As someone who travels a lot, I’m always appreciative of the lovely guest rooms my friends and loved ones maintain for roaming individuals like myself — and I also spend a lot of time scoping out their guest rooms to see if they’re using them for maximum efficiency. While a room set aside just for guests is nice, leaving a bedroom empty for a large portion of the time can be a big waste of space, especially in a home that’s crunched for room; the need for a home office, a new member of the family, or other life changes can necessitate the need for more space, making a guest room seem like a luxury. But it doesn’t have to be, because guest rooms make fantastic candidates for double duty spaces that serve two functions: a nice place for guests to sleep when they’re there, and a space for something else entirely the rest of the time. I took a look through the archives to see what the masters of DIY at Hometalk are doing with their guest spaces, and I have to say, I’m impressed; users are utilizing their guest rooms as home offices, craft rooms, retreat spaces, and more!
Sarah for 20 State uses her guest room as a home office, and has maintained a rustic, homey feel.
Sarah notes that it can be hard to get motivated to spend money on a guest room, since the space may not feel like a “real” part of the home. That’s an indicator that you need to be using it more effectively, though, as she did when she converted her guest room to a combination space, making a guest room/office for herself. Once she started using it as a workspace, she had an incentive to make it pleasant to be in, and she’s created a warm, rustic environment that’s pleasant for people when they come to stay, and comfortable for her when she’s working at home.
Thrifty and Chic has divided her guest room into zones, allowing her to tuck the home office away when she has visitors.
Another gorgeous guest room/home office combo from Thrifty and Chic, who has a really ingenious method of separating the spaces within the room without making them feel cloistered: she uses airy drapes to conceal workspaces and messes when guests come to visit. This trick can also be effective for guest room/craft rooms, allowing people to put their crafts away with a whisk of a curtain when guests arrive, rather than having to tidy up mid-project.
Live Pretty on a Penny made herself a nice space to retreat to during the day within her guest room.
Live Pretty on a Penny calls this her “woman cave,” a retreat for her to use when no one’s visiting her home in Georgia. She has spaces for crafts, beauty, and other activities in this bold, brightly-decorated guestroom that manages to feel very welcoming while also being quite practical. With lots of practical organizing tools, she’s also keeping the space firmly in line so it doesn’t get out of control before guests arrive.
Tina’s guest room doubles as a studio space.
Tina converted a bedroom into a guest room and home studio space, creating a warm and welcoming environment for guests as well as carving out a place to get work done around the house. Note her beautifully organized and very rustic desk, where she’s put a variety of tricks to use to keep things under control, like using an upcycled old spring mattress support as a hanging board for various items, and keeping small office supplies in jars so they don’t wander around.
Marianne Songbird’s guestroom in The Netherlands is already gorgeous…but it does double duty as a reading niche when no one’s visiting!
Here’s another great use of a guest room, which turns into a reading room when no visitors are present. Marianne Songbird came up with an innovative use for this IKEA Billy Bookcase, which hosts books of various sizes, plants, and more. To turn the room into a guest room, she reorganizes her impressive pillow collection and makes up the bed, and it’s a cinch to break it back down again after her visitors leave. Hopefully some of these images get you inspired to think about making a double duty guest room of your own. It’s easy, and many of our users do it on a budget, too! Start by evaluating the existing space and thinking about your needs: have you been longing for a home office? A better place to do crafts? A homework space for the kids? Use some of the tricks here like separating spaces with curtains (bookshelves can also make great dividers), maintaining a logical organizing scheme to keep the room in order so you don’t have to clean for guests, and getting creative with thrifted and crafted items as decor so you don’t spend a fortune on making your guest room cozy.