Turn your study into a guest room without breaking a sweat!

Hospitality is defined by the online dictionary as the “friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests…”.  It’s also synonymous with words such as kindness, warmth, and generosity.  It conjures images of a beautifully decorated guest room with fine linen and thoughtful touches, always at the ready for guests or even friends who came for dinner and stayed for breakfast. And who wouldn’t want to be received in that way and offer their guests the same warm-hearted welcome? Unfortunately, our families seem to fill our homes to the brim – no matter the size of either – and few of us have the luxury of a dedicated guest room, let alone cottage or suite.  So, we make do. We cozy up, accommodate our guests in the room that can be spared, and declare: “The more the merrier,” because South Africans are hospitable people. Here are a couple of tricks to quickly turn your nursery, TV room, playroom or study into a guest room that is as comfortable as possible and requires the least amount of effort on your part.

Tip #1 Embrace the sleeper couch

Smitten Magazine

I know, they take up a lot of space when all you really need is an armchair most of the time, but they are a life saver for that odd occasion when you really do need an extra bed.

I’ve had an exhausting look for alternative sleeping solutions for my own home the last few months and, unfortunately, I couldn’t find the traditional sleeper couches that form real couches and then fold out into real beds.  The stores are filled with futons – kind of a couch, but not nearly as comfy, and kind of a bed, but not nearly as big or comfy either.

One positive is that they fold out with absolute minimal effort, are generally very affordable and often have removable covers that you can throw in the wash.

Tip # 2 Don’t waste floor space when you can use the wall

Chances are, after adding a futon to the dual purpose room, there’s not much space left for a guest bedside table, and the desk or change table may not be in a good position to double as a place for guests to place a reading lamp, book or morning coffee.  In addition, the built-in-cupboard no doubt is also completely occupied, leaving them no space to pack out some clothing or a toiletry bag.


Here’s where wall mounted hooks and shelves come in very handy.  A low wall mounted shelf next to the futon doesn’t hold much but opens up just enough space to place a coffee cup, cell phone and pair of glasses.  The fact that it only held a few books or trinkets to start with, also means there’s less stuff to stash away before guests arrive.

Wall mounted hooks provide the ideal space for guests to hang a jacket, laptop or vanity bag, or freshly ironed evening wear, without taking up any floor space that could otherwise be put to good use.


Speaking of good use – the humble cube or ottoman is a firm dual purpose favorite of mine, as it can be used for seating, a coffee table or even a step ladder.  They’re also really light and easy to move around, and you can have removable covers made for them in a jiffy.

Reading lamps shouldn’t take up valuable space either, as they can be replaced with ceiling pendants on extended cords.  Consider adding ceiling brackets that allow you to move the pendant to a different spot in the room at a moment’s notice.

The Design Chaser

Tip #3 Don’t hold back on soft and small furnishings

I’m talking throws, oversized pillows, and mounted picture frames.  Just because the room serves two purposes, doesn’t mean it can’t still look every bit as pretty as a dedicated guest room would have.

The very same throws and large scatters you place on the futon as part of the room’s normal décor, can double up as a blanket or throw once the bed is made (white bed linen is your most versatile bet here), and maintain the room’s carefully designed harmony.

If you opt for two 60 x 60 scatters or even slightly larger, custom-made ones instead of the popular 45 x 45 ones, these can double as continental pillows when guests arrive and won’t take up any additional storage space.

Chica Flair

Finally, make an effort to get wall art that ties in with the décor of the space – even if it’s not in a place you’d see it all the time when the room is used as a study, for example.  If it’s in a place where guests see it when the futon is all made up, it will round off the room beautifully.

If your futon is a little worse for the wear or the wrong colour, you can have a removable, washable cover made for it like I did.  Alternatively, you can also have a traditional sleeper couch or single sleeper chair made up.  Get in touch if you’d like any of these soft furnishings made up, or need some space saving advice.

Feature Image: Bloglovin’

Happy hosting!

4 free printables that will wow your guests

Kari from Lovilee shared this gorgeous post on guest room printables. Click here for the original post!

About four years ago we renovated and moved into our own home and I’ve loved personalizing it with distinct pieces, making it warm & homey, more personal and more ‘us’. We absolutely love having guests over which usually coincides with visits to the mountain, delicious food & great conversation. It’s important to me that our guests feel at home, free to make coffee for themselves & get comfortable and there’s no easier way of doing this than prepping the guest room & bathroom for them, adding thoughtful details & fresh linen.

free guest room printables

This month is all about bunnies on the blog and it’s no secret how much we love this theme. To me it was the perfect opportunity to create thoughtful details to add to the guest room, which includes a welcome card, water bottle labels, a do not disturb sign & a card for the wifi password so our guests know how special they are to us – all designed by Lieflingkind. I’m so excited to be sharing these designs with you today & know that you’ll love the bunny details as much as we do.

We kept to a cool grey-blue and gold coloring, meaning these free guest room printables will suit most rooms and all of the seasons. These are simple to create, easy to display and perfect for hosting your guests over the upcoming Easter holidays (or any time of the year really). Pop the cards into frames, add a couple of midnight snacks in jars and you’ll be a memorable host in no time at all.

You’ll need

  • Downloaded guest room design, printed onto A3 cardstock (download them from the original post here)
  • Art knife & steel ruler
  • 500ml water bottle
  • Two 15 x 10cm photo frames in colors of your choice (we recommend gold, white or a wooden texture)
  • Glue gun

To make

  1. Cut out all the printed elements, using the crop marks in the corners as your guides. Be careful not to cut too far past the crop marks.
  2. Once cut, add the Welcome & Wifi Card to the frames and display on a bookshelf or dresser. Feel free to play around with different sizes/designs for the frames to keep it interesting.
  3. Add the Water Bottle labels to 500ml bottles using your glue gun & place the bottles on the side tables.
  4. Cut the Door Hanger Tag out according to the thin grey lines & hang at the back of the door.

Have fun spoiling your guests & be sure to let us know if you have any tips and tricks of your own!