How to Set up a Space for Overnight Guests If You Don’t Have a Spare Bedroom

Krista Diamond |

The prospect of having friends or family come to visit you is an exciting one—until you find out where they intend to stay.

“With you, of course!” they say.

And that’s when it hits you. Your apartment is tiny. You don’t have a guest room. You barely even have enough floor space. How are you supposed to make your guests feel comfortable if you don’t have a spare bedroom?

Relax. It’s possible. Here’s what you need to do.

Prioritize Privacy

You know that feeling you get when you arrive at your hotel room after you’ve been on the road for a while? You close the door, sit down, turn on the TV and relax. That’s the sense of privacy you want to give your guests (minus the part where they feel comfortable lounging around without pants on, hopefully). Since they’ll probably be sleeping in the living room or some other common area, consider providing them with a room divider. You definitely don’t have to spend a lot of money on one if you want something cheap and simple that you can store when your guests leave, but if you’re willing to splurge, there are some sleek and stylish options that will make a lovely addition to your own bedroom when not in use. Another privacy consideration that won’t cost a thing is simply letting your guests know that it’s okay if they prefer to go to bed earlier than you or sleep in later than you. Often, differing sleep schedules make guests feel like a burden. By making sure they know that that’s not the case, they’ll feel much more at ease.

Play Tour Guide

After your guests get settled, take the time to give them a tour of your home. Make sure they know where outlets are, should they need to charge their devices. Point out trash/recycling, the thermostat and offer the wifi code. If you have a washer and dryer in your apartment, let them know where it is and mention that they’re welcome to it if they need to do laundry. Be sure to also point out where you keep glasses, plates and cutlery and that morning essential, the coffee maker.

Offer Amenities

If there’s one thing that can turn a small studio apartment into a cozy bed and breakfast, it’s amenities. Start by making a standard air bed feel luxurious by outfitting it with a mattress topper and some quality linens. Yes, thread count matters. Be sure to provide plenty of pillows both for decoration and for comfort. Lastly, fold an extra blanket at the end of the bed like you’d see in a hotel. Other amenities include a face mask and ear plugs. You can even put together a tray in your bathroom containing mini shampoos, conditioner, soap and lotion. Be sure to have extra toothbrushes, razors and other essential items on hand as well.

Provide Storage Space

Living out of a suitcase isn’t always as whimsical as it sounds. Even if your guests are only in town for the weekend, they’ll be happier if their belongings aren’t relegated to the floor. If you can, clear a drawer out or make some space in a closet (and be sure to provide hangers). If this isn’t an option, you can consider purchasing a super cheap plastic storage cart or you can think like a hotelier and provide a luggage rack.

Final Touches

A five star resort can provide luxury amenities, but it can’t provide the same personalized, thoughtful touches that you can offer your guests. Before your friends or family arrive, stock up on the things they like. Got a friend who is vegan, gluten-free or lactose intolerant? Swing by the grocery store to pick up organic veggies, rice based snacks, almond milk and other treats and essentials. Hosting someone who likes to read? Purchase some magazines and newspapers for your coffee table. Catching up with a friend from college? Stop by the liquor store and pick up a few bottles of wine or the ingredients for a classic cocktail. Whether it’s a baked good, some fresh flowers, a favorite bath product or anything else that shows you care, taking the time to make it available to your guests will make them feel right at home.