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I’m tired of my futon. What else can I use for overnight guests?

Good selection of furniture - such as a quality sofa bed - helps get the most out of a double-duty room.

Barry Calhoun

The question

I have a futon in my living room, where, from time to time, overnight guests will sleep. But I'm sick of it. Can you suggest some real (dual-purpose) furniture to replace it with?

The answer

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Futons do reek of student living, so my first suggestion is to get a sofa bed that is comfortable and looks fantastic to replace it. When choosing one, go for a stylish model that is close to the floor and has arms lower than its back. Place an ottoman on castors in front of the sofa bed so it can be easily moved when the bed is needed.

Another option is a Murphy bed that hides in the wall and comes out as required. To disguise the fact that you have a bed in your living room, affix art to the back side so it shows when the bed is concealed.

Store sheets and pillows in a cabinet nearby, show guests where the laundry room is (so they can strip the bed before you wake) and point out the coffee maker or – better yet – the closest Starbucks outlet, complete with your coffee order.

Architect and interior designer Dee Dee Taylor Eustace's new e-book, Dee Dee's Rules, is available on iTunes. Follow her on Twitter: @ddtaylordd. Have a design problem? E-mail

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