16 Ways to Get More Out of Your Guest Bedroom

It’s not always practical to devote an entire room to the occasional visitor. But with a little creativity, you can design a space that welcomes guests when it needs to, but doubles as an office, media room or playroom the rest of the time. Get ideas from these stylish multifunctional guest bedrooms.

By: Amanda Lecky
Related To:

Photo By: Kuoh Photography; Design By: Jennifer Jones, Niche Interiors

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Kelsey Ann Rose for Homepolish; Design By: Sara Touijer, Touijer Designs

Photo By: Eric Roth Photography

Photo By: Todd Richesin Interiors

Photo By: David Marlow; Design By: Miller | Roodell Architects Ltd.

Photo By: 2id Interiors

Photo By: Emily Minton Redfield; Design By: Luis A. Menendez, AIA, Menendez Architects

Photo By: Eric Roth

Photo By: Michael J. Lee; Design By: Dena Hamilburg, Hamilburg Interiors

Photo By: Michael Walmsley Photography

Photo By: Alexey Gold-Dvoryadkin

Photo By: Celia Foussé; Design By: Peggy Dupuis, Dupuis Design

Photo By: Greg Tilley; Design By: Deborah Gerbis, Eye 4 Detail

Photo By: Dan Piassick

Photo By: Morgan Sheff; Design By: Martha Yunker, YA Architecture/Jeff Lind and Jeff Nelson, Lind-Nelson Construction Inc.

Make It Disappear

Jennifer Jones of Niche Interiors designed this comfortable guest space for her clients’ "revolving door" of out-of-town guests. When it’s just the owners at home, the guest bed folds up into the built-in cabinets, transforming the space into a sunny office. "Murphy beds and sofa beds are fantastic solutions for accommodating guests while maintaining plenty of usable space for other daily activities," says Jones.

Put It to Work

Building cabinets and a work surface along one wall of a guest bedroom allows the space to double as a home office. The dark finish of the cabinets coordinates well with the bedding and furnishings for a crisp, tailored look. Tip: Plan plenty of closed storage for a dual-purpose space, so guests don’t have to look at piles of paper or supplies.

Nestle It Into a Nursery

In city homes where space is often at a premium, designer Sara Touijer suggests choosing furniture that can serve dual purposes. For a nursery that doubles as a guest room, she chose an elegant daybed from Jonathan Adler. "It gives family members a comfortable place to sleep and enjoy their time spent with the newest addition to the family," she says. When no one’s visiting, the daybed is a comfy couch.

Mix It With Media

When guests are visiting, a Murphy bed folds down over the sofa, turning this sleek space into a welcoming guest retreat. The rest of the time, the owners use it as a media room or office.

Be Smart About Space

When carving out rooms in this open loft in downtown Knoxville, Tenn., designer Todd Richesin took some space-saving measures. The dual-purpose office and guest area is a perfect example: He designed a pull-out bed that disappears into a built-in dividing wall when not in use, but creates a cozy sleeping space when guests are in town.

Build In Flexibility

To give a Sun Valley, Idaho, home a guest room that would double as a place for the family to watch TV, read or play games, the team at Miller Roodell Architects took a creative approach. "Window seats that use either a twin or full mattress can function as a sitting area during the day and as a bed for overnight guests," say the architects. They gave the space a rustic look befitting its location by using posts and timbers from an old barn.

Give It a Secret Identity

By day, it’s a contemporary home office with elegant artwork, a rich blue area rug and built-in display shelves — all chosen by 2id Interiors. But by night, the desk rolls forward and the shelves swing open to reveal a pull-down double bed — transforming the space into a stylish and private guest room.

Maximize Every Inch

As part of his remodel of an Aspen, Colo., condo, architect Luis A. Menendez wanted to give his clients a multifunctional space that would sleep one, two or even three guests at a time — and serve as a TV room otherwise. "The room previously served as part of the living/dining room, but we separated it from the rest of that space with a large sliding barn door to create a separate space," he says. Then, he designed a wall of built-in storage on one end of the room that’s deep enough to create a daybed, over which the television hangs (not shown). The sofa on the opposite wall folds out to a double bed. And the coffee table has wheels so it can roll into the slot underneath the daybed to make room for the sofa bed.

Put It Behind Paneling

Bleached walnut wall paneling gives this media room a warm, clubby look. On an adjacent wall, one of those panels conceals a king-size Murphy bed that folds down to transform this modern space into a luxurious guest suite.

Fit It to Your Family

To create a welcoming space for her client’s grown daughter, son-in-law and baby to stay when visiting, designer Dena Hamilburg took care to incorporate features for everyone — a comfortable bed for the couple, a safe (and pretty) crib for the little one and plenty of seating. Then, she worked to make the space feel like a getaway. "The spring green striped wallcovering and aqua linen damask on the windows help create a cheerful yet restful color palette," she says.

Consider All the Details

From the recessed lighting to the window seat to the sliding door, this contemporary room is rich in architectural character. But it also has multifunctional appeal — you just can’t see it. Between the bookshelves, opposite the windows, hides a Murphy bed that folds down to create a private guest sweet. The lower cabinets on either side of the bed double as nightstands. Need more floor space? Clear off the desk and fold it up into the wall; it will lie flush with the luxe zebrawood millwork.

Have Some Fun

When guests come to call, this energetic nursery caters to all their needs. The plush velour sofa folds out to become a bed. The bookcases on either side work nicely as bedside tables. And the wall sconces light the room for nighttime reading. The rest of the time, the furnishings and lighting are soft, smart and safe enough for the needs of a small child.

Accommodate Quick Changes

Designer Peggy Dupuis created this bright and cheerful space to fit both the styles and needs of her client’s teenage daughters, who use the room as a TV room, playroom and as a place for their friends to spend the night. "They’re very modern and fashion-conscious," says Dupuis. To this end, she chose furnishings with modern silhouettes, graphic prints and bold hues. "I love the striking whites with the splashes of color," she says. The furnishings are easy to move around as the function of the room changes, and more grown-up accessories can quickly replace the bright details as the girls’ tastes change.

Get Creative

To create room for guests, a home office and book storage in a small, narrow space in an Ottawa apartment, designer Deborah Gerbis had to find an outside-the-box solution. "We thought about a Murphy-style bed, but positioned the bed horizontally instead of the traditional vertical orientation. We chose maple cabinetry with a medium stain to complement the floor and included frosted glass elements to keep the unit from feeling imposing in such a narrow room. A beautiful Middle Eastern area carpet takes center stage, allowing the room to have a slightly traditional feel in an otherwise contemporary space," she says.

Give It Some Light

A large bay window floods this grand guest suite with natural light, making it a delight for guests and creating the perfect spot for a small work space. Designer Mary Anne Smiley’s choice of a serene color palette, glam lighting and bright accents make the room as welcoming for the homeowner as it is for visitors.

Get in the Swing

Here’s an idea for a unique overnight experience: A stay in an upholstered daybed suspended from a screened-porch ceiling by chains. It may be unexpected, but thanks to the elegant finishes builders Jeff Lind and Jeff Nelson of Lind-Nelson Construction applied in this space, the daybed fits right in — both for sleeping and for sitting to admire the views.

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