How to Create a Guest Room in a Small Home

Rose Morrison

Oct 1, 2021


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How do you make a perfect guest room when you don’t have a lot of space to spare? You may host family and friends occasionally and want a cozy getaway. Even in the smallest of homes, you can find space to make a guest room feel welcoming. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average single-family home was 2,301 square feet. Depending upon how many people live in the house and the number of bedrooms, there may or may not be space for a dedicated room for guests. Even if you have much less than 2,301 square feet, there are ways to create a guest room in a small space for the occasional visitor.

1. Make Space Do Double Duty

If one or more family members work from home, you may need office space with a desk and files. However, you can easily turn a small office into a guest space for the few times a year people come to visit. Think about fold away sofa beds, murphy beds or smaller beds you can use still allowing enough space for a desk area. 

2. Downsize the Bed and Furniture

If you have a tiny room that isn’t comfortable for a long-term stay, you may be able to use it for a guest space anyway. Go with a smaller mattress, such as a full instead of a queen. Downsize furniture to a small end table. Lose the dresser as most guests don’t fully unpack anyway and instead place a bench against the wall where they can stack their luggage.

3. Add Mirrors

Mirrors can make a small space seem larger. Place a mirror over a dresser or on the wall the guest faces as entering the room. Use them as a decorative statement but also to make things look larger than they are.

4. Go with Light Colors

Use a bright, light paint to expand the space visually. Dark colors tend to make a space look smaller. Go for airy and bright hues. Don’t choose a dark bedspread as it may detract from the ambiance. If you must add something darker, save it for a throw pillow or rug. 

5. Add Hooks

Place hooks by the door and on the back of the door, so guests have somewhere to hang coats, purses and other items. Adding hooks doesn’t take up precious floor space but still adds storage to a small room.

6. Freshen Up the Room

Remember the simple things, such as a vase of fresh flowers on the nightstand. Let guests know you’re happy to have them there and thought out even the smallest things, and they’ll feel welcomed. Look for things not taking up much room, so the area isn’t overwhelmed.

7. Build a Nook

If you don’t have a full room to dedicate to guests, create a small nook with a bed for them. For example, if you have a large family room, a nook on one end can serve as a great sleeping spot for overnighters. 

8. Provide a TV

Your houseguests might like to watch television late into the night, but the rest of the family goes to bed at dusk. Make sure the guest area has its own entertainment so they don’t feel they are disturbing the rest of the household but can still stay in comfort. 

9. Add Outdoor Space

Create an outdoor oasis for you and your guests. Whether they keep different hours than you or simply need to get outside to enjoy a cigarette or coffee, an outdoor space with shade and comfortable seating is a must. In smaller homes, the outside can extend usable living space.

10. Use Two Twin Beds

Instead of using a single full, consider adding two twin beds. You can arrange them in various ways, and you’ll have separate sleeping spots if someone other than a couple comes to stay with you. You can also push the beds together to create a full when needed.

11. Build a Loft

Another idea is to build a small loft over a full or queen bed. A loft gives you more sleeping space for visiting families and prevents the kids from being relegated to the family sofa. Anytime you’re out of space, look up. 

Get Creative

Consider how many times a year you have guests stay with you. You may not want to create a guest room in a small space to use year-round, but have some tricks up your sleeve when they do visit. Rollaway beds, a small guest house out back or dual-purpose spaces all give you a place for family and friends to stay without taking over your small home.

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