Laundry that needs to be folded, boxes of junk needing to be sorted, bags of clothing waiting to be donated … We’re all guilty of hiding clutter when we need the rest of the house to be neat. Where that clutter gets stashed depends on the layout of your home and what you can afford to get away with doing. Oftentimes, the guest room falls to this unsightly fate. Turning the guest room into a personal storage area doesn’t work unless you don’t intend to welcome any houseguests.

Rather than letting this room accumulate clutter on its way to the point of no return, take some time now to get your spare bedroom in shape for the holidays and beyond. Here are some essential guest room ideas to make your spare room feel comfortable and look more spacious.

Essential Design Tips for a Cozy Guest Room

Putting together your guest room shouldn’t be an afterthought; this is a place where you want your friends, in-laws, siblings, and other guests to feel comfortable and welcomed while in your home. A well-designed guest room can improve your guest’s overall experience, helping them get the most out of their visit.

With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of our favorite small guest room ideas. The good news is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money or put a significant amount of time into designing your guest room. A few simple touches and some thoughtful decisions can make a world of difference. In fact, you don’t even need a dedicated guest room to make your favorite people feel at home. These ideas for a guest room work with dual-purpose rooms or temporary guest room spaces as well. 

Simplicity Is Key

Guest room painted with light blue walls and accents and double bed with throw pillows.

The more furniture and belongings you pack into your guest room, the smaller and more cramped the space is going to look and feel. Consider sticking with simple guest room ideas to keep the room feeling open and airy. Work with the minimum amount of furniture and decor if possible — a bed with a few throw pillows and a nice comforter, a dresser, a nightstand, a lamp, and some artwork on the walls. If you have more wall space, you may consider a bureau, a chest, or a dressing table for a slightly retro effect. Add a plant as a finishing touch with a pop of color and life.

Expand the Space With Visual Tricks

Many guest rooms tend to be small since you’ll likely want to use your larger bedrooms for you and your family. Fortunately, we’ve got plenty of spare small guest room ideas to make even the coziest spaces seem a little bigger. 

To start, hang one or more mirrors to visually expand the size of the room. You’ll also make it easy on your guests when it comes to getting ready in the morning, giving them a place to check their appearance before venturing into the day.

We also recommend using light colors on the walls to make the room feel more open and airy. Maximize natural light by hanging sheer curtains or keeping windows unobstructed. Finally, use your vertical space to draw the eye upward. You can do this by adding a tall bookshelf or dresser to the room or adding wall shelves. 

Choose Soothing Colors

Rather than using loud, trendy colors on your guest room walls, stick with the tried and true. Fill your guest room with soothing blues, serene greens, or muted earth tones. Softer colors will help your guests relax when they return to their rooms after a long day. If you need a little inspiration, consider a palette of perfect guest room color ideas from HGTV.

Create a Relaxing Sanctuary

Brown sofa bed converted for sleeping.

Create a peaceful retreat in your guest room with carefree home accents that add to the relaxing look and feel. Enhance the mood and tranquility with scented candles or reed diffuser fragrance. You can even create the feeling of seclusion with a canopy bed or a curtain nook that envelops the bed in its own private nook. (And you can creatively get the look of a canopy bed without investing in new bedroom furniture with a little inspiration and some DIY canopy hacks.)

Maximize Storage for a Clutter-Free Zone

Optimize the space in your guest room by incorporating smart storage in your furniture and design selections. One of our favorite guest room storage ideas is purchasing a bed frame with drawers. If you want to save money, buy cubbies that you can place under the bed. Install a closet organizer that can add a second bar for hanging clothes, as well as shelves and drawers. (This may eliminate the need to add a bulky bureau in the room.) Install floating shelves to add more storage, and choose nightstands with shelves or drawers. Finally, add a bench at the end of the bed that includes a storage space for extra linens and pillows. 

Turn Any Room Into a Multifunctional Room

Not every house has enough rooms that you can dedicate one just to guests. In fact, you can enjoy more utility from your home by creating a multifunctional room that can serve dual purposes. Rather than create a guest room that sits empty most of the year, use that space as an office, a hobby/craft room, a game room, or even a playroom for your kids.

Choosing multifunctional furniture can allow you to quickly convert a space into a guest room when your parents decide to visit. One of our favorite small guest room ideas is adding a Murphy bed that you can pull down for guests. Other options include putting in a loft bed with a desk beneath it, a sofa bed, or a futon. Many of these options have come a long way over the years and are more comfortable than ever.

Don’t stop there: Consider using a fold-down desk attached to the wall or a collapsible table for hobby and crafting work. These furniture options can be folded up or stowed away easily to make room for guests. Combine these ideas with the storage ideas from above to create a quickly convertible room. 

Turn Any Space Into a Guest Room

If you don’t have a room you can convert into a guest room, that doesn’t mean you have to send your visiting friends to the nearest Airbnb. Instead, you can convert nearly any space into a guest room with some creative design ideas.

You can use a lot of the same tricks from the previous section. Murphy beds, sofa beds, and futons can turn your living room, den, or basement into a guest room. Reposition rugs, shelves, and other furniture to create the feeling of a defined room within a bigger space. 

Keep Your Guest Room Clutter-Free

The biggest problem with spare rooms is that they often become a magnet for clutter like piles of laundry to deal with, stacks of mail to go through, and mounds of things that need to be put away, donated, sold, or trashed. Avoid the urge to use your guest room as a closet. Instead, sort the clutter, dispose of what you can, and consider an offsite self-storage unit to store your belongings out of sight and out of mind. This lack of clutter creates a more carefree living space for your guests and your family, with plenty of breathing room and just the right ambiance.

If you need to declutter, here’s where to find your nearest Price Self Storage.

Deciding how to make a guest room welcoming begins with putting yourself in your guest’s shoes and involves a little inspiration to pull it all together. Put these guest room ideas to use and become a hosting legend in your circle of friends and family.