If you have a small home, you may wonder how you can invite friends or family to stay for an overnight visit unless you purchase a pull-out sofa.
You may find yourself needing both an attractive, relaxing guest space… and an office, playroom, library, or home gym.
Perhaps you feel the need to reciprocate the hospitality of a friend or relative, but you’re unsure how to make that thought become a reality.
Perhaps you’d like to have a dedicated guest space, but you feel like it’s a wasted area when there are no guests visiting. Creating a multi-functional guest space may be a viable option for meeting your needs.
Determining if a Multi-functional Guest Space is Right for You
It’s important to take an objective, yet critical, look at the space before deciding if you want to make your space multi-purpose. Using a critical eye will help you to identify potential challenges to your project.
Decide how you need your room to function
Obviously, you’ve decided you need a guest space, but before you can start creating your space, you’ll need to determine how you’ll use the room.
If you work from home, a home office might be ideal. You could decide you need a separate family room, or a playroom for the children.
Think about the lifestyle you have, and decide what is the most important, efficient use of the space when it isn’t being used by guests.
Realistically look at the size of the room
The size of the area you intend to use will factor into your decisions regarding functionality. Measure the room. It sounds obvious, but getting accurate measurements will save you time and possibly money in the long run.
Can you fit the appropriate furniture and accessories into the space in order for it to effectively function to meet your needs? If you’re not sure, even after measuring and remeasuring, think about ways to creatively fulfill the expectations you have associated with your project. Look beyond the typical, traditional functionality of pieces.
Designing your space
Now that you’ve decided to create a multi-functional space in your home, it’s time to plan, furnish, and decorate the space. Have a little fun, get creative, and let your personality be expressed with your choices.
Sketch your plan
You don’t need an official, detailed blueprint for your project unless you are constructing a space where there isn’t one currently, but a sketch of your idea for your space will help you when it’s time to purchase furnishings and accessories.
Simply sketch a rough map of your room. It can be helpful to write the dimensions of each wall on your sketch. Don’t forget to mark the location of cooling or heating appliances or vents. It’s also helpful to mark the location of electrical outlets and to list the items you’d like to incorporate into the space.
You know you’ll need some form of bed for your guests, but what else do you need? Think about the function you’ve decided you want, and make a list of the furnishings or accessories you feel are important to have in your new space.
Empty the space
Before beginning to create your guest space, it’s a good idea to completely empty the room if possible. Having a blank slate allows you to think more creatively and reimagine the room.
If you know you’re going to use some of the items you already had in the room, set them aside for later. Anything you don’t plan to use can be used elsewhere, donated, or tossed.
While the space is empty, check for any areas that need repair, and complete the necessary repairs.
Consider painting or wallpapering
An empty room is a blank canvas. If you like the color or wallpaper you have, use it for inspiration for fabrics and accessories. If you find you’re bored with the look of the walls, choose a paint color or wallpaper design that is more pleasing to you.
Remember, you’re creating a space that you will use when you don’t have guests, so it’s important that you enjoy being in the room as well.
Choose your furnishings
Filling the room can be the most fun part of reinventing a space. Using your sketch as a guide, choose the furniture items that will work well for the function you need.
Since you’re goal is to have a comfortable guest space that functions well for your needs, the bed is a good place to begin with furniture selection. A daybed beneath a window can be a good choice in a room that needs maximized floor space, such as an exercise space or playroom.
If you find that you don’t have enough storage in your home, consider a bed that incorporates storage into the design. Storage beds come in a variety of sizes and styles, and can add much needed drawer or shelving space to an otherwise crowded room.
When choosing your bed, consider the aesthetic of the remainder of your home. If you use modern furnishings in your main living area, you might not want French Provincial furnishings in this space.
Arrange and decorate the space
Once you’ve chosen furnishings, and placed them in the room, it’s time to add personality to the space. Choose accessories that match your style, but will still provide a welcome, relaxing feeling to your guests.
Consider placing baskets or bins in strategic places, so you can fill them with toiletries or snacks when you have guests.
Linens and fabrics that are inviting will make both you and guests more comfortable in the space.
When you are short on space, or if you want every space in your home to be filled with functionality, a multi-functional guest space can be just the thing for you.
Start with a blank slate, and enjoy the process of creating a room that functions for both your everyday life, and for a relaxing space for guests to enjoy.
Emily Palmer is a caffeinated blogger who loves talking Decorating, Travel, Yoga, Parenting, Self Development, and more.
She can be reached at twitter if you can’t find her at the local café.