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Multi-Functional Ideas for Guest Rooms

Updated: 2022-09-20

We all have that room in our house... you know, the one that’s a catch-all for everything. Maybe it’s also a craft space or a partial office, and maybe you try to squeeze Aunt Betty in there, too, when she comes to visit. Dual-purpose rooms can be a challenge to make work in multiple ways. But, knowing how to design a multi-purpose guest room will give you a versatile space to suit all of your changing needs.

Guest rooms can be for more than guests; in this article, we'll look at design ideas on how to decorate spare guest rooms, bonus rooms, media rooms, and mancaves.

How do I make my guest room usable?

This is a question we get asked a lot. Fortunately, our design experts here at Bassett Furniture have plenty of design options and tips for you. Here is your chance to learn furniture decorating ideas for dual-purpose guest bedrooms.

Separate Your Space

When trying to come up with spare room ideas, it may work well to find a way to separate the spaces. A low piece of furniture and a well-placed rug can separate the office area from the guest room area. You can also use a mid-room curtain to divide the two spaces.

Consider placing artwork on a feature wall to separate a guest or gathering space from an office area. And back-to-back bookcases can offer optimal visual interruption and provide a true separation of the spaces.

Designer Tip: A table with two drop leaves can serve as an eclectic divider between spaces in a dual-purpose guest room, as well as provide display space for a few décor items.

Bassett CU.2 SleeperOrganization Solutions

When it comes to doubling up on space usage, you’ll need to get creative with your storage solutions. Decluttering is your top priority. Think ample shelving, baskets, storage boxes that slide under beds, additional closet shelving, and cabinets that hide any extra supplies.

Designer Tip: Divide closet space into two sections: yours and your guests. Always keep a portion of closet space clear for your guests’ convenient use. That way, you won’t be scrambling to re-home your belongings every time you have a visitor.

Desk Solutions

Have a small room? You can convert all or part of the closet space in the spare room to a hideaway office. Slide a narrow desk into the closet, then add overhead and desktop lighting as well as storage shelves for all of your office needs. (Be sure to offer your guests an alternate place to hang and store their garments.)

You can also use a corner desk cabinet, which may provide more efficiency than a standard rectangular desk. Trimming down your desk size can also help in a smaller space. Opt for an 18-inch wide desk, rather than the standard 24-inch wide or larger desk. Install ceiling-height curtains to close off your desk area when not in use.

Designer Tip: Monday through Friday, you will have a comfortable place to work. Then you can hide it all away on evenings and weekends.

Seating Solutions

Your desk chair doesn't have to look like a corporate office chair. One of our best spare room ideas is to ditch the black chair with wheels and opt for a classy, upholstered chair instead. When you’re working, it offers a comfortable place to sit with enough back support. And when you’re not working, it can be used elsewhere in the room as inviting seating for your guests.

Designer Tip: Add a small table in between a set of matching or coordinating chairs. Your guests can use this space for reading or talking on the phone.

Sleep Solutions

So, do you need your room to double as office space and a guest bedroom? Perhaps it’s a casual entertaining space as well. If you’d like to accommodate your guests with a king- or queen-size bed but don’t have space, all is not lost. There are many guest room bed options available.

When you don’t have quite enough room for a bed, make your bed compact by trying a daybed, sleeper sofa bed, or a pull-out loveseat. If your guest room will be mostly used by kids, go up! Consider getting a set of bunk beds, which will add more sleeping to your room, but not take up any more of a footprint. A twin-size bed with a trundle is another way to double your sleeping capacity without compromising floor space.

These versatile furniture pieces offer a comfy sitting space by day and a convenient place to sleep at night. If you have enough space between the wall, you may want to consider installing a Murphy bed as a spare room idea. Murphy beds are available as full beds or DIY kits.

Designer Tip: When investing in a daybed of pull-out sofa for your guests, don’t go cheap. Choose a bed that you would want to sleep on. Upgrade to the best mattress possible. Your guests—and their backs—will thank you.

Storage Solutions

If you’re looking for spare room ideas for extra storage, then you’ll have twice the items to store in that space. One or two storage ottomans provide out-of-sight storage for blankets, pillows, and other miscellaneous items. Plus, your ottomans can double as seating that can be easily moved to any location in the room. A daybed, bunkbed, or a Bassett Viennabed with storage drawers will give you a place to store linens and other guest-related items.

Don’t forget a small mirror and a dresser or accent chest for a TV, clothing, and other items as well as a functional bedside table for jewelry, a book, or a glass of water at night.

Designer Tip: Add a decorative locking cabinet to store valuable or breakable items when children visit.

Make It Cozy

The most important factor is to design a guest room with compassion. What surroundings would you enjoy when staying at someone else’s house? Instead of sending your out-of-town guests to a hotel, invite them into your home.

No matter what time of year it is, pillows, blankets, and other cozy accessories add personality and a comfy vibe to any space. Don’t forget to include a television for convenience. Perhaps your guests might enjoy watching the morning news or late-night show without disturbing the rest of the house. Have some fun with your décor so your guests feel at home.

Designer Tip: Supply your guests with a handy basket of midnight snacks and provide your Wi-Fi password in a decorative frame.

Man cave furniture is specific to each individual. In other words, the best furniture for a man cave is whatever matches your style, comfort, and preferences! Whether you're decking out your whole apartment or just a room in the basement, your man cave needs to be a place where you can relax for years to come.

*Bonus: (Bonus) Room Ideas

A bonus room most often has a casual vibe to it. Sometimes called a game room, media room, woman, or man cave, no matter what you call it, start with bonus room furniture that does the same. Depending on whether you want to create a place to work out, watch the game, or lounge with your friends, make sure it's furnished the way you want it.

bookcaseman cave furniture

Display your collection of books, vinyl, and decorative art on either side of the latest high-definition television. After all, a high-definition tv is often the focal point and most important piece of bonus room furniture. With a large TV console, you can have easy access to your gaming systems or strategically position your surround sound so you and your friends can experience movies like never before.


You have to work hard to play hard, and a desk should do the trick. Whether you're looking for peace and quiet to get ahead in your career or take up a hobby, outfit your man cave the way you've always wanted.

FAQs to Consider When Deciding to Make Your Guest Bedroom a Multi-Purpose Space

How many times in one year does your guest room get used?

This is a very important question to have answered. If you are constantly having guests in and out of your home, it is probably not a good idea to make your guest room a multi-purpose space. However, if you find that you only have guests in your guest room on special occasions and holidays, why not take advantage of the space and make it a multi-purpose room?

Could the room be used every day for you and your family?

To help you answer this question, keep in mind a functional room does not have to serve all members of the family. Maybe the guest room could also serve as your home office so you can finally move all of your office furniture out of the corner in the living room or kitchen. This scenario serves your family by opening up space in the common areas of your home.

How can you make sure your home is ready to host guests when needed?

This is a great question; if a guest room is being used as a multi-purpose space, some may find it difficult to ensure the room is ready for guests on short notice. Our main suggestion is to make sure all personal items are out of sight. If the guest room is also being used as a home office, put files and documents into organized folders and put them into drawers. If the guest room is also being used as a home gym, make sure all equipment is out of the way against the wall. If you have the storage space to put equipment out of sight, that is the best option. Despite the functionality of the room, you want your guests to feel like the room is theirs, and to provide them with as much privacy as possible.

How should I organize a closet in a multi-purpose guest room?

The answer is more simple than one might think. First, you should try and get rid of anything that you're not using to free up as much space as possible. After you have done that, section off an area of the closet that you can spare or you know you won't use. After that, use containers to store as many of the remaining items as possible. Containers help eliminate clutter in compact, busy areas. And finally, stock the closet with guest-friendly essentials.

We can help with bonus room ideas

Ready to use these spare room ideas? Call us today for your one-on-one consultation!

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