The Ultimate Guest Hosting Essentials for Multi-Use Rooms and Shared Spaces

These budget-friendly and luxe upgrades to shared spaces will help you be the best host ever for your next overnight visitors, even if you don't have a dedicated guest room.

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May 27, 2022

We've all got quite a lot of catching up to do with family and friends we haven't been able to see much, if at all, over the last two years. If you haven't hosted in a while, it might be time to shake the dust off that air mattress and spare pillows or upgrade your living room to make space for a few more.

Get ready for summer visits from your parents, friends or grandkids with these smart ways to upgrade your hosting kit.

Furniture for Living Rooms and Multi-Use Spaces

If you’ve got a bit of extra cash to spend, a futon or sleeper sofa may be a more comfortable, homey solution than an air mattress. But air mattresses these days are pretty high-tech, and even on a budget, you can get a plush, self-inflating model the height of a normal bed.

If your guest is sleeping on the couch, make sure to have an extra sheet handy to tuck over the cushions. Doing so instantly upgrades a couch from a seat into something more like a twin-sized bed, and it is a small thing you can do to change a daytime space into better sleeping quarters. A small wooden stepstool that folds and slides under the couch when not in use — or a side table with open space on a shelf — can act as a nightstand, offering guests a place to keep a glass of water, a book or their phone.

$460

This sleeper sofa from Wayfair comes in several different colors and is a budget-friendly solution that instantly adds both function and style to a shared space.

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From $1,599

This plush chair from West Elm isn't just an armchair — it's hiding a spacious single bed. For smaller spaces, like an office or a studio apartment, a convertible chair like this may make more sense than a full sofa.

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$2,499 - $2,899

If you're looking to upgrade your sofa and want one that can also accommodate visitors, this Shelter Queen Sleeper Sofa from West Elm is a popular and stylish option. You can customize this couch and choose from several colors and six different fabrics (free swatches available!), including performance linens and velvets.

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13 Stylish Sleeper Sofas

In need of extra sleeping space for guests but don't have a guest room? Rest easy with these top-rated sleeper sofas.

The Best Futons

Make any room guest ready with a versatile futon that transforms from seating to a bed in mere seconds.

$100

This ultra-tall air mattress is as tall as a low bed, so your guests won't feel like they're sleeping on the floor. It's self-inflating and deflating — making the set-up and fold-up process far easier.

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9 Best Air Mattresses for Home and Travel

These blow-up beds are top-rated, affordable and, most importantly, comfortable.

Bedding for Guest Rooms and Air Mattresses

Whether your guests are crashing on your couch or you have a whole room just for visitors, investing in nice-feeling sheets will go a long way to making someone feel at home. If you’re in the market for a new set, consider doing a bit of research on more sustainable ways to shop for bedding before you purchase. To make a pull-out couch or futon more comfortable, consider adding a pillow-top mattress topper. Pillow-top mattress toppers pack down much easier for simple storage and your guests will appreciate the extra cushioning. It's always good to have extra pillows on hand for guests, and we love these customizable memory foam ones from Coop Home that allow you to add or remove fill to achieve the perfect fit and firmess.

Essentials for a Shared Space

Even if you don’t have a dedicated guest bedroom, there are many ways to update other spaces in your home — like your living room or office — on a budget to make cozier spaces for overnight visitors. For starters, if you don’t have blackout curtains installed, keep an eye mask on hand to help light-sensitive guests sleep sounder. You can also invest in a folding room divider to create privacy for your guest if your living room is an open-concept space, or if you live in a studio apartment.

A white noise machine or Bluetooth speaker streaming calming sounds can help cushion open spaces from noise in the rest of the house, too, offering everyone a bit more privacy for phone calls, meetings and conversations with their partner or children.

Adding a mirror to your living room décor is an instant upgrade to any space, making it feel brighter and more open. And for guests, it has an added bonus — they’ll be able to use your living room mirror to get ready in the mornings. Having an extra bathrobe — and, of course, extra towels — on hand can also help your guest feel more comfortable moving between their space and the bathroom after showers.

This no-fan white noise machine uses less energy than traditional models. Control it via its own specific app to suit your needs and mood.

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$87

This clever room divider creates a storage solution for overnight guests.

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$42

A folding stepstool creates an instant bedside table for a couch, sleeper sofa or air mattress.

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Extras for the Bathroom

Guests always appreciate when their hosts have little extras just in case they’ve forgotten something. Keep a few extra toothbrushes and a fresh tube of toothpaste in the bathroom for overnight visitors, and be sure to point out the hairdryer and where you keep the shampoo and conditioner so your guests know they’re welcome to use it.

Over-the-door hooks are easy to install and will give your guests a place to hang their towels, robes and any clothing they might not have space to hang in their room. Go for a decorative one, like this one from Urban Outfitters, to add a bit of extra flair to your bathroom.

Upgrade your towel rod with this stylish over-the-door set of hooks for towels and bathrobes. Get two and keep one over the door in your living room to add an instant, install-free storage solution in other shared spaces, too.

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This over-the-door storage solution is a great way to give your guests a bit of extra organization space in your guestroom, living room, or bathroom.

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Extras for Around the House

Storage is always at a premium when traveling, so make it easy for your guests to stay organized with storage solutions like a foldable basket or box your guests can use for dirty laundry or organizing other essentials.

In the kitchen, set out a water carafe and glass for your guests to bring to bed, and have some tea set out in an obvious spot, along with a mug. An electric kettle will make it easy for your guests to help themselves to a cozy cup of tea.

An extra bonus for a little bit of budget luxury? Leave out a scented candle, reed diffuser or essential oils for your guests to indulge in a little bit of aromatherapy at their leisure.

Guest Bedroom Essentials Under $50

Your home may not be a luxury resort, but you can certainly make it feel that way for your overnight guests.

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