Making Your House Work: The Room to Somewhere


I’m your basic suburban mom.

When my husband and I got married right out of graduate school, we dreamed of a house in the suburbs with an open kitchen, living room for the piano, four bedrooms, and a bonus room for the kids to hang out with friends when they are teenagers…what can I say, we are long-term planners. Our imaginary family with two kids (and no dog) needed four bedrooms – one for us, one for each of them, and a guest room.

So that’s what we did. We bought a four-bedroom house in the middle of the suburbs at 23; when we moved in one of the neighbors asked if our parents were home.

In the last ten years, we have filled the bedrooms with our no-longer-imaginary kids.

Except there is a problem with the fourth bedroom.

Well a few: it’s tiny and it’s a pass-through to the attic playroom (remember that bonus space we wanted…well it came at the cost of a bedroom).

Instead of a bridge to nowhere, we have a bedroom to somewhere. A pass-through bedroom? Preposterous!

When the kids were little it wasn’t much of an issue. We just didn’t have a guest room. All of our family lived in town and no one wants to be a house guest with kids screaming through the night on either side them.

I turned the fourth bedroom into my crafting room which was great connecting to the playroom to listen in on any sibling arguments love that needed my attention.

But eventually I outgrew the space, the kids developed the ability to play independently for long stretches of time and didn’t need me right at the bottom of the steps, and family moved out of town.

We wanted a guest room.

However, only a single bed fits in the room with any real space to maneuver around since we walk through this room 1,000 times a day going to the playroom. And a single bed isn’t a very useful guestroom.

The solution is a Murphy bed.

Carefully constructed to fit this specific room, the bed lays parallel to the wall instead of perpendicular. Enclosed storage above the bed adds even more functionality. There is even enough room leftover for an elliptical – that we actually do use.

Finding our solution required thinking outside of the box beyond a traditional guest room. While living in a “tiny house” is exceedingly unpractical for my life, some of the space-saving ideas they utilize, like Murphy Beds and multi-functional areas, redefine spaces in our traditional home.

We don’t often have guests, but at least we have the option now. And the room to somewhere has become its own destination.