If you’ve just had visitors over for the holidays and you’re left thinking your home didn’t accommodate for them as well as you would have liked, here are some top tips on how to make a few simple changes to host extra people in your living space more comfortably.

Use your office as a guest bedroom

If family or friends are staying the night you want to make their bedroom as comfortable as possible, so they feel welcome. There is nothing worse than staying at someone else’s home to be thrown a blow-up bed that deflates half way through the night. However, that doesn’t mean you need a lot of space. If you have a spare room then great, you have the luxury of being able to make it as luxurious as you desire. But an office can also be easily transformed into a guest bedroom when required with the right furniture choices.

Sofa beds can be a great addition to an office, providing you somewhere relaxing to drink your coffee when you have a break during working hours, and then a comfortable bed for guests to use during their stay. Throw on some cushions, select beautiful bed linen and your guests won’t even notice the computer in the corner.

When transforming an office for the arrival of guests consider what you might like if you were staying elsewhere. A lamp next to the bed is always useful along with somewhere to store their belongings, particularly if they are staying longer than one night. You can always use other furniture to fashion a makeshift bedside cabinet, then return the lamp to its usual place once your guests have left.

Invest in an extendable dining table and matching cushions

You need to consider how you are going to accommodate your guests at dinner if you plan to offer a sit-down meal. Dragging out that emergency chair from the cupboard under the stairs is most people’s strategy when catering for extra people in their home. But you could really impress with just a little extra thought. Even if you don’t have the space to store matching extra chairs, why not buy enough cushions to go on all of your chairs, which don’t take up much storage space, and will help create a more uniform look to your dining table if using miss-matched seats You could go one step further and buy chair covers, which will look really smart if you want to impress.

Consider buying a table which extends when you need to seat extra people. These are a great purchase if you like to play host often, and particularly if space is a concern. When your guests leave you can slot the extended part back away and regain your dining room space.

Use floor cushions and beanbags for comfy seating

Seating is another possible problem you might encounter when you have more people in your home. If you don’t have enough sofa seating for all your guests and need furniture for a small living room, there are some gorgeous floor cushions and beanbags available, which will cost a fraction of the price of an armchair and take up less storage space when not in use. Coordinate them with your decor and they will offer the perfect spot for guests to relax whilst you all socialise in the evening. You won’t regret it when you save yourself having to sit on a dining room chair all evening.

Use your garden or balcony as an extension of your living space

If you are having guests to stay in the summer months consider using any outside space you have as an extension of your living space. If it’s warm outside there is nothing more enjoyable than flinging open the patio doors and sipping drinks in the sunshine. Encouraging people outside will ensure your inside space feels less cramped.

Put some comfortable outdoor beanbags on the grass for people to lounge on, create shade using canopies and parasols, add a touch of magic with some twinkling fairy and solar lights, you could even hang outdoor lanterns from the trees to make your garden look really special.

If you don’t already have an outdoor table and chairs this really is a must-have for any garden or patio. When you have guests round it acts as extra seating, but will end up being used throughout the summer for a morning coffee right through to alfresco dining as the sun goes down.

Choose multipurpose furniture

If you enjoy having family or friends staying over often, but space is an issue, consider purchasing multipurpose but functional furniture for small apartments which can be used in different ways depending on your needs. For example, a storage ottoman provides somewhere to keep the bedlinen you might need to cater for visitors, but can also be pulled out and used for seating when your guests arrive.

A clothes rail can be used for storage to save space and then cleared for guest use to hang clothes. This will be most appreciated if your guests are staying for a few days and don’t want to live out of a suitcase.

Lamps which are free standing rather than fixed to the wall allow you to move them around when you have visitors, and could be used as a bedside light in the guest bedroom.

There are various options for bedroom furniture with hidden compartments, such as beds which open up and can be used for storage, freeing up extra space you might need to accommodate friends and family staying over. Or a bench with storage inside, which can be used for seating as well as tidying away items not in frequent use.

Use foldaway furniture to save on space

If you have limited space such as living in a small apartment, then foldaway furniture can come in handy when you need to accommodate family or friends. Chairs, tables, even desks can be bought as a foldaway variety meaning you can store them in a cupboard when not in use, then easily bring them out when you need them. This could be helpful if you simply don’t have enough space around your dining table for everyone, or you need some extra seats. If you have an office, then a foldaway desk can be put away in a cupboard to make space for your guests to use the room during their stay instead.

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