The office guest room, the kids’ room guest room, the couch guest room…if you don’t live in a vast mansion, you may find it hard to entertain overnight guests in your home due to lack of space. One of the things we truly love is taking a space and unlocking its true, glorious potential and some really excellent (and very practical) design ideas have come from our multipurpose guest room projects.
Let’s go through a few options for finding a space in your home for guests if you don’t have the space for a dedicated guest room.
The Office Guest Room
Home offices are just what they sound like: a workspace in your home. Whether you work from home full time or just need a space where you can shut your door to get things done now and then, the home office guest room can present a few different challenges.
Challenge: You still need a workspace.
An office guest room is still an office, and if you regularly work from home, a weekday guest may need the space when you need to work.
Solution: Making sure you set boundaries with your guest regarding access during work time is the best way to start. If you simply can’t take time off work during a visit, let your guest know ahead of time that they’ll be sharing their sleeping space with your workspace. Set office hours and living hours so both you and your guest feel like everyone has the time they need.
Challenge: There’s not enough space for a desk and a bed.
Not every guest can tolerate a twin-sized air mattress on the floor, but you need desk space to get your work done. Your current space may not be able to accommodate a bed and a desk.
Solution: The Murphy bed gets the job done when you have a small space, but need multiple functions for that space. A Murphy bed is a wall-mounted, drop-down bed that can be hidden bydoors made to look like cabinets and it’s the perfect guest bed for a small room (or any sized room, really). A Murphy bed with a built-in desk means that, when folded up, the office guest room is just an office, but when folded down the desk is out of site and a comfy, modern bed is ready and waiting for your visitors to use.
Challenge: Keeping work and personal life separate (re: privacy).
Having a desktop in a room with a guest may not be ideal if you have things on your desktop that you’d rather keep private.
Solution: It’s always a good idea to log out of your computer when you’re not using it, so be sure to take some extra precautions when guests are around and log-out of your account. If you’re feeling extra generous, create a Guest account on your desktop that a user can access to stream shows, movies, and music through their own private accounts.
The Multipurpose Guest Room
Is it a play-room? A man-cave? A gaming station? The multipurpose guest room can be a lot of things by day, but the important thing is being able to quickly and easily change the space into a comfortable place for guests to rest when the time comes to turn out the lights.
Challenge: It’s a heavily used room.
If you don’t have space for a guest room, then you may have to resort to using a space that may have many other uses. Whether the kids use it or it’s a place for craft projects, gaming, reading, or family time, it can be awkward for a guest to let you know they’re ready to turn in if the room is already in use.
Solution: Like the office guest room, you can set guest hours for your multipurpose guest room, too. Letting your family know that for the duration of the visit this room is going to have restricted use in the mornings and evenings can help prevent your guest from feeling like they can’t have their own space when they need it.
Challenge: Where do you put the bed?
Most non-bedroom rooms don’t have a bed and not every guest can sleep on a couch—no matter how comfy it may be!
Solution: Once again, the Murphy bed may just be your best bet. If you already have a room with a media center, a Murphy bed can be custom-built to match what’s already in the room to ensure there’s no disruption in the flow of your design. Additional cabinetry is always an option with custom builds (provided there’s space!), so adding a Murphy bed with additional cabinets can create more storage space for the room and places for your guest to stow personal items during the day.
Challenge: The room is too cluttered.
Books, games, toys, shoes, blankets, stuffed animals, dog beds, cat towers—chaos in the form of everyday family clutter can hamper the true potential of a multipurpose guest room.
Solution: Create a plan to get everything organized and put away. Some of the best room transformations we’ve been a part of have involved rooms that just needed the right plan to get things off of the floor and stored out of site. Custom cabinets and entertainment centers are the perfect way to create a space that works for what YOU need—and not a pre-fab idea of what you should settle for. We know we’ve said Murphy bed twice already but…it really is a wonderful guest bed for small rooms and rooms that otherwise wouldn’t have a bed in them. If this room has space, the Murphy bed can be custom-built right along with your other units to ensure a cohesive design and maximum efficiency.
Guest Beds for Small Rooms
Condos, apartments, townhouses, and smaller houses don’t always have extra bedrooms, bonus rooms, or home offices that you can use for guest rooms.
Challenge: There’s no more room.
If all of your bedrooms are occupied by the people that live in your home, finding a place to host a guest can be difficult.
Solution: Let’s face it—one of your family members may just have to bunk with another one while your guest is in town. Not everyone can afford a hotel when they visit so be sure to be open with your guest about your space constraints. If they’re fine bunking in the kids’ room for a night or two, let your kids set up a pillow fort in the living room and camp out there so it’s more like a treat and less like getting kicked out of their space.
Challenge: There’s no storage space for an extra bed.
Solution: One thing to ask yourself: Is there really no storage space for an extra bed or is the current way the space is being used not able to support the new function? Get creative. Some of our custom closet options might actually be just the thing you need for a smaller space. The key to is to build vertically so you keep things off of the floor. Not everything needs to be within reach at all times, so use shelves and racks to store items not frequently used out of the way to make room for more floor and wall space in the rest of the room. If a Murphy bed just can’t fit, think about investing in a multipurpose piece of furniture like a sofa bed.
And of course…you have little space and more than one guest. It never fails—you have room for one guest and another last minute guest has nowhere else to go. Friends and family are had to say not to so having a back-up plan for multiple guests can be just what you need to keep your stress level down (especially around the holidays). Using some of the ideas from the office guest room and multipurpose guest rooms sections can help, but, also be aware that sometimes you might just have to say no.
Whatever your needs, having a space for your guests before the need arises ensures a happier time for you and a comfier visit for them.
Inspired by this post to take a second look at some of your spaces? Be sure to check out our Customer Gallery to see some of our work in action and get inspired!