Plan your second home for guest flexibility
One of the challenges with a second home is figuring out how to use it for your own enjoyment, but still allow friends and family to use your place without their stay being too disruptive. If you are all there together, how do you maintain any privacy? If you plan on guests visiting when you are not there, do you pack up your stuff each time you leave? Neither scenario sounds good, and certainly diminishes your enjoyment.
So – if you do plan on sharing your retreat with others, be it grown children and their families, the in-laws, friends of friends or perhaps you even rent out your home, how do you maintain privacy and keep your personal stuff available to you the next time you visit? There are many ways to help you do this. Knowing what you want to do in advance of construction helps, then you can work with your architect to plan accordingly. But there are still other ways to separate personal space from community space in a finished home.
Create private space in your custom home
When building your home, consider the following ways to separate your private space:
- Master suite ‘lock off’ area with private deck
- Owner’s pantry
- Garage storage for owners
Design a master bedroom suite for ultimate privacy
The Master Suite ‘lock off’ is a good option to choose. It typically includes a master bedroom connected to a walk-in closet and master bath. This entire area can be locked off, so your personal retreat is left private and awaiting your return. There are many advantages to this.
First, your closet can be left the way you want it set up, with all your clothes ready for when you arrive. Why lug all your stuff back and forth every time you visit? Having everything already available means more time on the ski slopes or an earlier tee time. More time to do the things you want to do, rather than unpack and organize. Second, your master bath stays ready for use the instant you walk in. Toiletries remain in place, unused, since your last visit. With no reason to pack anything, you can travel lighter, which saves time and hassle. And finally, sleep easy knowing nobody else has used your bed! If you have had a long day, and reach your final destination late and tired, you don’t have to worry about putting fresh sheets on the bed. Plainly put, your bedroom is your ultimate retreat, not a hotel room.
The master suite is also a great option for when you are home with guests in tow. A little additional insulation in the walls allows you to escape the noise and disruption that extra people naturally bring. Having a private deck off the master suite also provides an additional break from all the action inside! This, of course, requires extra planning when building the house. While remodeling after the fact is an option, it is much easier to plan for this feature during construction.
Other areas of the home can also be locked off for your convenience, and are especially important if your home is used as an investment with renters.
An owner’s walk in pantry is an easy essential feature to add to your custom home. You may or may not want guests to have access to your kitchen stock up items. Creating a pantry lock off can help in this situation. You can store all your dry goods, canned goods, kitchen essentials and even your personal cookware so it is ready for you to use.
Garage built-ins store equipment safely
Consider storage lockers for your garage, or even create built-in closets during construction. This keeps your sports equipment out of the way, but also prevents anyone else from using it. It’s also a good idea to lock away any tools and house chemicals such as paint, for the safety of your guests.
Design and build with your guests comfort in mind
But what about your guests? You want them to feel welcome and provide all the comforts of home while they are staying. How do you do that if half your home is ‘off limits’? With a few small adjustments, even your guests can feel like they have the run of the house, and all the comforts of a home away from home. Consider:
- A second master suite
- Maximize space with bunk beds, Murphy beds and sofa sleepers.
- Guest storage in kitchen and garage
A second master suite creates luxury for your guests
The second master bedroom can have many of the same features as the owner master suite but just on a smaller scale. For example, the second master closet could be reduced in size to match the estimated length of your guests stay. With a little help from organizers, closet space can be used to its fullest potential. The bathroom is also set up as an on-suite bath, just like your own master bath, giving your guests that added privacy. Setting up the bathroom with the traveler in mind is also a great way to make your guest feel welcome. Toiletries, hair dryers, and grooming essentials could be added to help make their stay more comfortable. The second master bedroom can be built as impressive as the owner master bedroom or adjusted to satisfy your budget. Either way, a second master bedroom is a winner for your guests.
Flexible bedding options for larger gatherings
There are a few ways to add extra space for larger groups. Built in bunk beds, murphy beds, and sofa sleepers can provide additional sleeping options, while keeping the space clutter-free and flexible. Built-in bunk beds can be customized to match the house trim or style. Having it fit to your space creates a balanced custom look that belongs. Murphy beds are a popular choice for adding sleeping space to smaller rooms, such as an office or hobby room. It can be used during guest stays and folded up when they are gone. When folded into the wall, it takes up hardly any space, and the room can go back to its primary function. Lastly, a sleeper sofa is a great addition for a growing guest list and it easily fits into the home décor. While it’s not the ideal situation with someone sleeping in the middle of the family room, just having that extra flexibility can give you peace of mind.
Guest storage needs easily solved
Your guests arrive with a week’s worth of groceries. Sure, they can leave it all on the countertop, but why? A secondary smaller pantry for guest use can easily be added during the design stage of your home. Adding a small pantry in the kitchen is the easiest way to accomplish this goal. It can seamlessly blend in with the rest of the kitchen, and basic pantry shelving help maximize space. If kitchen space is limited, a small closet off the kitchen may also work.
Garage storage and guest lockers should be designed for your guest needs in mind. Of course, in Colorado High Country, we are focused on outdoor activities. Ski storage, as well as a ski boot drying station, is a great way to help your guests organize their stuff. In the summertime, mountain bike racks, golf bag storage and a place to dry their fishing waders may be needed. Anything to help keep your guest organized, and keep the clutter out of your home.
All in all, your second home can be as functional and flexible as you care to make it. Only you can decide how you want to use your home, who you will allow to stay there, and what parts of the home you want to share. The great news is that with a little bit of up-front planning, you can turn your second home into a vacation retreat for friends and family, all the while keeping your personal space private and your wine collection untouched!
Fraser Valley Construction is a custom home builder of single family homes in Grand County, Colorado. Call us today at 970-531-2376 to discuss your new home construction plans.