10 Small Guest Room Ideas That Are Larger Than Life

small bedroom

Design: William Hunter Collective, Styled: Emily Henderson Design, photo: Sara Tramp


Raise your hand if you've ever turned your guest bedroom into storage space or a home gym you never ended up using. Spare bedrooms can be a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, an extra bedroom presents an opportunity to host friends and family when they're visiting. On the other hand, it also means having an extra room to decorate, which we suppose can't be all bad since we're obsessed with all things home here at MyDomaine. So, how do you make your guest bedroom feel finished, even when it's a tiny space?

Take a lesson from your favorite hotels—sometimes all you need is a few essentials to make people feel at home: Think adequate lighting, a mirror, fresh bedding, and a little storage space. Are you looking to give your guest room a little love before your next guests arrive? In addition to covering the essentials, we've also rounded up our most stylish tips to make your guest room worthy of a five-star review. Read on for our favorite small guest room ideas. Beware—your guests might never want to leave.

01 of 05

Pay Attention to the Nightstand

Small Guest Room Ideas: A simple nightstand with lighting and a catch all for keys etc.
Courtesy of Tali Roth

No matter how big or small, make sure the guest bedroom nightstand has the essentials: A source of light like a reading lamp, and a catchall to throw jewelry or keys. To further elevate the nightstand, if you have a landline at home, consider including a phone in the guest room. A landline phone can come in handy if guests need to make a call while they revive their cell phones, or need a stronger connection if cell service is spotty. On a similar note, you may want to keep a power strip in the guest bedroom to accommodate for all the other gadgets that need a charge; laptop, e-reader, and tablets, for example.

Another idea: Pick up fresh flowers and arrange them in a vase to place on the nightstand as a thoughtful welcome gesture.

Add extra touches to the nightstand like a water carafe, a book, or a scented candle, but the essentials (such as a light) have to be there too.

Combo to Try: A midcentury lamp and a brass bowl

Nelson™ Pear Lamp With Stand
Design Within Reach Nelson Pear Lamp With Stand $445
Skultuna Ballerina Bowl $75
02 of 05

Cover the Essentials

Guest Room Décor Ideas: Include essentials like a mirror and rug
Courtesy of Jeremiah Brent

Look around the room for those extra touches that'll make the space extra comfortable: A soft rug to put your feet down on in the morning and a mirror to get your hair under control before heading out for breakfast. A full-length mirror is ideal, but at the very least, a smaller wall-hung mirror will make your guests feel at ease before they venture out of the room. You could also channel your favorite hotel and include a robe and towel set guests can use throughout their stay.

Don't forget a wastebasket for guests to toss their old baggage stickers, ticket stubs, crumpled up snack wrappers, and other items they've collected over the course of their travels. Another genius idea? Door hooks, which will come in handy for towels and coats. Choose from over-the-door hooks or wall-mounted versions.

Go a few steps further and consider providing a sleeping mask for guests with sensitivity to light, fold an extra blanket and place it at the end of the bed for extra comfort, and, if space allows, include a desk where guests can work from. You can also keep a collection of books and older issues of your favorite magazines stocked in the guest bedroom, and encourage them to take a read or two home if you're looking to pare down your library.

Combo to Try: A high-pile white rug and a floor-length arched mirror

TRNK Hand-Knotted Textured Wool Rug, 5'0" X 7'6" $679
Natural Rattan Floor Mirror
CB2 Natural Rattan Floor Mirror $499
03 of 05

Give Them Storage Space

Small Guest Room Decorating Ideas: Ample storage space in a streamlined guest room
Courtesy of Charlie Ferrer

Storage space is always appreciated when you're staying at someone's house, so try to empty the closets and drawer dressers, or add a folding luggage rack to make it easier for guests to unpack. A tray filled with essentials like toothpaste and snacks is also a nice touch that's simple but always appreciated. Furthermore, an extra long bedside tables with dressers function both as a desk and storage space.

Combo to Try: A tallboy dresser and a burl wood tray

Oberlin Tall Chest
CB2 Oberlin Tall Chest $899
Burl Wood Square Tray
CB2 Burl Wood Square Tray $40
04 of 05

Play Double Duty

Small Guest Room Décor Ideas: A room doubles as extra closet space and the guest room
Courtesy of Jeremiah Brent

Often our guest rooms play double-duty, so don't be afraid to make your space multipurpose by adding shoe storage or a desk. A daybed doubles perfectly as a single bed if you don't have a ton of space. Just ensure that your window treatments reflect the needs of the room. Blackout curtains layered over light-filtering shades will ensure privacy and darkness for your guests, but will also allow light in when you need it.

And ottomans could provide a seating area and storage space for extra pillows and blankets. If you're considering adding seating in general, why not try a statement chair, or a floor seating setup?

Combo to Try: A boho daybed with a curtain and shade window treatment

Boho Natural Daybed with Pearl White Mattress Cover
CB2 Boho Natural Daybed $1249
Pottery Barn Bali Cordless Custom Roller Shade $220-$494 $209-$469
05 of 05

Add the Finishing Touches

Guest Room Ideas: A room with fresh bedding and a plant in the corner of the room
Courtesy of Space Exploration

Finally, add finishing touches that'll give your guests a positive experience: Quality, fresh bedding and a plant or flowers go a long way in making guests comfortable while lending your room a little panache. Tick all these boxes and your guests will never want to leave.

Combo to Try: Simple white linen bedding and a palm plant

Looking to go that extra mile when decorating your guest bedroom? Don't be afraid to make a statement. For example, opt for a bold headboard, funky wall art (try a gallery wall, with tips from design guru Emily Henderson), and built-in lighting for a unique aesthetic that will ensure your guests have an unforgettable stay. And for more practical yet just as thoughtful finishing touches, consider including the following in your guest bedroom:

  • Tissues
  • Iron
  • Hairdryer
  • Basic toiletries
  • A carafe of water
  • A list of helpful tips for navigating your home while you're out of the house or not conveniently reachable, like how to negotiate the thermostat
Calathea Pinstripe in Hyde Planter
The Sill Calathea Pinstripe $18
Parachute Linen Duvet Cover Set $289-$359

Ultimately, it's up to you how you want to outfit your guest room, though we've found it helpful to think about how we typically interact with a fresh new hotel room; a lot of a hotel room's design principles and amenities will work well in your guest room. Guests will be sure to notice (and appreciate!) a room's cohesiveness and flow, a clean space, inviting greenery, and a well-lit and ventilated space... and especially you for graciously hosting them, of course.

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