how to: turn a living room into a guest room.

Casa de la Bethany isn't fancy enough to have a guest bedroom. So in the past, when guests came a-callin' I pumped up the double-high air mattress (definitely recommend the double-high!), rustled up an extra blanket and plopped it all in my living room. And that's fine! No one complained. But, I knew I could do better. I had an upcoming week-long guest, and the time to figure out a better option. So, I went to work at creating a Living Room Sleeping Sanctuary. 

I started by uncovering this wooden crate in my craft closet--it would work beautifully as a makeshift night stand, and a place to stash guest bed linens post-visit---so I slathered it with a few coats of white paint. Then, I swapped out my mismatched sheet + blanket set for this IKEA duvet set, and stole an excess throw pillow from my bed. A few other little touches and it looks worlds better than my old guest set-up!

Here are a few extra tips I learned along the way:

Shed some light: There's nothing worse than trying to turn off the ceiling light and navigate back to your bed in a strange, dark room. Stubbed toes waiting to happen! Pick up a cheap lamp for the nightstand and jazz it up with some leftover burlap, using this Anthro Lamp Shade tutorial.

Keep 'em charged: Make sure your guest has access to an electrical outlet near the nightstand, so she can keep her phone + tech accessories charged up. This can be tricky in older homes (like mine!) where outlets aren't exactly abundant, but a little wise room arrangement goes a long way.

Cater to their snacky side: Some guests will welcome your invitation to dig through the cupboards should they wake up hungry. Many are much too shy to do so! Stash a few little snacks in a basket next to the bed just to be safe. Also, it can be difficult to sleep in a new environment--especially if your guest's schedule is off due to jetlag or driving exhaustion--so stack a few good books or magazines on a shelf near their bed.

Throw in some cheer: Even a small bouquet can really spruce up a bare sleeping space. These blooms cost $4.20, and I threw them in a simple drinking glass. Blamo--instant spruce-up!

Ta-da! Just a few swaps and a little DIY work, and I'm feeling much better about my hostessing capabilities. Sure, it lacks the total comfort of a guest bedroom...but I'm sure my future guests will still snag a some decent sleep and be just a tad more comfortable during their stay.

Do you do anything special to make your guests feel welcome?


  1. can i come live in your living room ;) it is adorable!

  2. I'm with Anna - can I come stay the night?? Great idea. We're lucky with out apartment in that when we have guests I'll usually just hop on over to Noah's room so that guests can use my room for their stay. Although I haven't done the snack basket before; that's a good idea.

  3. Ahhh soo cute. Love it! So creative and beautiful
    :) Bobbi

  4. i love all the globes!

  5. wow this is seriously a great little hideaway! love the idea of the snacks!

  6. Well I bet that you are the sweetest hostess ever. I think if I were you houseguest I would never want to leave! Such excellent ideas.
    PS. I have been a long time reader/admirer of your blog, but this is the first time I've ever commented. Hi (:

  7. I would love to be a guest staying there anyday Bethany! I too, just as you, like to add a little bouquet of flowers as I think it really adds a homely feel. I also love providing lots of hotel smellies in the bathroom for guests to enjoy and the best bit is that I got them for free on travels in the first place!
    Enjoy your houseguest!

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  9. You are the cutest person ever, Bethany. I love and agree with all of the thoughtful touches you mention here. I'm sure your house guest and all future house guests are/will be appreciative.

  10. Soo cute such a fun idea!


  11. Thanks for the tips! My sister often comes to stay, so I'll put some of these to use when she arrives next week. I like to leave a towel for her on the end of the bed and sometimes I leave mini travel shampoo, conditioner, moisturiser and deodorant on the towel.

  12. When would you like me to arrive?! Seriously, hostess with the mostest!

    I have had a crazy week and have still not mailed that little letter of to you. Urgh! I promise I'll do it tomorrow.

  13. Um, wow! When can I come visit??

    I love having house-guests {even if I always work myself into a GIANT housework/cooking/organizing frenzy beforehand... le sigh} & I always make a little "welcome kit" for them. My friend Anna was my most recent house-guest & I put a wee gift bag together for her with a bottle of Evian, a map of the neighbourhood (personalized with things like "best baguette bakery ever" & "most scenic route to the lake"), a tin of mints, a cute re-useable Frenchie shopping bag & (of course!) the extra set of house keys.

  14. P.S. It's not exactly related to having house-guests, but I thought you'd enjoy this idea: When my husband & I went to San Francisco last summer to attend my brother's wedding, a little welcome kit was waiting for us at the hotel, with snacks, local maps & info about the wedding events. And the best part? A couple of SF postcards {with correct international postage stamps already stuck on!} plus a little note saying, "We hope we give you something to write home about!" Fabulous, n'est-ce pas?

  15. Snacks?! I never would have thought of that! Anyone would be lucky to stay at your house. :)

  16. what an adorable space! i love it. it is so light!! i just had a friend come to visit, but i live in a tiny new york apartment so we shared my tiny bed. someday though i will have a lovely space for my guests. as much as i love the company, it is nice to have some alone time!
    wonderful job!

  17. What a great space! And I absolutely LOVE the lamp shade! I'm going to make that for my new place in Australia. Thanks for sharing the link!


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