How to squeeze a "guest room" into even the smallest apartment

By Virginia K. Smith  | March 9, 2015 - 3:59PM

Living in New York usually means that even your most peripheral acquaintances—oh hey there, estranged freshman year roommate—will at some point ask to crash with you when they come to town. Besides, you probably don't have anywhere to put them. 

If you really want to up your hosting game—without moving to a bigger place and doubling your rent—Houzz has a few ideas on how to make your rooms to double (or triple, or quadruple) duty. As usual, loft beds are the true MVPs in apartments with limited space—you can use the area underneath for a home office or extra shelving space, and even install a handy ceiling-mounted that guests can close for privacy. (Even if your friend is just crashing on your couch, never underestimate the ability of an extra curtain or screen to create at least the illusion of privacy in an apartment.)

For a more involved (and old-school) option, go for a Murphy bed, which can cost anywhere between $1,000 and $5,000 to get set up. And while you can't use the back of the bed for shelving when it's folded up—everything will fall off when you open it up—Houzz recommends building in a desk to get the most out of your Murphy when the bed is off-duty and opting for textured wallpaper so you aren't left with a big, empty void on the wall when it's tucked away.

Which leads you to this knotty question: If you've got a guest set-up this sleek, is it time to kick out the non-paying guests and start an Airbnb side business?


Right angles: creative ways to use your apartment's corners

Living above it all: get the most out of a loft bed

Skip the small talk, load up on wine, and more tips to host 22 guests in 241 square feet

Take the guesswork out of hosting long-term guests: know the rules

Two Airbnb junkies share tips on being the ultimate host

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