When we moved across country last year, we knew having a guest room was going to be a necessity.  After all, we were moving almost 3,000 miles away from all of our family.  Unfortunately, a house with a dedicated guest room wasn’t in the budget.

We are lucky enough, however, to have two boys who love sharing a bedroom, so bedroom #3 became a Convertible Playroom.  Most of the time, it’s an unassuming playroom, but with a few quick moves, it becomes a decently comfortable guest room.

  1. Find a temporary home for the train table.  In our home, it can go in the den, the living room, or the garage.  We opted for the living room this time, because my cousin and his two little boys will be visiting us one afternoon, and we thought it would be nice to have the train table in an area they can access.
  2. Dig the double-height Aerobed out of the linen closet.  Those of you who are anti-air mattress and have never tried an Aerobed…don’t be so hasty!  My parents have had one for years, and it’s a great option for extra sleeping space.  Much more comfortable than a camping air mattress.  The new double-height bed isn’t as high as a standard bed, but it’s a lot easier to get off of than a standard air mattress.
  3. Find the Space Bags that house the extra pillows and quilts.  (We store them under our bed.)  Send the pillows through the dryer for a quick fluff.
  4. Grab the night stand from the corner of the room.  We picked one up at Ikea when it was on sale for $9.99 a few months ago.  This isn’t a must for everyone, but we wanted a place for an alarm clock and CPAP machine.  I found a digital alarm clock at Goodwill for $3, and I store it in the drawer of the nightstand.  When this is a playroom, the nightstand serves as a play surface for the boys.  (Since it’s white, it makes a great Hoth surface for the Star Wars guys…very important.)
  5. For extra credit*, have a variety of pillow thicknesses available and use a quilt that one of your guests made for you.  (This is the wedding quilt my mom made us – hand quilted, even!)

No, it’s not spacious, but it’s private, it has a comfortable bed, and it’s free.  All ready for Mom and Dad’s first visit – hurrah!

Update: We now do a little extra, kid-made decorating for our guests.  Check it out here!

*For extra, extra credit, remove the tipsy trophies and rolling Bakusphere from the wire shelves directly behind the headboard.  I had visions of Dad getting cracked in the head of the middle of the night.  Now there’s only danger of plastic dinosaur attack…much more reasonable.