring out how to flex spaces when you have guests.
Ikea has some great pull out couch/beds and if you have space to store a rolled up 3 inch foam topper, it feels like a normal bed.
nectarine / 2240 posts
@periwinklebee: good to know your attic guest room isn’t super well received! Ours has its own heat zone so luckily that wouldn’t be an issue but yea the stairs at night would be annoying.
@hilary: great points, I think we’ll need to live there a few months at least to figure how we want it to flex for us.
I think what I’d rather do is just give one of my kids the attic and make the guest room a regular 2nd floor bedroom, but I’m pretty sure they’d then all mutiny because the attic is a huge cool space!