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ideas for a second bedroom

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My boyfriend and I have been living in a two-bedroom apartment for three years now and almost every month I discover a new reason that it was one of the best decisions we ever made for our relationship. When we started apartment hunting together, we didn’t even look for two-bedrooms. We figured we couldn’t afford them. Then we started to realize that two-bedrooms are not that much more expensive than one-bedrooms, at least not in the expensive city in which we live. I won’t state our exact rent, but what I will say is that the going rate for a one-bedroom in our neighborhood is $2,200 and the going rate for a two-bedroom is just around $2,600. Split between a couple, each person just spends an extra $200 a month for what is, in my opinion, an incredible boost in quality of life. So if you are making that decision between saving a little money on a one-bedroom or splurging on a two-bedroom, let me persuade you to do the latter.

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For the one whose family lives far away

My boyfriend’s family lives all over the country, but nowhere near us. My family, meanwhile, lives just a 90-minute drive away. There is this feeling of imbalance, by which my partner spends a lot of time with my family, and I rarely see his. But, when they do visit, they can stay longer because we can give them a free place to stay. Back in our one-bedroom days, they could only visit for a couple of nights due to high hotel prices, and that would spark that old, “We never spend time with my family” complaint from him after their visit.

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Undecided decorative items

Deciding on items that we both love enough to display in the public parts of your apartment—like the kitchen and living room—is not easy. There are some paintings and photos I adore, that my partner doesn’t want in the general spaces. He has some furniture I feel the same way about. They live in our guest room. It’s our quirky, mismatched home for the items we couldn’t agree on. And nobody had to donate their favorite things.

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Storage space

The storage space alone could be reason enough to get a two-bedroom place. We don’t fight about closet space. We don’t argue about my bringing home a new thing that he thinks we don’t need because there’s no space for it. We don’t argue about the place looking cluttered.

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A place to meditate

My boyfriend and I both meditate regularly—as you probably should, too—and we use the guest room to do it. Meditation is actually good for our relationship! The living room is too public, and we feel we’re in the other one’s way. In our own bedroom, we just fall asleep. It’s nice to have a room that’s dedicated to those self-care practices.

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When one person is sick

The only reason (I believe) I’ve managed to stay healthy when my partner has been sick and visa versa is that second bedroom. We just quarantine the sick person, with their laundry and tea mugs, to that guest room until they’re better.

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Conflicting alarm clocks

Sleep is a main thing couples argue about. If people aren’t sleeping enough, the fights will increase. There are many nights when my boyfriend has a super early alarm set, and I won’t even be going to sleep until a few hours before that alarm is sounding. Rather than fight about the sound of it or how many times he hits snooze, I just send him to the guest room.

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A second place to have sex

It can be nice to have a room that you have sex in, that you don’t also sleep in. It’s like our dedicated sexy room.

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A little distance

If you’ve ever lived in a studio apartment with your partner, first of all, nice to see you survived it. Second off, you know that getting any sort of alone time feels impossible. A guest room gives you a natural place to always escape for alone time.

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An office space

Should one of you work from home, the guest room can double as a home office. It’s better to do that, than to have all your files and documents taking over the kitchen table or entertainment area.

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Opportunities for extra income

Should you ever find yourselves in a financial bind, you can just rent out that second bedroom. If you have a two-bedroom place for $2,400 a month, you can easily rent out one of the rooms for $1,000 a month, quickly bringing your respective payments down to just $700 a month as opposed to $1,200.

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If there’s a baby

Sometimes pregnancy doesn’t care what your life plans were. And, maybe you’d like to have a baby before you can afford a home. It’s so much more manageable if you already have a second bedroom in your apartment. Then you don’t need to rush to move, while also dealing with the huge life change that is parenthood.

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Guests don’t crowd your space

Even though you don’t really have space for guests in a one-bedroom, sometimes you’ll have them. That just means they’re on the couch, and all of their things are all over the living room. If that’s your friend out there, your partner will get agitated with you—fast.

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When one room is being renovated

Sometimes, you’ll need to do work on your main bedroom. It’s so nice to just move to the guest room while that happens, rather than staying with friends or finding a hotel during that time.

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Two bedrooms may mean two bathrooms

Don’t forget that a two-bedroom place is often also a two-bathroom place and that comes with many of its own perks. You can instantly eliminate fights over who is hogging the bathroom.

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And two parking spots

Two bedrooms often mean two parking spots, too. That eliminates other fights, like over who gets the spot tonight or how far you had to walk because the only street parking was far away.

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