Despite what you might think, a grand guest bedroom doesn’t have to be gigantic. If you only have a small room available to accommodate visitors, you’ll be glad to know that it’s not the size of the room that matters, it’s the way you use it. Small guest bedroom ideas that promote a welcoming atmosphere, privacy, creature comforts and thoughtful decorative touches will be enough to earn the room five-star feedback. The ultimate goal is to make your visitors feel at home.
Setting up a welcoming guest bedroom can also be accomplished on a modest budget. Good quality bedding, fluffy bath towels and some thoughtful accessories (we’ll get to those later) are the core components of every successful guest bedroom.
Here are 7 things every cosy and comfortable guest bedroom needs in order to be ready for overnight visitors at a moment’s notice.
1. The Bed
If you don’t already have a bed frame and mattress, that’s the first order of business. There are so many good quality, comfortable beds available for minimal cost. Boxed mattresses are a fantastic budget option, as they are available from about $429 (e.g. Llama Spellbound Double mattress in a box from Amart Furniture) and can usually be delivered on short notice. Check Facebook Marketplace or Gumtree for affordable second hand bed frames – what’s great about this method is that you won’t have to waste time putting together a flat pack!
Budget guest bedroom ideas
Medium Chiro Euro top pocket spring mattress, Temple & Webster
If you’re setting up a guest bedroom from scratch on a budget, a mattress is the first essential you’ll need to source. Temple & Webster’s bed-in-a-box has more than 1000 rave reviews and you can get a double for under $300. Score!
Balmain bed base in warm ash, Koala
Setting up a guest bedroom in a hurry? Koala’s award-winning Balmain bed base looks stylish, is relatively affordable and can be completely constructed without any tools whatsoever. Same day delivery is available if you live in a metro area.
Riviera 4-piece towel set in stone, Canningvale
Ribbed towels always look extra luxurious, even if they are totally affordable (your secret is safe with us). Canningvale’s towel set comes with two bath towels, one hand towel and a face washer, and your guests will appreciate the super-soft weave and 100% cotton construction.
‘Wave’ boucle bed head, Kmart
If you already have a simple bed base but want to give it some ‘wow’ factor, Kmart’s boucle bed head is a great option. It’s less than $100 for a queen bed head that will make the entire room look a million bucks.
‘Winton’ 300TC cotton percale sheet set, Linen House
A crisp white set of cotton sheets is always a great starting point for a guest bedroom. White sheets can be laundered over and over again without fading, so they’ll stay looking bright and new for longer. These sheets feel cool and crisp to the touch and are excellent for hot summer nights.
‘Sadie’ oak bedside table, Adairs
These beautifully constructed bedside tables feature a timeless scalloped design and are constructed from natural, solid European oak. It’s interesting, yet understated and your guests will love having a place to stash everything from reading glasses to night serum next to their bed.
Hotel Cloud collection luxury 5-star hotel quilt, I Love Linen
If you’re determined to set up a guest bedroom that feels just like a 5-star hotel suite, a luxurious, cosy quilt is a must. I Love Linen’s faux feather down quilt has been described as a “cosy cloud” it’s that soft. At 400gsm it’s an ideal mid-weight quilt perfect for all year round.
2. Fresh bedding
Nothing says ‘make yourself at home’ quite like a freshly made bed. Beautiful bedding will make the room inviting to your guests and allow them to have a restful night’s sleep. Ensure the bedding is appropriate for the season (don’t forget the winter doona and electric blanket if you live in a cold climate) or lightweight, breathable sheets in summer.
Since this room is for guests, it’s a good idea to invest in washable pillow, mattress and duvet protectors that will keep the bedding clean long-term and from guest to guest. If you don’t expect to use your guest bedroom frequently, make sure you also place linen in dust-proof storage bags so they’re fresh and ready to go at a moment’s notice should family or friends drop by unannounced.
3. Extra linen
Towels don’t travel well. Not only do they take up precious space in a suitcase, once damp, they need to be laundered pretty quickly before they begin to smell. Your guests will be so grateful that you have fresh towels that they can use during their stay. Make sure you give your guests ‘the good towels’ – aka the soft and fluffy bath towels, not the crunchy threadbare ones, and if they’re staying for more than a few days, offer to replace them regularly.
Having extra blankets and a set of soft and supportive pillows on hand will also allow your guests to adjust the bedding exactly the way they like it.
Forgetting something when travelling is almost inevitable. Usually it’s something small, but very important – like toothpaste, or a toothbrush! Placing a set of toothbrushes, toothpaste, spray deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, moisturiser, hair brush, hair dryer and tissues in the room will fill a forgetful traveller with gratitude.
5. Mod cons
In the days of old, getting into bed and switching off the light was pretty much the standard bedtime routine. These days, most people probably get into bed, plug their phone into the charger, scroll mindlessly for a few minutes (or hours – we’re not judging), before finally dozing off. Make it easy for your guests by placing a couple of multi-device chargers in the bedside drawer.
On the topic of devices, if you’ve ever had to ask to connect to somebody else’s home Wifi, you’ll know how awkward that conversation can feel. Eliminate the awkwardness by leaving a card with the name of your Wifi network and password in it on their bedside table. Your guests will appreciate it.
A small guest bedroom can quickly become overwhelmed by suitcases, clothing, shoes and the like. Make sure there’s a place for your guests to put it all. If you’re really short on space, opt for under-bed storage or roomy bedside drawers.
If there’s a built-in wardrobe, make sure it’s completely clear of clutter or, if you use it for storing bits and bobs, clear a generous section for your guests to use during their stay. Don’t forget to place spare coathangers in the wardrobe!
7. Nice to haves
Once all of the basics have been covered, feel free to prove your status as the ‘hostess with the mostest’ with additional (optional) creature comforts. If there’s enough space in the room, set up a tea and coffee station – perfect for guests who prefer not to interact before they’ve been caffeinated. Swap out a bedside table for a bar fridge that you can stock with snacks and drinks for your guests to enjoy at their leisure.
Creating a reading nook with a comfy armchair, books, lamp and a stack of magazines will also send the message that this room is a place your guests are welcome to retreat to any time they need privacy or simply just alone time.
5-star guest bedroom ideas
Smeg Fab5 50’s style cooler in pastel blue, Bing Lee
If you’re going to use a mini bar fridge as a bedside table, it needs to look the part. Smeg’s retro style cooler will allow your guests to reach for refreshments without cramping the style of the room. It has a 3.5 star energy rating and runs silently, so nobody’s sleep will be disturbed either.
Leif travel essentials in desert lime, The Iconic
Make your guest bedroom feel just like a luxurious hotel suite by placing luxurious travel-sized products at the foot of the bed with a fluffy towel. Leif products not only smell divine, but are crafted without sulphates or parabens. This set contains body cleanser, body lotion, shampoo and conditioner.
DeLonghi Dinamica fully automatic coffee machine, The Good Guys
Invite guests to start their morning slowly by indulging in a barista-style coffee that virtually makes itself! At the touch of a button, this clever machine can churn out espresso, cappucinos, lattes and flat whites with ease.
Hawkesbury fabric armchair in Ovis boucle ivory, Freedom
This oversized armchair with plush cushions and touchable boucle fabric will make a statement in any room. And that statement is ‘sit down, relax.’
Home Beautiful magazine subscription (6 issues), MagShop
If you know your guests are the type to retreat into their own space, providing some reading material will be welcomed. It could be a stack of your favourite magazine, or a bookshelf lined with classics.
Hands3 split detachable charging mouse pad, The Iconic
This wireless charger is technically meant for a work desk, but you can easily detach the mouse pad and place it on top of a bedside table to create a seamless, universal charging station for your guests’ QI-enabled devices.
Aura Home Paros rib bath towel set in sand, Myer
If you regularly host overnight guests, a set of plush, guest-only towels is an absolute must. Don’t have one? Try this 100% sustainably sourced cotton set which features an elegant ribbed texture, hand-knotted fringes in a timeless warm white colour. It comes with two bath towels, two hand towels and one bath mat.
Multi-purpose guest bedroom ideas
If you live in a small house or an apartment, dedicating an entire room to the sole purpose of welcoming guests may not be feasible. Here are some ideas for creating a storage room or home office that can quickly be transformed into a guest bedroom.
Ideas for a home office guest bedroom combination
In a small home office that needs to do double duty as a guest bedroom, selecting compact, multi-purpose furniture is key. Desks that can fold down into a bedside table are an excellent choice. Today’s sofa beds are so stylish and comfortable, your guests won’t even be able to tell they’re sleeping on a fold-out. Dedicate one drawer in the room to storing away electronic work devices like laptops, keyboard and mouse when guests are using the space.