Having a guest room is a lovely idea. You can invite friends or family to stay over at a moment’s notice without scrambling to make up a bed on the sofa or trying to persuade kids to share a room for a night or two. Making a guest room is possible whether you have a real spare room or not when you figure out how to make it work around everyday family life.
Find Your Space
If you have an actual spare room, great, but if not don’t despair. A dining room or the room you use for a home office can also be your guest room.
Think about providing storage for guests, such as somewhere to put luggage or hang clothes. Fit shelves to make the most of the vertical space we often waste, or create extra hanging areas by adding rails inside wardrobe doors or on the sides of closets.
Assessing available space may also involve deciding which furniture you should remove or change. Removing doesn’t necessarily mean disposing of. You could decide to temporarily change your office into a guest room for instance by swapping out the desk for a bed. Self storage facilities offer a convenient way of keeping furnishings for different uses, so you can switch things around when you need to.
Alternatively, maybe you just need to clear a wardrobe so guests have somewhere to put their clothes. Adopting a seasonal approach to what you keep in your closets can help free up space normally filled with items not in everyday use. During winter, put summer clothes and items into self storage, and vice versa. It’s surprising how much extra space you can find when you don’t try to store all your possessions under one roof.
It’s an excellent excuse to have a good sort out, putting things you don’t need right now into store for later.
Make the Conversion
Converting the dining room into a spare room is relatively easy. You could swap a large dining table for a drop leaf style that folds neatly against the wall between meals, and install a sofa bed or a day bed in the space created. A low sideboard can double as a bedside table if you don’t have room for actual end tables that would do the job. A set of small nested tables is ideal when you don’t have much spare floor space.
To turn a home office into a guest room, see if you can make room for a day bed. You’ll get a comfy seating area away from your desk as well as providing a guest with a cosy bed that’s easy to make up. If you want to provide a double bed, a sofa bed is the way to go.
Change the Decor
Room decoration and accessories play an important role in creating a cosy atmosphere, especially in a converted or shared-use space.
Generally, you’ll probably need to soften the room to make it comfortable for sleeping. Large cushions, coordinated curtains and duvet, or adding a bedside rug all help to create a relaxing ambiance. Choose warm colours to cosy up the space during cold winter months, and if the room is north facing and cooler, consider a portable heater guests could use for an extra burst of heat if they need it.
Don’t forget lighting. If you don’t normally have table lamps in the room your guests will use, keep suitable ones in store ready to bring out when they’re needed.
It might take a bit of creative thinking to make it work, but having a cosy guest room is possible in just about every living space.