When you live in a small place away from family, you have to improvise when houseguests come to visit. When my husband and I were preparing for our first baby to come, we knew we were going to have to find a way to make our baby room and guest room into one. We lived in a two bedroom place that was tight on space, and we had visitors throughout the year.
So we set to work figuring out how to fit everything into one small room. It wasn’t an easy task, but along the way I figured out some key components to making a nursery and guest room combo work. If you’re trying to fit a new baby into a tiny home, check out the points below – it’s amazing what you can make work with a bit of creativity.
Create a Baby and Guest Room Combo
1. Think About the Baby’s sleeping habits
Before doing anything else, you should consider your baby’s sleeping habits. Is baby a heavy sleeper and will he or she be able to get a good sleep in the nursery if a trusted visitor is sleeping in there too? If so, great!
If not, you should probably think about moving the baby into your room while people visit — your child can sleep in a travel bed or play pen.
We kept the crib AND guest bed in our nursery, but when we had visitors our little guy slept in our walk-in closet.
Alternately, you could let your guest sleep in YOUR room while you sleep in the nursery with the baby.
2. Consider Bed Size
The size of your guest bed is another thing to consider before you combine nursery and guest room.
Ask yourself what types of people will be coming to stay and that will help you decide what sort of bed to use for guests. For example, bunk beds are awesome for kids but not great for older visitors.
Size of Mattress
The best options for mattress sizes in a nursery and guest room combo are queen, twin, or full, because unless you have an enormous spare room, a king bed will take up way too much space. A queen size mattress offers sleeping space for more guests, but takes up more space in the nursery, and a twin/full mattress frees up nursery space, but can only accommodate one visitor.
The size of bed you choose will depend on the size of your nursery and the number of visitors you will be getting regularly.R
3. Think About Type of Bed
There are a few different kinds of beds that offer different perks when combining nursery and guest room. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of air mattresses, murphy beds,loft beds/bunk beds, and beds with high frames or risers.
An air mattress is probably the easiest way to help your nursery double as a guest room. Simply blow up the mattress when guests arrive and take it down when they leave. Voila!
One down side to the air mattress is that elderly visitors may not be able to sleep on one. If you’re having older visitors regularly, you’ll probably want to have a real bed for them to sleep on.
However, if you’re really not stoked about having a full-sized bed in the nursery, you can always let your guests sleep in your room and you can camp out on an air mattress in the nursery.
Murphy beds are an awesome option for combining a baby room and guest room. A murphy bed is a bed that folds out from the wall, and when it’s folded up, it stands up right against the wall.
Murphy beds are a great way to save space while the room is not being used as a guest room, and you can even decorate them to look like part of the decor when they’re folded up.
The downside to Murphy beds is that they can be really expensive. However, if you’re feeling adventurous you can use a kit lto make your own for much cheaper.
If you do choose a murphy bed for your nursery guest room combo, just make sure it’s secured to the wall really well.
Loft Bed or Bunk Bed
Loft beds and bunk beds are another great way to save space in your nursery so you can use it as a guest room. Bunk beds, two single beds built one over the other, are also a great space saver and allow for more guests. Just be sure to pay attention to the weight rating on the bunk bed if you go this route. Don’t let a full grown adult sleep in a bunk bed rated for a child’s weight.
A loft bed is basically just the top portion of a bunk bed. The loft bed is raised up high and the space underneath becomes a useable space for storing baby things or whatever else you might need it for.
You could even put your crib under the loft bed (though it might be annoying to have to duck down while lifting your baby in and out.
One downside of bunk beds and loft beds is that your visitors must be able to climb in and out of them–that can be difficult depending on the age and agility of guests.
These beds also work best with high ceilings–the top bunk is already squishy enough.
Bed with High Frame or Risers
Anybody who’s lived in a college dorm knows that under the bed is a great place to store stuff. If you’re going to be taking up extra room in the nursery with a bed, you may as well raise the bed and create storage space underneath.
There are two options for raising your bed. The first option is to get a high bed frame that leaves lots of room underneath the bed.
The second (and cheapest) option is to buy bed raisers and put them on the four corners of the bed, leaving lots of room underneath. Either of these options is a great way to make room for diaper storage if you’re short on space.
4. Be Clever With the Change Table
When you’re combining guest bedroom and nursery, anything you can do to save space is a must, and when it comes to the change table there are a few things you can do to help.
For instance, you could choose to put a change mat on top of your child’s dresser and use that as a change table. Reserve the top drawer for diapers and wipes and you’re good to go.
If you really want to go all out on the space-saving kick, get a wall mounted, folding change table. These things take up virtually no room, so it won’t get in the way. The only downside to these things is the price, but it may be something to save up for if you’re really tight on space.
5. Maximize the Closet’s Storage Space
If you’re thinking that your baby guest room combo is getting a little crowded, think about moving some of the stuff into the closet. For example, you can put your dresser in there, your change table, and some people even put their crib in the closet(it probably needs to be a mini crib to swing that though) depending on space.
It’s also possible to skip the huge dresser and just hang most of your baby’s things (though you’ll probably need some baskets or a small set of drawers at the least).
And if those closet doors are getting in the way, just remove them and hang onto them for later.
Create Your Baby Room and Guest Room Combo
While it may feel overwhelming to try and make your nursery multi-functional, it’s totally doable. Even the smallest of rooms can be made to work with a little creativity. So have faith in yourself, take the plunge, and use the tips in this post to begin planning your nursery and guest room combo.