Turning Your Box Room into a Brilliant Guest Room

Editor’s Note: From time to time we entertain guest articles. Today’s guest article was written by Luke Dubuis.


The poky little dumping ground that has only ever played host to defunct gym equipment, questionable clothes you never wear and boxes of files, is about to be reborn as a compact but comfortable guest room.  It’s time to de-clutter, clean and get savvy with your space.

Firstly: furniture and storage. Consider reducing the amount of furniture in the room and downsizing where possible, ensuring you jettison unwieldy freestanding wardrobes, chests and bedside tables which may be encroaching on valuable floor space.

Opt for multipurpose furniture that maximises every last inch of space and offers several functions for the price of one. Floor to ceiling fitted wardrobes, for example, can be used to house guests’ belongings, as well as little-used items such as paperwork and out of season clothes.

Try to choose storage options that suit every corner and quirk of your room. Shelves are a great way of making use of spare wall space. Consider replacing that faded old poster above the bed with spacious wall-mounted cabinets. If you need to use the room as an office when you don’t have guests, choose a cabinet that can house your computer and comes with a pull-out table so that equipment, wires and office detritus can be shut away when not in use. Use folding chairs and desks that double up as dressing tables. A window seat uses up minimal floor space, but provides a comfortable seating area for guests and linen and towels can be stored in the recess below.

Consider carefully where your guests are going to sleep. A permanent bed is more tempting for your guests than a futon, but is a full-sized double bed going to be practical, given the space you have to work with? A storage bed will allow you and your guests to tuck bags and belongings away neatly. If you opt for a sofa bed or day bed, make sure there’s enough space to extend it completely. Think about installing a Murphy bed, which pulls out from the wall. This provides full floor access when the bed is hidden and can also accommodate a foldout desk against the wall.

Any room will seem larger than it is if you maximise the amount of light coming from natural and artificial sources. Replace heavy curtains with Roman blinds. Consider spot lights for even distribution of light and if you’re tight on space for bedside lamps, fit cabinets above the bed with spot lights on the underside.  Uplighters can make a room feel taller and you should relinquish oversized shades in favour of minimalistic alternatives. Enhance the level of light in the room by including glass sliding doors on the wardrobes and hang mirrors opposite windows and doors to bounce more light around.

Steer clear of dark-coloured walls, opting instead for cool, pale colours which enhance the sense of space and will help your guests feel relaxed. An accent wall created with a bold paint or striking wallpaper is a good way of drawing attention to the ideal focal point of the bed, without being overpowering.

With a little creativity you will see the potential for transforming your previously unloved box room into a perfect place for your guests.

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