5 Top Tips for creating a Multi-Functional Guest Room
With modern families often living quite far apart, it’s important to be able to have loved ones to stay whenever possible. But another aspect of modern family life and the high cost of living is that space comes at a premium and many of us don’t have a spare room to put our guests in. Or if we do, it quite often has to serve as dual or multi-purpose space, perhaps doubling up as a home office, study or gym as well.
The top five things to think about when creating a multi-functional guest room are:
1. Clear out clutter
Your aim is to get the maximum usage out of what may be a small space. So free up as much of it as you can by getting rid of clutter – be ruthless about removing things you no longer need or use, you can give them away if it makes you feel better than binning them. Organise your remaining essential belongings in a practical way, making use of storage boxes, shelves etc. The good thing about so much being digital these days is that you shouldn’t need to keep huge amounts of paperwork, for example.
2. Plan the layout
Don’t overcrowd your space with things, such as a wardrobe which may only be used a few times a year. Think about how the room will be used for the majority of time, e.g. will it be 70% office and 30% guest room and allocate more space for the main function of the room. Although you can’t fit two rooms into one, you can select items for the room that work for multiple purposes, making it easy to transform the space from one usage to another. Think flexibly, for example a desk for a laptop by the window could equally work as a dressing table at other times. Or if your room is more often a guest bedroom than a hobby room, then a dressing table which is part of a bedroom set can perform as an occasional small desk. In a larger room, practical solutions such as a dividing screen may help to zone the different areas or hide office equipment.
If you don’t have space for guest furniture on a permanent basis, temporary storage solutions can be a great alternative. You can buy inexpensive items like canvas wardrobes and drawers that simply fold away when not in use. A space saving sofa bed can also be invaluable, freeing up a spare or multi-functional room, yet still providing somewhere to sleep when visitors stay overnight and useful seating for the rest of the time. Not all sofa beds are built the same and some people may choose a budget option, but the old adage ‘you get what you pay for’ is true. Whilst you can get away with cheap and cheerful storage solutions, it’s not really fair to expect a family member or friend who has travelled many miles, or may be advanced in years, to sleep on an inferior sofa bed. You want to encourage guests to come back again, not put them off! We all know how important a good night’s sleep is, so choose a quality sofa bed from a company like Sofabedsofa, who have a wide range of stylish designs that are all handmade in the UK and a complete delivery service (even taking the arms off and reassembling them to get them into tight spaces if necessary!)
4. Bedding and supplies
No one is expecting a boutique hotel experience when they go to stay with relatives or friends, but it is nice to make a bit of effort by providing some lovely clean and fresh-smelling bedding and soft furnishings (using a long lasting fabric conditioner is one way to make the sheets smell dreamy for the duration of their stay), some plump pillows and fluffy towels. You might even like to put together a little welcome basket containing a few travel sized toiletries.
5. Thoughtful Extras
A simple posy of flowers in the guest room or a little box of chocolates and some books or magazines will make visitors feel extra welcome and add some stylish touches around the room. Put up a mirror if you can and maybe even add a piece of decorative artwork, especially if the room is plain and functional looking. You could surprise relatives by displaying some long forgotten funny family photos as an extra personal touch.