• Paul Dillon

Convert Your Office Back to a Guest Room with These Tips



If you’re among the many people who found themselves working from home, or hosting virtual classrooms for your littles, you probably had to do some quick thinking to create a study or work space. Now that in-person learning and [most] workplaces are transitioning back—plus, the approaching holidays—that space needs some immediate TLC to make it ready for visitors once again. Let’s get to work and see how you can convert your workspace back into an inviting guest room.


Since guest rooms tend to be the smallest of your home’s bedrooms, keep furnishings to the basics. The rule of thumb here is if it has no practical purpose, then think twice before including it. A bed, side table, lamp, small dresser, and a chair should be more than adequate for your guests’ use. Simple furnishings and décor also make it easier to clean and organize before their arrival and after they depart. You can even spice up the décor with an eye-catching paint application, tape art, or mural, without making the room look too busy.

Comfort is key To make your guests superbly comfortable, plush carpeting does double duty for softness underfoot and reducing noise reverberation for a quieter space. A throw blanket provides an extra layer of warmth during cool weather, and extra pillows serve as a perfect backrest for reading in bed. The latter is a splendid substitute for a chair if your room is too small to accommodate one.


Choose the right bed

Getting a good sleep that first night in different surroundings is incredibly important for any guest, and can set the tone for their stay. That’s why you should plan the bed in your guest room according to your intended guest(s), whether that be grandparents, in-laws, or even your kids’ close friends and cousins if your guest room is slumber-party central. If you mainly host adult couples, a queen-size bed is ideal as doubles (also known as full beds) can make couples feel cramped. It’s advisable to avoid basic, metal, rolling bed frames as they can be unstable and noisy. Stick to a solid bed frame with a head and footboard. Bunk beds are perfect for sleepovers, and if you need a quick pull-out for when in-laws with children visit, stow a trundle bed underneath the queen-size. No matter the size of the bed, aim for a mattress of medium firmness for your guest room. That way it’s in that happy-medium range so those with softer or more firm preferences can still enjoy a comfy sleep. Word to the wise: avoid pull-out couches. Your guests’ backs will thank you later.

Shed some light on the subject

When it comes to lighting, it’s a good idea to give your guests as much control over their environment as possible. A dimmer switch for the ceiling light is a wonderful way to accomplish this, while lamps for the bedside and dresser provide warm alternatives. It’s also wise to use both sheer and black-out window coverings to maximize daylight and to prevent early-morning light incursion—yes we’re looking at you, east-facing windows!

Little extras

Accessorizing the room can go a long way to make visitors feel at home. A full-length mirror is an excellent room accessory to give your guests a head-to-toe view when getting changed—a must for formal visits—plus it gives smaller rooms a more open feel. House plants are great for a splash of natural colour and contrast in the space. Add a mini fridge so your guests can store cold drinks, or you can even stock it like a hotel minibar for an elevated experience. A basket with their favourite snacks and munchies adds a welcoming touch, while preventing possibly noisy, late-night snack excursions to the kitchen. Another way to ensure the best possible stay for your guests is to provide a charging station for their devices, complete with cords for both Android and Apple devices. They’ll never have to worry about forgetting charge cables when they come to visit! If you still happen to be working from home, but need to get the spare room guest-ready, this could be the perfect opportunity to test out a home office closet (also known as a cloffice) conversion. That way, your guests can stay comfortably, while your office is safely tucked away during the holidays until it’s needed again.

It may take some strategic planning to get that spare room looking less like a virtual office or school zone and better suited for a good night’s sleep, but with these helpful tips you’ll be well on your way to hosting an enjoyable stay for your loved ones.

Happy converting!


Gord Brown, an Ottawa-based copywriter, loves hands-on projects around the house and enjoys delving into various home improvement and DIY subjects.