Tips for Designing a Multi-Use Guestroom

Many people don’t have the luxury of having a dedicated guest room in their home—especially those living in apartments. Rather, “guest rooms” tend to have many other uses when company isn’t present. This is even more common now that so many of us are working from home or homeschooling. Every square foot of our houses need to be functional!

But what do we do now, as the holiday season is approaching? Though the holidays will probably look quite different from years past, some will still be hosting overnight guests—so you have to make sure your home is ready, with space for guests to sleep! (If you want to make sure you have everything on-hand for guests, check out our guest room checklist!)

If you’re one of the many households that has a combo guest room, we’re here to help you get the most out of it. So, we rounded up our best tips for combining a guest room with another type of room to help you get maximum functionality out of your space!

Room Type: Guest Room + Home Office

A home office and guest room combo is probably the most common combination of the moment. When thinking through home office design ideas, you’ll want to make sure the space is highly functional for your day-to-day life. But you’ll also want to design it in a way that won’t require a total transformation of the space when guests arrive!

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combo guest room

The Challenge

If you’re working from home full time, you want this space to work, primarily, as an office. But you still want to strike a balance so that the room feels cozy and comfortable when hosting guests. Essentially, the space needs to serve both functions without it feeling cluttered or leaning too much toward a bedroom or office.

Stylist Tips For Acing This Combo

Investing in multipurpose furniture (like a daybed and a lower profile desk) is key—in fact, it’s one of our favorite office guest room hacks. This will help you create a space that’s comfortable for guests so they don’t feel like they’re sleeping in a home office—but it also helps it function for you as a home office.

To achieve this, we recommend a writing desk and comfortable chair, with a daybed and side table that can be used as a nightstand for guests. Opting for a daybed rather than a traditional bed helps the look feel more natural for the day-to-day—and since daybeds are kind of like sofas, you or your kids can use that as a lounge space. Plus, having a desk is great for guests who need to work while they visit you, and also double as a vanity for getting ready.

contemporary bedroom with home office at end of the bed

Room Type: Guest Room + Home Office

Here’s a different take on the guest room/home office combo. This is the perfect approach for those who don’t work at home full-time, or who want this combo space to function as a guest room before anything else. It features a queen bed and dresser for a practical guest bedroom—but still has plenty of space for a desk and office chair for when you do need a quiet office space.

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The Challenge

The intention of this space is for it to serve as a guest room first and a home office second. So, the challenge is dedicating enough space for sleeping and storage without the space feeling cluttered.

Stylist Tips For Acing This Combo

Keep all the furniture cohesive so it looks like the room was designed on purpose. You don’t want it to look like it’s just a bed and desk thrown together in a spare room as an afterthought. Include a dresser in the room’s design for additional storage space for guests, and opt for a queen size bed. To ensure this space is calming for guests, buy a desk with hidden storage. This allows you to stash away work supplies when you have guests, leaving them with a relaxing space that’s all their own.

combo guest room

Room Type: Guest Room + Living Space

If you live in a small space, your guest bedroom may also be your living room and home office. Hosting guests in a living space may feel extra challenging, but it’s not impossible. And it’s not a conundrum only for those who live in tiny apartments. This may also be a reality for those who have finished basements, where a basement family room is also where guests sleep.

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The Challenge

Creating a space that is functional for everyday use as a living space (and maybe even an office), but having space and easy access to clean up and convert the space for guests. Considering guest privacy is also a challenge.

Stylist Tips For Acing This Combo

Invest in a sofa bed that can easily convert into a comfortable space to sleep when you’re hosting guests. This space may not have doors to close for total privacy, but position the sofa bed so the guests have some level of privacy in the space when they sleep. Use lightweight accent furniture (like your coffee table and ottomans) so you can easily move them to pull the sofa bed out, and have side tables guests can use as nightstands.

combo guest room

Room Type: Guest Room + TV Room

For those who don’t host guests very often, you probably don’t want to dedicate a whole room as a guest bedroom. But it is nice to have a space that can convert into one. For this, we love creating a room that can function as a TV lounge or den, but use a futon or daybed as the main piece of furniture so it can be used as a guest bedroom when the need arises.

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The Challenge

For this space to serve as a nice guest room, you need to incorporate some essentials—like the ability for privacy, making sure the futon is actually comfortable, and having a side table that can be moved over and used as a nightstand.

Stylist Tips For Acing This Combo

Get a futon or daybed that’s big enough to comfortably fit a guest or two. Add curtains or blinds to the space (which you’d probably want for a TV room anyway), and make sure there’s adequate lighting in the room. And make sure guests have somewhere to set their stuff, even if it’s just a shelf or empty side table!

traditional kids bedroom with two wooden twin beds

Room Type: Guest Room + Kids Bedroom

If you don’t have a spare room, you may want to design your kids’ bedroom with the capability of using it as a guest bedroom. When you have guests over, you can set your kids up with a sleepover in the living room and use their bedroom as a guest space.

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The Challenge

Making sure the space is comfortable for guests and feels like a space they can relax in, rather than it feeling like they’re sleeping in a kid’s room.

Stylist Tips For Acing This Combo

Opt for storage furniture so you can clear away kids items before your guests arrive so the space feels more adult. You could also leave a few empty drawers open to show your guests which ones they can use. If you’re hosting a couple but you only have a pair of twin beds, they may feel strange sleeping in separate twin beds—so go above and beyond to make sure the space feels comfortable! To make it feel less like a kids room, switch out your kids’ bedding for something more simple and neutral.

combo guest room

Room Type: Guest Room + Nursery

If you have a baby or toddler who’s in a crib, but they’re flexible in where they can sleep, you could also put a daybed in their nursery and use that for guests. When guests arrive, you can set up a pack-and-play in another room and let your guests have the nursery for themselves!

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The Challenge

Nurseries tend to be small, so fitting a bed in them in a way that feels natural day-to-day can be challenging. You want the room to work as a functional nursery while still having room for guests.

Need more small nursery design tips? We’ve got you covered.

Stylist Tips For Acing This Combo

A multi-use piece like a daybed gives you maximum flexibility for this combo. Daybeds tend to have a smaller footprint, and often offer options for under-bed storage or a trundle bed for extra sleeping space. Plus, when you don’t have guests, a daybed serves as a perfect place to curl up with your baby and read books. And it could even transition into their toddler bed when they graduate from a crib!

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8 Guest Room Essentials to Help You Prep For Summer Visitors In Style

The COVID-19 pandemic threw just about everyone’s travel and hosting plans out the window. But, as the world slowly starts to open up again, we’re once again planning trips, hopping on planes, driving across states—or just rediscovering our own hometowns as friends and family come to visit.

And while we love a super charming Airbnb for our friends when they visit (because we happen to love visiting said Airbnbs), we also love playing host and having loved ones stay in our own homes. It’s a simple way for them to save money on lodging—but we also love that it’s more intimate and gives us more time to kick back and catch up with these dear friends and family members.

However, to ensure your guests have a relaxing visit, you’ll need to prepare a guest room that’s comfortable and inviting. From making sure you have plenty of space for them to unpack to adding small personal touches like books and a bedside carafe, having the right guest room essentials will make all the difference for your visiting friends.

Read on to get our hosting prep tips for setting up a guest room that will instantly make all your visitors feel right at home.

summer guest bedroom design with a queen bed, neutral decor, and functional accents

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1. Focus On Function First

A comfortable guest room is a functional one. That means making sure you have all of the necessary guest room furniture, like a comfortable bed and clothing storage. (This could be a dresser, an armoire, or a closet that’s large enough to hang some clothing and stash their suitcase.) Matching bedside tables with drawers will help frame your bed and establish a more composed look—while also giving guests a surface to pile vacation reads, place their water glass and phone, and keep any other necessities handy.

Functionality also involves creating a good flow and setup, where the bed is positioned away from the door and there’s enough room to walk around. All in all, focus on making sure you have the essential furniture pieces first and be intentional in how you arrange them. This is the key to a bedroom that is cozy and welcoming versus just another spare room where your guests feel like an afterthought.

2. Layer in Comfort

When creating your guest bedroom, keep in mind that everyone has different sleeping preferences when it comes to light, noise, and temperature. Keep guests comfortable by creating ways that they can customize their sleeping situation!

Include extra pillows and blankets in your guest room as well, so your visitors can choose how many of each they want. (And make sure they know where to find these extras, too!) A ceiling fan (or even floor or tabletop fan) can add some cool airflow in the summer, but it also acts as a gentle white noise maker year-round. And when it comes to lighting, start by offering layered lighting in the way of lamps so that your guests can adjust the lighting levels in their room to their preferences. It’s also nice to have blackout curtains—or blinds, at the very least—on the windows for guests who want to sleep in or are sensitive to light.

image of a guest bedroom decorated for summer weather

3. Up the Luxury Factor

At the end of the day, it all comes down to a well-made and comfy bed for your guests. So, make the bed with crisp, clean sheets (nice ones, not your old cast-offs!), pile on the best pillows and shams, and layer on a fluffy duvet. Not sure how comfortable your guest room mattress is? Consider adding a mattress topper for some extra softness and comfort. The result will be a luxurious place for guests to crash at the end of each day!

You can also add in homey touches—like the bedside water carafe and glass (more on that later), and a pamper basket that’s ready with towels, bathrobes, slippers, and toiletries. These are the personal touches that are sure to instantly put your guests at ease. (And earn you the “hostess with the mostess” title among your friends!)

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4. Provide Space to Unpack

Even if your guests are just staying for a few nights, it’s nice to give them the opportunity to unpack. A major part of that is providing a place to put their suitcase when they arrive so it’s not in the middle of the walkway. We love the hotel-like touch of having a luggage rack (or a folding stool) where they can set their suitcase. Alternatively, you could add a bench at the foot of the bed—not only giving your guests a place to unpack their luggage but also to sit during the day and pile on extra pillows when they go to bed at night!

dressing area in a bedroom with fun art, a floor length mirror, and a beverage station

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5. Carve Out A Dressing Area

There’s something so simple yet lovely about a guest room that features a designated space for getting dressed—whether it’s a walk-in closet (a dream!) or just a corner that’s set up with a dresser and full-length mirror. This is an easy way to elevate the look and feel in a guest room and bring in a hugely welcoming vibe.

A bonus touch? Add a few baskets in the corner where they can stash extra pillows during their stay, then toss dirty towels and bed sheets without the awkward hand-off when they leave your home!

6. Add a Beverage Station

We love the thoughtfulness of giving your guests a beverage station, right in their room. It could be as simple as a water carafe and glasses on top of a dresser, nightstand, or console. But you could also step it up a notch with a coffee nook, complete with mugs and a single-serve coffee maker, so your guests can enjoy their first cup before leaving their room in the morning! Having both ensures your guests always have water and coffee readily available!

reading nook design with a shibori armchair in a guest bedroom

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7. Make Room For Lounging

Our idea of a relaxing guest room is one that actually inspires lounging and kicking back. A cozy armchair is sure to do the trick. Including a chair in your guest room gives your visitors permission to take a bit of time to themselves while they visit—a necessity among all the sightseeing and socializing!

To play up the laid-back atmosphere of your guest room, you can round out the space with a reading lamp and a small side table that’s ready with books and a vase of fresh flowers, or a bluetooth speaker so they can play some tunes!

image of a bedroom with a mini desk and stool instead of a nightstand

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8. Give Guests a Home Office Space

So many people are working from home these days. One of the benefits of this is the flexibility to work remotely from everywhere—so, sometimes that means a working vacation. With that in mind, adding a desk to your guest room is a perfect way to give your guests a quiet place to work.

It doesn’t have to be a fancy set-up though. All you need is a simple writing desk with a comfortable place to sit. Just make sure it’s near a power source and has added lighting! In small guest rooms, the desk can double as a nightstand alternative on one side of the bed!

Designer Tip: Don’t have space for both a home office and a guest room? Create a multipurpose guest room by designing a  functional home office within your guest room for when you’re not hosting! These office guest room hacks will show you how.


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