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How to Create a Guest Room

Family coming for the holidays? Follow the Domestic CEO’s 3 easy tips to create a great temporary guest room out of any spare space in your home. 

By
Amanda Thomas,
November 15, 2012
Episode #037

How to Create a Guest Room

The holidays are coming, which means that people all over the world are going to be traveling and staying with family members. For example, my entire family is coming to visit me in Arizona for Thanksgiving. After 10 years of Mr. Domestic CEO and me flying to frigid South Dakota for the holidays, my family finally decided to come to my neck of the desert for the first time. I guess they realized that eating Thanksgiving dinner on a patio in 75 degrees would be more fun than sloshing through the snow and muck for the same meal.

See also: How to Host Thanksgiving Dinner

With the entire family coming, some of them will be staying in our home. While we do have a dedicated guest room, the other area where we may have to put guests is our workout room—which will require a little work and creativity to turn into a proper guest room.

So today I’m going to share with you a few tips on how to turn any spare space into a guest room. No matter how much, or how little, space you have, these tips will have your guests feeling like they’re at a 5-star hotel. Well, maybe not, but at least they won’t grumble about crashing in your living room…

Tip #1: Create Space

Welcome your guests by showing them that you have plenty of room for themselves and their luggage. By giving your guests a place to put their things, and still have room to walk around, you are going to help them feel more at home, and less like they’re intruding. This is especially important if your new guest room doubles as your storage or “junk” room.

You can create more open space in a room by moving furniture and other items to the edges of the space. If moving items to the sides of the room doesn’t open up enough space for your guests, try moving some of the stuff out of the room. Can you temporarily store the coffee table in your bedroom? How about moving some of those boxes or the elliptical machine into the garage? And, if all else fails and you’re going to have guests on and off for a couple of months, you may want to consider moving some stuff out of the house. Start by asking a friend with a bigger home to store a few things temporarily. And if that doesn’t work, you may want to buck up and purchase a storage unit for a few months. Trust me, your guests will appreciate it.

Tip #2: Create Privacy

Once they have space, the next thing your guests are going to want is privacy. If your guest room is an actual room, commit to not going into that room during your guests’ stay to allow them to feel like they have as much privacy as they want. Get anything out of the room that you may need so you don’t have to knock on their door at 6 am to get your favorite pair of boots from the closet.

Even in a small home, you can create some level of privacy in your temporary guest room. Purchase a screen divider to block off an area of the room. If your guests are staying in your main living area, you may not want to block off the entire room, but just giving your guests a screen to hide their luggage behind will give them a feeling of calm. If they don’t have to worry about their undies spilling out of their luggage in front of you, they are going to be able to relax just a little bit more.

Tip #3: Create Comfort

Whether your guests are coming for 2 days or 2 months, you want to make sure they have comfortable accommodations. If you have a dedicated guest room, it may seem like a good idea to move your old mattress into that room when you buy a new one for your master bedroom. This can be a good idea, but only if the mattress is in decent condition. If the mattress in your guest room is saggy, lumpy, or causes two people to roll into a canyon in the middle of the bed, your guests are not going to get a good night’s sleep. Consider purchasing a new, or even just a slightly newer, mattress for the guest room. Just make sure that if you purchase a used mattress, you completely trust the person you purchase from to ensure it is still in good condition (try buying from family and friends when they upgrade to a newer mattress).

If you don’t have a dedicated guest space, consider working your sleeping quarters into your room’s décor. Futons and pull-out couches are great options that function as seating when you don’t need the extra sleeping space. While they aren’t as comfortable as a real mattress, they can be pretty darn close, as long as they aren’t 20-years-old.

If you simply can’t fit or afford to buy a futon or pull-out couch for your temporary guest room, get the best air mattress you can afford. A quick online search will give you hundreds of results for air mattresses, so make sure you read the reviews to find the best quality for the money. I just purchased one for our home that is 20” high (so it feels like a real bed) for less than $50 on Amazon, so there’s certainly no need to spend a fortune to make your guests comfortable.

Two quick and dirty tips about air mattresses:

  1. Make sure the company you purchase from has a good return policy. You don’t want to be stuck with a lemon.

  2. Inflate your new mattress as soon as it arrives and keep it inflated for a week to make sure there are no leaks or bubbles. And if there are, see tip #1 above about return policies.

Whether it’s for the holidays, or you just want to make sure you’re ready for guests year-round, these tips will help you create a guest room out of any spare space. By taking these 3 simple steps, you’ll help your guests feel right at home. Once your space is created, you may want to check out my episode Cashing in on Couchsurfers to see how you can even make money off your new guest room.

Have a question about anything in this episode? Or a suggestion for a future podcast? Send me an email at DomesticCEO@quickanddirtytips.com or post it on my Facebook wall. You can also catch me on Twitter where I’m @TheDomesticCEO.

Until next time, I’m the Domestic CEO, helping you love your home.

Luggage, Screen Divider and Air Mattress images courtesy of Shutterstock

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