Make the most of your guest room with storage space you can use year-round
Guest rooms typically are hybrid areas, absorbing many functions — bedroom, office, den — in a small space. They’re also great places to squeeze in extra storage. Built-in cabinets can house a visitor’s overnight wardrobe and also be an out-of-season storage area for your own clothes and shoes. A neat and tidy desk area that you use can be a bedside table for guests’ odds and ends. Work with the architecture of your room and keep surfaces clean and clear. Soon your spare room could become the most popular room in the house.
Set it out simply. For a spare room that needs to double efficiently as an office, like this one, a mix of open shelves and sturdy drawer units, all in plain white, are an elegant and effective use of the space. Make sure the shelving is stable enough to hold heavy books and files and that the height of the cabinets is just right for them to fit snugly under the desktop.There’s no need to invest in a custom-made desk, either — just buy a length of countertop and attach it securely to the walls on tough brackets.
Utilize tricky shapes. Attic conversions are favorite spots for a guest room, but how to deal with the awkward architecture and unusual angles? Tailor-made cabinets can overcome a sloping roof with ease, but you will need to contact a cabinetmaker to nail the task properly.I adore these cute, built-in bedside cabinets nestled neatly under the eaves, too, which boost the usable storage space without interrupting the clean silhouette.See tips for turning an attic into a boutique closet
Build in and fold down. Guest bedrooms are often small, so it’s important to make the most every inch. If you can fit it in, a row of built-in cabinets will maximize hanging and stacking space. Stick to simple, white, handle-free cupboards (with unobtrusive notches or magnetic push fittings), so the storage wall blends seamlessly into the background.With the wall taken up, consider a few canny innovations, such as a fold-down TV and a compact corner table.Discover more smart ways to blend your TV into your space
Go custom … A multitasking space, such as a guest room, calls for clever and creative multitasking storage solutions. If you need to squeeze in an office area, a bed and a place to sit, consider going custom and commissioning a professional cabinetmaker or interior designer to coreate a storage wall with a difference.
… and create a working wall. These glossy white cabinets open to reveal a bed on one side and a fully functioning office hub on the other. Both can be magically closed shut when someone wants to sit and read or practice an instrument.
Focus on fuss free. This guest room doesn’t appear to have any storage at all. But dig a little deeper and all is revealed amid the neutral tones and unfussy layout. The translucent, shoji-style wall slides back to uncover a huge closet, while the neat bedside boxes offer just enough space for all of those nighttime essentials.
Stretch it to the ceiling. You might well need to use every spare inch, nook and cranny when it comes to squeezing in storage in a spatially challenged spare room. And that means stretching cupboards right up to the ceiling. These quirky wardrobes on stilts are stacked squarely on top of two bedside tables to create room for clothes, shoes, books and other bits and pieces.If your space has no bedside surface to speak of, as here, opt for wall-mounted lamps that guests can control from the comfort of the bed without moving an inch.
Craft with cubes and cabinets. This cute and quirky guest bedroom proves that innovative storage can still be attractive and fresh, even when it’s white and built in (two words that might just get some of us heading for a vintage shop).Not only does the jigsaw of drawers, nooks and cupboards skillfully take in the sloping ceiling, but visually it pulls the room together with the punctuation of bold black knobs. The bed, which is made from one giant drawer, can be tucked away when not in use.
Say it with singles. One benefit of choosing a pair of single beds for the guest room is that you need only one bedside table sandwiched in between. This means you can opt for a fabulous vintage cabinet or an ancient antique trunk (of which you will generally find only one rather than a matching pair).Here, the single headboard, which stretches across both beds, helps unify the space, while the alcoves are kitted out nicely with illuminated shelving, perfect for stashing books and creating a nighttime glow. This is calm, sleep-promoting symmetry at its best.
Love your linen store. Spare-room storage doesn’t always have to be of the fun-free, functional variety. If you want to create a more relaxed, inviting vibe for guests, pick one-off, treasured pieces in distressed paint finishes, soft colors and classic shapes. This wire-fronted cabinet not only offers masses of shelf space for stacking clean linens and towels all year round, but it fits in effortlessly with the serene ambience. Sigh …