7 Ways to Create a Multipurpose Guest Room

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 if you’re working from home or homeschooling.

But how can you make sure your home is ready to host guests when needed? By creating a multifunctional space that can serve as a guest room when needed but has a different purpose the rest of the time!

If you’re one of the many households that has a multipurpose guest room, we’re here to help you get the most out of it. So, we rounded up our best multifunctional guest room ideas! They’ll help you combine a guest room with another type of room to help you get maximum functionality out of your space!

P.S. If you want to make sure you have everything on-hand for guests when they visit, check out our guest room checklist!

coastal guest room design with a day bed and home office set-up

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Room Type: Guest Room + Home Office

A multipurpose guest room that also serves as a home office 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!

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.

Designer 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. Having a desk is great for guests who need to work while they visit you, and also double as a vanity for getting ready. 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. Alternatively, you could also try out a murphy bed, which you can fold up and out of sight when it’s not in use!

contemporary bedroom with home office at end of the bed

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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 multipurpose 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. You could also use the desk as a craft zone!

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.

Designer 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.

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12x12 Living Room with a sectional sleeper sofa and neutral decor

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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.

The Challenge

You want to create a space that is functional for everyday use as a living space, but you’ll want to make sure there’s room to clean up and convert the space for guests. Considering guest privacy is also a challenge.

Designer 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.

TV room design with a futon sofa that can be used as a guest room

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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.

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.

Designer 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

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Room Type: Guest Room + Kids Bedroom

If you don’t have a spare room, you may want to explore some kids’ bedroom design ideas that give you 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.

The Challenge

It might feel like a challenge to make 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.

Designer 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.

nursery design with a crib and day bed that can function as a multipurpose guest room

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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!

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.

Designer 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!

guest bedroom design with a day bed and combo home gym set-upShop This Room

Room Type: Guest Room + Home Gym

Here’s an unexpected way to create a multipurpose guest room: using it as a home gym when you’re not hosting guests. It may seem odd—but sometimes strange combinations are the only way to fit everything you want in your home! And hey, your guests might enjoy the option of hopping on your exercise bike during their stay!

The Challenge

A home gym and a guest room almost seem at odds together in one space. You want to have enough space to work out on the daily—but you also don’t want your guests to feel cramped or like they’re being shoved into a corner.

Designer Tips For Acing This Combo

Rather than fully integrating the two purposes of this space, you can almost divide the room in half. For the home gym, hang a couple of full-length mirrors so you can keep your form in-check. Place any exercise equipment and mats on that side of the room. For the guest room part of this space, opt for a daybed with trundle so you can comfortably host two people. Lay down a rug and add a pouf to the area for some extra plush comfort. The addition of a tall, narrow dresser or a bookcase with baskets and drawers will give a bit of storage space for your guests’ clothing, books, and bedside necessities. Have all of the guest room pieces open to the rest of the room so the space they have to use feels larger.

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This post was updated July 26, 2021


Ultimate Guest Room Furniture and Decor Checklist

Have you ever wondered, when designing a room, what pieces are essential and which things are simply nice to have if you have the space or budget for them? Well, wonder no longer! With our buying guides, we’ll walk you through the essential pieces for your space, the nice-to-haves, and the little touches that make a space shine.

Guest rooms can always be challenging to design. You want them to look nice and inviting, but you probably don’t want to sink a ton of money into them, since it’s not a room you use everyday. But guest bedroom design ideas in the age of COVID-19? That’s a whole different challenge that can lead to a lot of interior design questions. What do I have space for? What can I afford? What if I don’t have the space for a guest bedroom anymore? What if I need my guest room to serve multiple functions?

guest room furniture

Early Guest Room Considerations

With all of these questions, you’ll want to think through a few things before you start designing or revamping your guest bedroom. Start by asking yourself how you need your guest room to function. The function of the space will determine what furniture you need.

Consider how you’ll use the space

You’ll need to decide if this space will strictly be a guest room, or if it will serve as a multipurpose guest room combo space. In the aftermath of COVID-19, it’s possible that you ditched your guest room and transformed it into a home office and you now need to turn it back into a guest room before the holidays.

If you’re welcoming guests into your home, one room may have to suffice for multiple family members, and it could even need to function as a place that family members can quarantine. Or perhaps you’ve kept the guest room essentials but are doubling the room as your office, a storage space, or a kids’ homeschooling zone. All of these potential uses have a huge impact on what you need to include in your guest bedroom.

Think through the size of the space and your budget

Once you determine how you’ll use the space, you can consider how much space you’re working with, what your budget is, and how you want the space to look and feel. This will help you hone in on the exact furniture and decor pieces to include!

Peek our guide to decorating bedrooms of different sizes for some essential tips on how to scale a bedroom design scheme up or down.

Now, let’s dive into our guest room checklist!
blue and white bedroom design

The Guest Room Essentials

When it comes to a guest room, there are certain pieces of furniture and decor that you need for the space to function properly. Here are our guest room essentials.

A Bed (Queen is Best)

You can’t have a guest room without having a bed! It’s an essential piece of guest room furniture. A queen bed is great for guest rooms; they accommodate most guests and can fit in small to medium size rooms. But use whatever works for your space! You can certainly size down to a double or size up to a king if you really want to create a luxe guest experience. Some people even opt for two twin-size beds.

Regardless of size, storage beds are another great option for guest rooms. They give guests space to store their items for a longer stay, or offer a great place if you need extra storage space in your home. It makes for easy and stashable storage!

Read our complete guide to bed frame styles to find the right option for your guest room.

Price Range: $800-$5,000

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blue painted wall with tallboy white dresser

Clothing Storage

Another important piece of guest room furniture? Clothing storage. It says, “Unpack and stay a while!” It’s nice to give your guests a way to feel more at home rather than living out of a suitcase, even if it’s just for a weekend. This bedroom storage can come in the way of a dresser or wardrobe, or even a larger chest nightstand. If your guest room doesn’t have a closet, it’s also nice to have hooks or a clothing rack where your guests can hang clothing that they don’t want to keep folded.

Price Range: $200-$2,000

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Good Lighting

It’s great to give your guests the opportunity to tailor the lighting in your guest room. Equip your guests with the best lighting in their space through a mix of table lamps, floor lights, and natural light. And if you have a lot of natural light, add blackout curtains to the space so guests can enjoy sleeping in and have an added sense of privacy.

Price Range: $200-$1,500

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rustic style dresser with warm tone tapestry

Extra Pillows and Blankets

Your guests may prefer to use more pillows or blankets than you—so have extra pillows or blankets readily available. Stashing them in a cute basket in the room is a great way to showcase them so guests know where to find them.

Price Range: $100-$600

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guest room furniture


These items won’t render your space unusable if you don’t have them. But including these guest room design tips will round out the space and make it more functional—not to mention more comfortable and extra welcoming.

A Desk

Including a desk and accent chair in your guest room gives your guests a place to set up their laptop while they’re staying with you. And hanging a mirror above it allows it to double as a vanity, so your guests can set out their personal care products in their room rather than leaving items in a bathroom. This also adds an extra functional aspect when your guest room isn’t in use, as you can use this space as your home office. (Need some extra help with a guest room/home office combo space? Check out our home office guest room design tips.)

Price Range: $150-$3,000

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guest room furniture

An Armchair (Or Two)

If you have the space for it, it’s nice to include a little seating area in your guest room, with one or two armchairs. Including an armchair in your guest bedroom furniture repertoire gives guests a comfortable place to lounge that’s all their own—one that isn’t the bed and isn’t in the main living area. This can also serve as a surface to lay out clothes and offers extra function to the room.

Price Range: $300-$2,000


Give your guests the option for privacy and the ability to adjust lighting as they like by hanging curtains in your guest bedroom. As we mentioned earlier, blackout curtains are great if you live in a place that gets a lot of direct sunlight.

Price Range: $120-$800

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blue and white bedroom design

The Little Things

Sometimes it’s the little things that make a space really sing. These are the finishing touches that turn any guest room into a special place. They’ll transform it from simply being another room in your home to a space that feels like a high-end hotel and will leave your guests with fond memories of your amazing space.

Luggage Rack

Overnight guests will love having a surface for their suitcase. Two folding stools at the end of the bed are stylish but can act as a place to set your luggage, too. By opting for stylish stools rather than a traditional luggage rack, you also give your guests an extra place to sit.

Price Range: $15-$250

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guest room furniture

A Basket or Hamper

Including a basket or hamper in your guest room gives your guests a place to stash their dirty clothes during their stay, and a place to throw their linens before they leave. Because who wants to hand over used towels on the way out the door—or worse, leave them crumpled on the floor for you to find when they’re gone?? A cute hamper is the perfect solution. This is great if your guests are staying longer and will need to do a load of laundry while they’re at your house.

Price Range: $30-$250

A Full-size Mirror

A full-size mirror is one of those things you don’t miss until you need it! Including this in your guest bedroom makes the room infinitely more livable. It allows your guests to fully get ready in their space, from applying makeup and fixing their hair to final outfit checks!

Price Range: $120-$900

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guest room furniture

Touches for Comfort

Add a feeling of luxury to your guest room with small touches of comfort. Give the bed that hotel-feeling with high-quality bedding, fresh pillows, and cozy throws. Consider including a coffee station, with a coffee maker and a tray of mugs for early risers. Or you could simply include a carafe of water and a drinking glass on the nightstand. These thoughtful touches will really wow your guests.

Price Range: $50-$1,500

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grey wall with white dresser and rattan mirror

Fresh Flowers

The perfect touch to add before guests arrive? Fresh flowers. Adding fresh flowers to the nightstand or dresser top is sure to brighten their day. You could even use faux botanicals if your guests have allergies or if you don’t want to worry about buying new flowers every time you host guests. Whether faux or real, they add a lively feel and can be that extra homey touch that makes guests feel welcome!

Price Range: $10-$200

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A Room With Many Uses: How to Design (and Redesign) a Space Over Time

guest roomDear Modsy,

I recently moved into a new home and have an extra room that I don’t quite know what to do with. My partner and I hope that it will eventually become our nursery, but that is a few years out. Right now we would love a home office, but we don’t want to invest a lot of time and money and have to start all over.

How can we design the space for our lives right now, knowing that we will likely need to change it up in a few years? Please help!

Time-Traveling Home Designer


Dear Time-Traveler,

If there’s one thing we can all agree on it’s that life is full of changes. We believe that designing your home shouldn’t be a one-and-done situation, but rather a process that can evolve over time and grow along with your lifestyle.

As your needs change over time, that one random room you used as a home office might transform itself into something new, like a nursery. And while this is exciting it can also be stressful. We can help make this process a little easier by planning for the future while designing for the present.


Step 1: Right Now

Start by designing the space you need right now, be that a craft room, a home gym, or an office space. If this is a space you plan to stay in, we recommend opting for a mix of investment pieces and items that get the job done for now.

Think about what will stay in the room long-term:

  • A rug… might seem like an easy place to cut costs, but a high-quality piece will last you years. If you’re planning have a rug in this space for a  think about investing in a high quality rug that can last over time.
  • Storage… is always in demand, so investing in a bookcase or other storage option is always a safe bet.

Think about what you just need right now:

  • A desk chair… might not be the place to invest if you’re planning to transform your home office into a new space in a few years. A great alternative option is to use a dining chair instead. Use it as an extra (matching) seat at the dinner table in a pinch, and easily return it to your dining room when you are ready to repurpose your office into something else.
  • Accessories… are always great ways to add personality to a space. If you plan on refreshing the space in a few years, opt for more budget-friendly finds that you won’t feel bad about swapping out when the time comes.


Step 2: Making Some Changes

Congratulations, it’s time to transform this space into a nursery for your little bundle of joy! Don’t sweat the details, we know that not everyone has the time or resources to completely start from scratch. That’s ok! Repurpose the investment pieces from your office and look for new pieces that will work beyond the baby days.

Here’s where to start:

  • A dresser… with a changing table topper is a great option if you are looking for pieces with longevity.
  • A crib… that converts into a toddler bed is also a great way to stretch your budget to cover more than a few months.


Step 3: Think Long-Term

Whether it’s a big kid room, a guest room, or back to an office, down the line you can still use the same investment pieces to transform the extra room into something else.

What to consider:

  • A Sofa Bed… is a great space-saving option that gives you the flexibility of using the extra room as a space for guests, but also lets you use it in other ways. Turn it into a craft room, a workout space, or even back into a home office, but quickly transform it back into a bedroom when guests visit or the kids come home for the holidays.
  • The Same Rug… that you invested in before. If you are deciding whether to skimp or splurge, think about how you will use the space. If this is a high-traffic area, maybe a cheaper option makes more sense in the short-term. If not, maybe spending a little extra now is the better option to save you more in the long-term.
  • That Dresser… without the changing table topper. Remove that piece and you are left with a quality dresser that will last you years. Great storage pieces, dressers can be used in many spaces, not just bedrooms. Consider repurposing it as storage for a craft room or guest space. You can even swap your credenza for a dresser in the living room.

However you decide to use this room, you now have some great pieces to use as the building blocks of any space.



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