Skip to Content

Overnight Guests in Tiny Spaces: Practice in Creative Hospitality

With the biggest holiday season just around the corner, many people are preparing to make cross-country trips to visit extended family, or to receive visitors from out of state. This creates a unique challenge for those who’ve embraced tiny living: increasingly efficient construction and the absence of a second bedroom leaves little space for accommodating overnight guests. Even in standard-sized homes and apartments, actual ‘guest rooms’ are becoming less common, so regardless of space, finding places for everyone to sleep and retain their privacy gets tricky. The following tools and strategies can help you solve these challenges and make your guests feel so cared for, they won’t notice how cramped they really are.

#1. Have the right furniture

First things first. If you have a small apartment and expect overnight guests, it might be a good idea to purchase convertible furniture right from the beginning. Nothing can completely replace the comfort of a bed, but futons, daybeds, convertible modular couches, ottomans, or sleeper armchairs are better than that floor.

#2: Conduct a Pre-Guest De-Clutter

If you’re living tiny, there’s probably not much to eliminate, but tuck away anything you won’t be using during the stay to maximize the space your guests can use.

#3. Have a place for their ‘stuff’

As you clear out all the extra, think about where your guests can store their luggage and other personal belongings instead of blocking walkways or precious seating space. Is there part of a closet you can condense and offer them? A bookshelf you can clear? A corner of the kitchen nook where suitcases can be tucked out of the way? You might even want to purchase a few fold-out luggage racks, like the ones offered in hotels, that get suitcases off the floor and transform them into a drawer, of sorts.

#4. Provide Privacy

If your guests are sleeping in the living room, it temporarily becomes a bedroom, so you should treat it as such. Close any doors you can, pull shades, and rearrange furniture so it provides some seclusion from the rest of the apartment. A few other ideas include folding screens, or creating a curtained-off area with a few tension rods.

#5. Offer Your Room

For extended stays, especially if you have guests with children or drastically different sleeping patterns and schedules, consider offering them your room while you sleep in the office area or on the couch. This will provide a closed-off space for them to relax and retain some privacy, and will keep you from having to tiptoe around them during your morning routine.

#6. Crank Up the Cozy

If your guests will be sleeping in the living room, consider turning up the heat a few notches (they may be more sensitive to drafts you’re used to), and making the room as cozy as possible. Think of it as creating a hotel room, complete with ‘bedside’ lamps, a table for their keys, phones, and alarm, and plenty of extra blankets and pillows. Make sure they have access to outlets for charging their electronics, and add any extra touches you think will make them feel more at home.

#7. Think Like a Hotel Manager

To give overnight guests the best possible experience, don’t make them have to look or ask for anything, just as if they were staying in a hotel. Here are a few suggestions to get started:

  • Lay out bath towels and linens.
  • Leave out a guest basket stocked with extra toiletries they may need.
  • Provide a laundry bag for their clothes.
  • Show them how to use the coffee maker and where you keep the mugs.
  • Write your wi-fi password on a notepad.

#8. Make Food Convenient

When you live in a small space, throwing a dinner party or entertaining guests overnight might be mutually exclusive — there’s just not enough space for both. Don’t frustrate yourself or crowd your guests any more by trying to home-cook meals. If you have time to plan ahead, you could bake quiche and warm it up for a fresh, hot breakfast. Otherwise, either eat out for dinner or order pizza, and opt for yummy convenience foods for breakfast, such as ready-to-bake cinnamon rolls or biscuits, and pre-made pancakes and waffles.

As you can see, it’s still possible to comfortably host overnight guests while living in small apartment or home. Get yourself ready with these tips, and you’ll be prepared to welcome those weary travelers with open arms (and space).

Photo Credit: FreeImages.com/Fleur Suijten

Follow Tiny Living on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram to get our latest tiny house updates!