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When designing a new home, the guest room is oftentimes overlooked. It seems like a rather simple room to design; you just need a bed and somewhere for your guests to put their luggage.
However, putting a little bit of thought into where you place your guest room and how you lay it out can go further than you might think. In this article, we're going to ask you some questions to help you brainstorm, and we're also going to share some advice on designing a welcoming guest room.
The first thing you should consider when designing your guest room is who your expected guests are. Will it be your parents, children, extended family, friends, or all of the above? Answering this question and keeping specific guests in mind while you design will help you answer the rest of the questions in this article.
There's no wrong answer to this question, but it's still important to have an answer. If your guests are often travelling long distances and are expecting to stay for many days or even weeks, the design of your guest room will be different than someone whose guests are staying just overnight.
And if you intend to have guests stay for extended periods, then you'll want to make sure your accommodations are welcoming enough for them to want to stay. And for those of you who are designing a guest room begrudgingly, if you design it poorly enough, your in-laws may never stay with you again.
Now that we know who our guests are and how long they're expected to stay, let's move on to designing the room itself.
The placement of your guest room is paramount. It should consider privacy from everyone's perspective. Your guests will want somewhere to retreat to at the end of the night, and it should be private enough to allow different circadian rhythms to coexist.
With that in mind, a good place not to put your guest room is off of any major rooms. You don't want your morning coffee to wake your guests, and you don't want your guest's late-night movie to keep you up. So, avoid placing it near the kitchen or the living room.
You may be thinking a great place to put it would be upstairs then, away from the traffic of the main floor, or tucked away in the basement. Both of those are great spots, but let's think back to who our guests are first. Will the stairs themselves be an obstacle? If you have elderly parents, for example, you may want to avoid putting your guest room upstairs or in the basement. And when it comes to accessibility, there are many other things to consider as well.
One great way to give your guests privacy is to give them an exterior door. This will be especially useful for guests who are staying with you for work or school, or those who will be in and out of the house sightseeing or doing other vacation activities. It would also work well if you ever decided to Airbnb the room for extra income or work from home and need to have clients visit.
Figuring out the bathroom situation is imperative to a good guest experience. The easy answer is that if you have the space and the budget for an ensuite bathroom, then spring for it. Guests will love the afforded privacy an ensuite bathroom provides.
If an ensuite is out of the picture, the next thing you need to decide is how many people your current bathroom can sustain. Do you have enough counter space for everyone's toiletries? Is there enough space in the shower for everyone's hair care products?
The location of the bathroom is also important. For example, if you have two bathrooms, one on the main floor and one in the basement, and you're trying to decide where to put the guest room, putting it downstairs near the bathroom can also afford guests a level of privacy.
Now that we know how many guests we're expecting and for how long they're likely to stay, consider storage. If they're travelling long distances, they will likely have a lot of bulky luggage. Sticking your guests in a closet in the basement won't make for the best experience, especially when they also need to climb over their suitcases. So, we highly suggest including extra closets, or if space is limited, utilizing the space beneath the bed.
If you do have limited space, getting creative with your storage options will greatly improve your guest's experience. We suggest using vertical storage and versatile furniture like Murphy Beds. It can also be beneficial to have custom furniture built if you can't find what you're looking for.
A lot of the advice so far was for those of you who will see frequent or long-staying guests. But what if you're not expecting many? You may not want to go through all this effort, and that's okay. A great way to utilize guest room space is to have it double as your home office. In this case, a murphy bed that can transition into a desk can turn your guest room into your office with almost no fuss.
If you do plan to swap between an office and a guest room, you'll need to take extra consideration of storage. Do you have room for both your guests and your office supplies?
A great way to get rid of anxiety when it comes to your guest room is to stay a night yourself. Pack a suitcase, some toiletries, and linens, and pretend you're the guest. Figure out what pain points your guests may encounter before they do, and you'll rest assured that they will have a great time staying with you.
So, don't let your guest room be an afterthought. Take some time to consider your guest's experience. A great guest room will also help with the resale of your home.