Guest Bedroom Ideas: Creating a Space that Works for You and Your Guests

Guest Bedroom Ideas - Sharps Bedroom
(Image credit: Sharps)

When looking for guest bedroom ideas, it’s essential to think about the room’s floor plan and position the bed (or sofa bed) away from the door and with a fair amount of space around it. In a small room, try and place the bed along the longest wall and make sure there is access to both sides if you can.

You should also consider the lighting, colour scheme and pay attention to smaller details; creating a well thought out space will make guests feel welcome.

(MORE: Master Bedroom Ideas)

1. Focus on the Lighting in Your Guest Bedroom Idea 

Guest Bedroom Ideas - lighting

Lighting and bedroom design by IKEA (Image credit: IKEA)

Mix bright ceiling lights with softer bedside lamps to ensure your guests can benefit from both functional and ambient lighting.

Guest Bedroom Ideas - Lighting

Built-in Brooklyn Cone Wall Light, £79 by Industville (Image credit: Industville)

If you are working with a small guest bedroom, you can opt for wired-in lights that save on space as you don’t need a bedside table to place them on. 

(MORE: Lighting Design Ideas)

2. Turn Your Guest Bedroom into a Multipurpose Space 

Guest Bedroom Ideas - B&Q divider

Alara Modular Room Divider by B&Q (Image credit: B&Q)

A guest bedroom often has to function as a home office, and never more so than since 2020. By dividing up the room, you can create a multifunctional area that works for you and any guests.

Easy-to-install room dividers or a sliding door can work well in larger rooms, allowing you to zone off working and sleep spaces. 

Guest Bedroom Ideas

Bedroom furniture by The Dormy House  (Image credit: The Dormy House)

In smaller rooms, a desk that can double up a dressing table is a great idea, as is opting for a sofa bed that can be pulled out when guests come to stay but can easily fold away to not overwhelm the space. 

If your guests tend to be children then incorporate single beds (or bunk beds), built-in storage for toys and fit large windows with blackout blinds.

3. Use Clever Design Tricks to Make a Small Guest Bedroom Feel Bigger 

Guest Bedroom Ideas - small bedroom ideas

Bedroom design by IKEA (Image credit: IKEA)

There’s no denying that most spare bedrooms are the smallest room in the house, so consider how it functions and utilise as much floor space as possible. 

  • Storage is vital in a small guest bedroom so add layered shelves and wall storage to keep the floor clear, creating the illusion of space 
  • Consider installing electric underfloor heating in a small room to free up floor space that would have been taken up by radiators. If you are installing underfloor heating in an existing room, you'll need to opt for low-profile option
  • Paint cupboards, shelves and even radiators the same colour as the walls to help them blend in so the room feels less cluttered
  • Add multiple mirrors to help bounce light around the room, making it feel bigger

4. Provide Essential Storage in Your Guest Bedroom Idea 

Guest Bedroom Ideas - built in wardrobes

Built-in white gloss wardrobes by Sharps (Image credit: Sharps)

It’s easy for spare rooms to become a dumping ground for clothes and seldom-used items, so when designing your guest bedroom, incorporate as much storage as possible.  

  • Built-in wardrobes - floor-to-ceiling wardrobes offer endless configuration possibilities as well as the chance to use contrasting colours and materials 
  • Single-door wardrobes - these are a great idea if space is limited, but you still want to have some hanging space. They are ideal for narrow spaces too
  • Under-bed storage - drawers on wheels, boxes, and built-in bed storage will provide a handy place to keep items tucked away out of sight 
  • Wall cupboards - use available wall space and hang storage units that will give you the chance to free up space for furniture 

(MORE: Built-in Storage Ideas)

5. Incorporate an En Suite into Your Guest Bedroom Idea 

Guest Bedroom Ideas - en suite

Interiors by GoodHome Interiors at B&Q (Image credit: B&Q)

Providing older relatives with a bathroom a few steps from their bed is a thoughtful idea

If you are designing your guest bedroom in a self build or extension, it may be worth considering a small shower room if you have space. 

A guest bedroom en suite will provide bathroom space for guests, especially handy if you have family or friends who regularly stay, as well as keeping your bathroom private.

Guest Bedroom Ideas - en suite

Bathroom accessories by Tori Murphy (Image credit: Tori Murphy Bathroom)

Look at space-saving features such as:

  • A compact walk-in shower unit rather than a bath
  • Sinks with attached storage underneath
  • Lots of hooks and mirrors
  • Consider underfloor heating as it removes the need for clunky radiators

(MORE: Shower Room Ideas)

6. Add Bold Colours for a Striking Finish in Your Guest Bedroom Idea 

Guest Bedroom Ideas - bold colours

Bold and bright bedroom design by IKEA (Image credit: IKEA)

A guest bedroom is the ideal room to experiment with colours, patterns and textures as it’s not used full time. Bold colours on the walls will instantly create a wow-factor finish. 

Rich greens, navy and teal work well when creating a peaceful space your guests can relax in as they will absorb the light and make the room appear cosy. 

(MORE: How to Paint a Room)

7. Turn an Empty Loft Space into a Cosy Spare Bedroom 

Guest Bedroom Ideas - loft bedroom

Small loft bedroom design by IKEA (Image credit: IKEA)

A loft conversion is a great way to add an extra bedroom and can often be added under Permitted Development.

When designing a room with sloping ceilings, such as in a loft, place beds and seats under, or near, the sloping areas. This will allow you to keep the taller, more spacious, parts of the room free so people can stand up. 

If the loft space is small, keep furniture to a minimum and the décor simple - add textures and colours with bedspreads and cushions.

8. Mix Original Features with Modern Luxury in Your Guest Bedroom Idea 

Guest Bedroom Ideas - Sharps Bedroom

Built-in traditional wardrobes by Sharps (Image credit: Sharps)

Does your guest bedroom have exposed beams or a fireplace? Then show off these features as they add character and charm, and use them to your advantage.  

Incorporating clever lighting and creating a feature wall can make original features stand out or, in the case of odd alcoves or sloping ceilings, you can incorporate bespoke built-in storage to make effective use of the space.

9. Make a Style Statement with Your Choice of Window Treatment  

Guest Bedroom Ideas - Window Shutters

Californian style shutters by Shutterly Fabulous (Image credit: Shutterly Fabulous)

French-inspired wooden shutters create instant wow-factor as well as the ambience of a top hotel. They are great for a small space as they fit into the window recess.

Shutters work well in a bedroom as they will keep the room cool and help block out noise - ideal for giving guests a peaceful nights sleep if you live near a busy road. 

Katie Corcoran

Katie is an experienced journalist, with nearly two decades of experience. She previously worked as a digital editor at She has renovated two houses including a 200-year-old cottage and a 1950s semi, taking a hands-on approach to the work. She also runs her own photography and design company.