Not every home has space for a guest room. Whether you have several children who need rooms of their own or need a private office for your business and work, many of the rooms of our homes quickly become occupied, leaving us wondering what to do when we’re hosting a guest for several days at a time. While you might not be able to create a 5-star hotel experience for a guest that stays at your home, you can still host a house guest without the guest room bed. Here are some things to consider when hosting.

Guest-ready family room featuring a modern chaise and a Saarinen pedestal table
Design by Christopher Burns / Photo by AC Images

Create a Place for Them to Sleep

If a guest is staying for several days at a time, they’ll obviously need a place to sleep. Creating a space for this is one of the most important considerations when hosting, and what people think of first when they decide to do so. Without a guest room, creating this space can be a bit more difficult, however. Your guest might be perfectly comfortable sleeping on the couch, but it’s still important to factor in their comfort and not make any assumptions about the way they like to sleep. There are plenty of affordable options available, so make sure to be prepared.

Historic House on the Hill, Boulder Colorado - Sitting Area with apple velour chaise and ottoman
Design by Adue Interiors / Photo by Emily Sacco

One of the most reliable methods of creating a space for a guest to sleep is to invest in a pull-out couch. These inventive couches quickly and easily transform into comfortable places to sleep and are generally complete with bedding options and a soft surface that even rivals some mattresses. This is a fast and convenient bed option and is great for when guests will frequently stay for one or two days at a time – especially if it’s just an impromptu overnight stay. There are a few downsides to pull-out couches, however, most notably their cost and relative scarcity in comparison to normal couches, as well as their lack of portability. If you put your pull-out couch in your living room, be prepared for your guest to be there during their entire stay!

Another option worth considering is investing in a good air mattress. Air mattresses may take a moment to fill up and prepare, but a high-quality air mattress can be as comfortable as any other bed and is light enough to be placed anywhere in your home. This is a great option if you’re looking to convert a room in use – like an office – into a bedroom for your guest’s stay. Plus, air mattresses tend to be affordable, making them great first options and long stay options. If you can’t afford a pull-out couch, purchasing an air mattress is recommended.

guest-ready Bathroom in a Dutchess County Home featuring a wood armoire that's been converted into a linen cabinet
Photo courtesy of Christopher Burns Interiors

Provide Pillows, Blankets, Sheets and Other Essentials

Not only will your guests need a bed to sleep, but they’ll also need other essentials that you may not be so obvious. Guests will likely bring the items that they would need if they were staying in a hotel, meaning that you will need to provide the rest. Think of what a standard hotel would provide, as well as your guest’s potential expectations. It’s a good idea to have two sets of bedding (depending on what type of bed you’re offering your guest), two sets of towels, two to four pillows and bathroom essentials. Make sure that you’re stocked up on toilet paper and soap as well!

In addition to providing essentials, you’ll also want to make sure that your space is clean when they arrive. Like with a hotel, there are certain expectations that your guests might have prior to arriving, and to host them comfortably and happily, this means meeting those expectations. Take some time to clean up your space, especially where they’re intending to spend their nights. Put away possessions to preserve overall space and provide plenty of open table space for them to place their own items. It’s even worth investing in a spare end table that you can quickly add to the space for their own benefit.

Luxe vignette with antique furniture and neutral chaise lounge red grass cloth
Design by Dane Austin / Photo by Stacy Zarin Goldberg

Create Space for Storage

In addition to providing a space to sleep and a clean and organized space, you’ll also want to make sure that you create space for guests to store their belongings. Luggage can quickly become an overwhelming part of any room, so make sure to clear out a small area for guests to place their bags and keep everything organized. Additionally, if a guest is planning on staying for several days at a time, try to clear out a drawer in a dresser for them to use to keep their clothing organized. You can even invest in a small dresser that you can add to their sleeping space to make things feel especially comfortable. While this is less of a mandatory step, it’s one guests will appreciate.

Design by Kelly Rogers Interiors / Photo by Michael J. Lee

Give Them Privacy

If you’re housing a guest in a room that doesn’t have a door, it’s important to find a way to provide privacy to them during their stay. The area that they sleep in during their stay might as well be their bedroom and should be treated as such. If your house guest is sleeping in the living room or common room, try to avoid entering the room until they’ve awoken and have prepared for your presence. Be mindful of when they’re ready to sleep as well as when they need time to themselves and be sure to offer privacy to them when they need it.

If your guest is staying in a connected room or has a sectioned off space in a larger room, consider setting up a folding screen for additional privacy. This goes for both large homes and small ones, as studio and one-bedroom apartments frequently require additional levels of privacy that won’t be provided by the home’s natural layout. A folding screen creates a wall for your guest, which can turn a connected room into a private room – instantly transforming the experience. Folding screens are relatively inexpensive and worth the investment if you can use them in a way that makes the experience that much better!

Lead photo design by Grace Home Furnishings / Photo by David Mitchell

Shop Guest Essentials >>


File Under

January 20, 2023

Chairish is the design lover's indispensable online source for chic and unique decor, art, furniture and home decorating inspiration. Shop our expert curation of exclusive and diverse inventory with 1,000+ new arrivals daily. Happy hunting!