How to Furnish a Dual-Purpose Room You Can Enjoy When the Guests are Gone
Whatever happened to your guest room?
You know, the room with the exercise mats, barbells, and hand-weights scattered on the floor. Is that a treadmill in the corner?
Did your guest room gradually morph into the home office where you launched a thousand Zoom calls? Maybe it's become the quiet room where you started working on that novel?
Whatever you're doing there, we applaud you. And we have news for you.
First, the great news. Life is slowly coming back to normal. All the people you love and who love you back will want to come for a visit. You're going to need that guest room again. That's right, for real people guests.
Now the best news. You don't have to give up your newfound happy place. Instead, imagine a dual-purpose room that easily converts into a relaxing retreat for overnight guests. If you can think it, you can make it happen.
Whether your guests give you a week's notice or show up at your door without warning, your room transformation should be quick and easy. Think "double-duty" when looking for furniture and accessories for your multi-purpose guest room.
You want a comfortable guest bed that also provides daytime seating and gives you floor space to do jumping jacks or yoga. The side-table functions as a desk or craft workspace. The lamp that works for bedside reading, or task lighting for sewing, crafting, or scrapbooking. And you want storage—lots of it.
Picture your multi-purpose room as a double-sized jigsaw puzzle. On one side is a charming guest room. On the flip side, your happy place awaits. Here's how to put the pieces together.
Before choosing a bed for your multi-purpose guest room, put on your thinking cap. Consider the room size, whether your typical guests are older or younger, and how you plan to use the room after the guests have said their goodbyes.
Blow up Mattress: An air mattress is ideal and fun for your younger, more agile overnighters. Spread blankets and toss in fluffy pillows, and they are all set for a good night's sleep. You'll have all the floor space you need when you're ready to exercise. Store the folded mattress and pump inside the room, so they're right there when you need them.
Sofa Bed: When the in-laws or grandparents come to town, they may prefer a bed not so close to the floor. A pull-out sofa is sturdier, and they'll have an easier time getting in and out of bed. A small sofa makes your home office look inviting for meetings or a nap.
Trundle Day Bed: A trundle bed accommodates a solo guest without any fuss. Raise the trundle for couples to sleep side by side. They can slide it under in the morning and have more space to move around. You'll have a cozy spot to finish that book when they're gone.
A bedside table is a must for books, devices, eyeglasses, medications, or other personal items. But what you place bedside doesn't have to be a table. A short stool, low bench, or a self-storing ottoman gives guests the surface they need to feel at home. Later on, move it across the room for your convenience.
A table with folding sides or a self-storing leaf makes a unique multi-function desk or crafts table and a sweet spot where your guests can sip a cup of tea before bed. Store an extra table with foldable legs in the closet.
Table lamps take up valuable surface space in a dual-purpose room. Consider a floor lamp with an in-line switch. It's a cozy bedside light for overnighters. A movable task light for creative crafters. Set it by your desk when you're in work mode.
There's no such thing as too much storage in a multi-purpose guest room. During overnight stays, wheeled storage is easy to tuck away in the back of a closet or temporarily moved to another room.
Trunks and ottomans are decorative and functional, giving you ample storage for linens, office supplies, or exercise equipment. Your guests get the satisfaction of an extra seat or another usable surface – they can decide.
The Big Picture
Once you've got the big pieces in place, look around the room to see how small accessories can pull it together. A wall clock is decorative and practical in any space. Throw pillows and area rugs are instant room refreshers. Fresh-cut flowers are a final welcoming touch. When the doorbell rings, swap out the pillows and show your guest inside.