How do I make the most of a tiny guestroom? 4 ingenious tricks to try in time for holiday hosting

If you’re not applying these ideas to your small guest bedroom, you’re missing a trick

close-up of bed with white sheets and wooden headboard with floating bedside table
(Image credit: Carmel Brantley. goop Villa at The Colony Hotel)

If you’re lucky enough to have that extra bedroom in your home, you’ll want to make sure it's ready for guests as the holiday season approaches. Hosting in style so that your guests have a luxurious stay is vital, but you might also need the space to double up as a makeshift home office or workout room when someone isn't staying, all while ensuring it still looks lovely. Sound a bit much? Not at all. With clever design, it’s all feasible. 

The luxury of a spare guestroom, no matter how small, can quickly turn into a stressful situation if we're not able to adapt it easily. More often than not, there will be more than one use in mind, but you don't have to sacrifice any of them. We spoke with interior designers who reveal four super clever ideas to help you make the most of even the tiniest guest bedroom

1. Go for double-duty  

guest bedroom with murphy bed built in, shelving left and right, gray walls

(Image credit: Angela Newton Roy. Design: LP + Co)

Multifunctionality is key when we’re talking about a guest bedroom, and one important ingredient to make sure you can accommodate people staying over is a bed. The problem is, more often than not this will completely dominate the room, leaving very little space for anything else. 

Luckily, interior designer Kathryn Murphy has a solution that will make the room fully adaptable. ‘Guest rooms are such great multi-purpose spaces if planned well,' she says. 'A Murphy bed allows you to make use of the floor space for a craft room or yoga space in between guests, with those materials tucked into a dresser or closet when they arrive. A work in progress displayed on an easel or loom makes for beautiful decor and a great conversation starter.' 

guest bedroom with grey walls and murphy bed with shelving on either side

(Image credit: Angela Newton Roy. Design: LP + C)

Liz Potarazu CEO and Principal Designer of LP + Co agrees, adding that a Murphy bed is a great solution for a guest bedroom that needs to double up as a small home office on a daily basis. ‘A Murphy bed is especially great for home offices because it can double as a sophisticated video conference background,’ she says, further suggesting that a singular color theme for your wall and bed millwork makes the room appear bigger and more sophisticated.  ‘This can be accomplished by painting the moldings the same color as walls and/or by keeping your furniture and upholstery in the same color family,’ she adds.   

2. Save space with sconces

loft bedroom with grey bed and vintage wood chest of drawers

(Image credit: En Masse Architecture & Design)

Saving space is vital in a small room, but I bet you didn’t think lighting had anything to do with it. Low-level lighting is the best in order to create a more calming, pleasant atmosphere, but you don’t need to take up worktop surface or floor space with lamps. 

‘Try using wall lights rather than table lamps in smaller guest bedrooms to avoid cluttered surfaces,’ advises Charlie Bowles, Director, Original BTC. ‘Natural bone china is a great choice for all styles of guest bedroom, thanks to its delicate opacity and inherent warmth. It creates a soft intimate glow when turned on, which is ideal for creating a cosy atmosphere to make you feel instantly comfortable and relaxed.'

3. Put every inch of space to work 

A guest bedroom with ceiling-high storage

(Image credit: Nicole England. Design: The Stylesmiths)

Most of us are guilty of using a guest bedroom as a makeshift storage room, too, but you’ll need to leave some space for guests to use when staying over. Experts advise that you make use of every single inch of space for optimum storage, without having the room look completely crammed. 

‘I love creating little nooks where guests can keep things,' says interior designer Naomi Astley Clarke. 'This is perfect if the room is too small for spacious bedside tables. Think alcoves set into bespoke millwork and hidden shelves behind a headboard. Over-the-door storage is also great, particularly if you have shelves on either side. The more you look, the more opportunities you will find to add bedroom storage space.' 

Naomi also loves to place a hanging rail along the front of closets. 'This is great for hanging an outfit ready for the next day ahead,’ she says. Another space-saving idea that shouldn't be overlooked is under-bed storage. ‘Beds that have the base on a hydraulic lift are amazing,' Naomi adds. 'The entire space underneath the mattress can be used which is excellent for suitcases especially. These beds aren't expensive and can be a brilliant storage solution.'

Yellow wallpapered girls bedroom

(Image credit: Suzanna Scott)

Because you won’t be spending so much time in a guest bedroom, make it the space to experiment with your favorite interior design trends. Create a ‘surprise’ room and allow yourself to go for something different than what you’re used to.

Kristin Harrison, interior designer at Bungalow 10 Interiors, says that small spaces are a great place to play with patterns or colors that you may not want to use in the more public rooms of your home. 'I love creating a surprising jewel box in an unexpected space,' she says. 'This would be a great opportunity to use that wallpaper you’ve been debating on for a year. Remember to also keep the furniture at the right scale, don’t over-clutter, and select pieces that provide both function and beauty.'

Make the most of your guestroom this holiday season by applying some of these expert-approved space-saving solutions. Now you'll have a multifunctional space that serves all your needs, all year round!

Raluca Racasan
News writer

Raluca is Digital News Writer for and passionate about all things interior and living beautifully. Coming from a background writing and styling shoots for fashion magazines such as Marie Claire Raluca’s love for design started at a very young age when her family’s favourite weekend activity was moving the furniture around the house ‘for fun’. Always happiest in creative environments in her spare time she loves designing mindful spaces and doing colour consultations. She finds the best inspiration in art, nature, and the way we live, and thinks that a home should serve our mental and emotional wellbeing as well as our lifestyle.