How to Turn an Extra Bedroom Into a Guest Suite

Updated on December 20, 2017
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Sadie Holloway enjoys discovering simple ways to stay organized and manage her time better at home, at work, and out in the community.

Have you got company coming for the holidays? Do family members like to drop in from out of nowhere to stay the night? Here are some easy, affordable ways to turn your spare bedroom into a cozy home-away-from-home for your guests. You can also use the design tips featured here to make your spare bedroom attractive to bed and breakfast guests or short-term rental clients.

After a long day of travelling, your house guests will appreciate having a nice, cozy room to stay in when they arrive.
After a long day of travelling, your house guests will appreciate having a nice, cozy room to stay in when they arrive.

1. Start with a comfy bed, and layer it with clean crisp sheets, linens, blankets, and pillows. By making the bed in layers (coverlet, blanket, sheets, and pillows), your guests will be able to customize the coverings to their preferred level of warmth or coolness. Guests who prefer a warm sleep can pull an extra blank up from the bottom of the bed. For those guest who prefer a cooler sleeping environment, they may be happy just sleeping under a single sheet.

Make sure your linens are impeccably fresh and clean smelling. Even if your guest bed hasn't been used for months since you last made it up with clean sheets, the linens may have lost that freshly washed scent. Re-washing stale sheets will freshen them up and remove any excess dust that may have accumulated since the bed was last made.

Outfitting the bed with an assortment of pillows of varying firmness will also ensure your guest will have a comfortable place to rest her head at the end of the day. Just make sure that you don't overdo it with the pillows. An endless assortment of decorative pillows that have to be removed from the bed each night can make a room feel cluttered and messy.

For a luxurious hotel look, make the bed with fresh white linens rather than multi-colored sheets.
For a luxurious hotel look, make the bed with fresh white linens rather than multi-colored sheets.

People are either born hosts or born guests.

— Max Beerbohm

2. Help them find their way around town. Before your guests arrive, visit your local tourism bureau and pick up some free magazines and brochures for things to do around town. Street maps are handy if your guests arrived by car. If they prefer to take transit, a bus and or subway schedule would be handy.

Supplying your guests with the tools they need to find their way around means they won't be dependent on you to be their tour guides.
Supplying your guests with the tools they need to find their way around means they won't be dependent on you to be their tour guides.

3. A self-serve coffee or tea station is ideal for early-risers. An electric kettle, french press, and an assortment of herbal teas, gourmet coffee, and hot chocolate will be appreciated by those house-guests who like to have an early morning cup of coffee before they unleash their less-than-perky morning personality on unsuspecting hosts. Some people really can't function coherently without a cup of coffee first thing in the morning, so giving your guests the option of making coffee in the privacy of their room is a thoughtful touch.

Instead of setting up a coffee bar in the guest bedroom, be sure to arrange everything your guests will need to make coffee or tea on the kitchen counter so that they can make themselves a hot drink in the morning if they get up before you.

Make a simple coffee bar with a french press, some gourmet coffee, sugar, whitener and an electric kettle.
Make a simple coffee bar with a french press, some gourmet coffee, sugar, whitener and an electric kettle.

4. Provide simple storage solutions to help your guests settle in and stay organized. Place a few small baskets or caddies on dressers and night stands to catch coins, jewelry, cellphones, glasses and other easily misplaced items.

5. Assemble a small survival kit for your guests. A sewing kit, a small first aid kit, a note pad, pen, and a few small toiletries may never get used by your guests, but they'll certainly appreciate having them on hand.

6. Provide some easy reading for your guests. Stock your guest suite with an assortment of word puzzle books, magazines, and light fiction.

7. Plug in a power bar within easy reach. Your guest will appreciate having a place to plug in all of their gadgets and gizmos without having to move furniture to find an electrical outlet. If you have Wi-Fi, Make sure to give your visitors the password to a guest account so that they can connect to the internet safely and securely.

What other touches would you add to your spare bedroom to turn it into a lovely private suite for your house guests? Please share your home decor tips and tricks!

How long do you think house guests should stay?

What's your time limit for being a host before you want your guests to move on?

See results

Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.

— Benjamin Franklin

© 2017 Sadie Holloway

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