Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Room for Guests

One of the benefits of living in cohousing is the use of the common house. I know that common houses vary from community to community, but our community has a great common house. As my friend Nona said when she and her husband were looking at homes in our community, "I want to live in that one!" (ie the common house). The common house is one of the ways that cohousers share resources.

The common house has multiple rooms for multiple purposes - a big kitchen, dining room, lounge room, playroom, etc. Our common house also has 2 guest rooms. One has a queen bed and the other has 2 twin beds. There is no charge to use them, and it is as easy as signing up in the reservation book for whatever nights you need them. Your only requirement is to clean up after your guests - wash the sheets and towels, make the beds, empty any trash, and do a quick vacuum. The guest room users are usually family and friends of community residents, although occasionally the community will host visitors in the rooms.

We use the guest rooms whenever we have visitors. I often leave our guests a little basket of extras in the room with some sample shampoos and soaps as well as a snack and some water. Can I tell you how nice it is to have guests close but not too close? At night guests usually wander over to their common house room before it gets to late giving our family a little alone time. I also don't fret over making sure guests are accommodated in the mornings. If they are early risers, they can shower and head over to the coffee shop on the corner for coffee or tea and a breakfast taco. If they like to sleep in, we don't worry about being quiet and trying not to disturb them.

There is also an environmental benefit to these guest rooms. We have over 30 households all sharing the use of two rooms. (Rarely is there a problem with one not being available - usually only over holidays) Instead of 30 families heating, cooling, lighting, cleaning, and up keeping 30 guest rooms, we share those responsibilities in just 2 rooms.

We hosted my friend from Indianapolis in one of the rooms last night. She is heading home this afternoon, so I gotta go get the room ready for the next guest!

9 comments:

Dawn said...

I love that idea. Most guest rooms go unused most of the time.

shokufeh said...

That sounds great. I'm a bit envious.

Geggie said...

I'm really enjoying learning more about the cohousing community. I didn't know anything about it before. I love it!

Penny said...

Great idea - I wish we had such a thing :)

Hey - check out this new estate they are building near us. DH and I are keeping our eyes on it and seeing if we can afford to buy there. http://www.google.co.nz/url?sa=t&ct=res&cd=1&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.waimaukuestate.co.nz%2F&ei=U0o6R-7HIoeSpwT-3pTUDA&usg=AFQjCNEbVskltZpNCLZLZt2cmMaFRjEw4A&sig2=oS2Pr8oa3CJnGD_sTnMN9g

Penny said...

Sorry - try this
http://www.waimaukuestate.co.nz/

Joy said...

my parents always stay at the guest room at the common house and it works great. We only have one guest room and there is a fee per night.

Shannon said...

Can I send my relatives to stay in your common house? *wink*

Ashlee said...

what a great option!

i had the same reaction to the common house the first time i was in the community!

Jessie said...

Interesting. When guests come to stay with us they come in groups of 6 or more :) This would be nice.