Andy Hates Bunk Beds and Jazz

“I’m Andy Meddick and I hate bunk beds.”

There. I said it. Wow! That feels good. I release it to the world in the hope that we can eradicate bunk beds from the interior design lexicon of vacation rental homes. Why are there so many bunk beds in beach homes? I often wonder if well intentioned property owners have bunk beds at their primary residence?

Remember that ’80s pop group Johnny Hates Jazz? I do. It comes to mind unfortunately very frequently when scouring listings of vacation rental properties and sometimes on listing appointments. You see, Andy Hates Bunk Beds. And while we’re at it. Andy hates Jazz. I just don’t get it. At all. Shoobee scoobee shoowop dee doo wailing brass instruments. Not for me. If you do like jazz, do you like bunk beds? Is there a love connection?

Let’s join some dots when it comes to bunk beds…

Do you ever see bunk beds in hotel rooms?

Do you think that people travel with children and stay in hotel rooms?

Here’s an image for you…

Bunk Bed Jail

Identity withheld to protect the blushes of the unknowing home owner. This image is from a high end new construction 6 bedroom 5 and one half bathroom vacation rental home (not one of ours). Does this look like a comfortable, secure room for your sleeping treasures? I didn’t think so either. Dormitory, jail block style bed configurations. Well, they’re so yesterday. Property Owners, you don’t need to sleep 16 in a 6 bedroom house. You don’t get any more income by cramming in all those extra beds making an otherwise lovely, comfortable room, well uncomfortable and un-lovely. Here’s my guideline for occupancy. Bedrooms plus 2. Put a maximum of 2 beds in any bedroom in the property (depending on room size), then have an additional 2 Guests sleep on a sofa bed somewhere semi-private in the property. So for a 6 bedroom house with decent size bedrooms, that means occupancy would be 14. It may sound like a fun thing to cram all the kids in one bunk room, but really at a high end price point, why?

So what about built in bunks you say? I love the aesthetic of built in anything: bookcases, shelves, cabinets, even bunk beds. They give an old world, beach cottage feel even in new construction. If designed and constructed by skilled craftsmen/women, go ahead. Just don’t do it yourself. Get an expert that knows dimensions and code. Built in bunks can be a great way of using lost or hidden space in a room such as a walk-in closet that very few Guests ever use. That being said, I still prefer twin beds or dual full/queen bed setups over any type of bunk, room dimensions depending.

So what bothers me about bunk beds? Here’s a few thoughts:

  • Aesthetics. It’s hard for bunks, especially more than one set of bunks not to put one in mind of institutional housing – boarding school, prison…
  • Aesthetics. Again! Bunk beds are kind of like sofa stretch covers. Have you ever tried to put a stretch cover on a sofa only to find that it looks like the dog rolled in it and not like the crisp, clean photograph on the packaging/magazine ad? Well bunk beds are also like that! They’re almost impossible to re-make to look crisp and clean like no one prior has ever slept in it! Do you really want your Guests arriving to a sloppy, messy looking bunk bed? Have you ever tried making a bunk bed without bruising several body parts in the process? I knew it!
  • Safety. Little kids love being on the top bunk. However, Mom/Dad does not feel the same! They worry about little Tommy falling out at night. When I was a little boy, my Mom made my older sister sleep on the top bunk in vacation rentals. My sister hated it. I felt wronged. We both whined the whole week. Who enjoys that vacation scenario?
  • Safety. Again! If you’re going to opt for bunk beds then test them out for stability ahead of time. The lighter tubular metal bunks have a tendency to wobble and pull away from the wall. Then you have to resort to the ugliness of having to cable tie the bunks to the wall studs. That’s a good look! Opt for sturdy, heavy framed bunks. However, when you look at the cost of those, it makes me wonder why Owners wouldn’t want to bypass the bunks for traditional box spring beds at a fraction of the cost?

If you already have bunk beds at your vacation rental property does that mean you need to throw them out? Does that mean that Seachange does not have properties with bunk beds? Absolutely not! I’m the first to say if you own a vacation rental property as a second home for personal as well as public Guest use, then your property should reflect your needs also. It’s your home! If you feel strongly about bunk beds as a children’s bed of choice, then have at it. If you’re just starting out and have bunk beds and no income reserves to replace them, then again, have at it! If you already have bunk beds at your vacation rental, do you need to replace them? Tricky one. If you can afford it, then yes. If the beds are reaching the end of their useful life, again, yes. If you need them for your own personal use, then probably no.

Recognize however, that bunk beds appeal to a very narrow selection of Guest needs. It’s our observation from our properties that do have bunk beds, then they’re rarely used. I recommend that if you’re starting out from scratch furnishing a vacation rental, or you have an income reserve from prior rental seasons, opt for twin beds over bunk beds. You don’t need to sleep as many Guests as you think in order to maximize your income. Have your bed furniture choices reflect the rental income proforma that plans for the income you would like the property to generate. Don’t now what a rental income proforma is? Don’t have one? Oh girl, we need to talk! Call me (302) 727-5566.

For all those vacation rental property Owners at the Delaware Beaches who do not currently have their property listed with another vacation rental agency and want a free interior design consult with a Seachange Vacation Rentals expert, here is your Get Out of Bunk Bed Jail card. Call me (302) 727-5566. We can help you maximize your vacation rental income on that rental income proforma we provide for you! Or, reach us here…