Home

Library and guest room combos that win at double-duty design

For some, a home with a dedicated library featuring a fireplace and overstuffed leather chairs would be the ultimate retreat. For others, a hotel-worthy guest room to wow friends and family would be a dream come true. Unfortunately, space is often limited and sacrifices have to be made, but with a little ingenuity, you can still have the best of both worlds. Creating a guest room that doubles as a library just might be the answer for you. Here are 10 library-guest rooms that are (leather) bound to inspire you.

1. Pullout power

If you host guests only occasionally, a pullout sofa might be the most practical option for your guest room. This Boston home features a pullout sofa in the center of the room, making it an ideal spot to plop down to read a good book.

2. Cozy chair

You’ll notice that many library-guest rooms feature an accent chair and table. This simple gesture has the power to style a library out of what would otherwise seem to be just a bedroom with a bookcase. Having somewhere to read besides the bed increases the likelihood that you’ll use the space even when guests aren’t around.

RELATED: 15 Rooms that excel at double duty

3. Knockout nooks

Slip back and forth between daydreams and dozing with a built-in daybed and bookshelves. Built-in units like these help maximize space in a small room, and selecting a double or queen-size mattress makes the space feel more like a legitimate bedroom than just a reading nook. This room even tucks a second mattress behind the headboard wall and continues the book theme overhead.

4. Small wonder

Long, skinny layouts like this can be tricky to furnish, but using a tall bookcase to form a little entry vestibule preserves the privacy of whoever snoozes here and zones the space into more pleasing proportions. With so much useful space on the shelves, the walls and floors remain uncluttered, which is essential to keeping a room this size feeling cozy and not claustrophobic.

5. Two styles in one

This guest room features the characteristics of both a traditional, academic library and a light, crisp bedscape to create what feels like two destinations working harmoniously together. To sit at the antique table and peruse a novel must truly feel like a different experience than waking up in the hotel-worthy bed.

6. Headboard highlight

Who needs a grandiose headboard when you’ve got books galore? Placing the bed under a wall of custom bookcases is the perfect setup for those who like to read in bed. Both the books and reading lamps are easily accessible for an easy transition from wakefulness to sleep.

RELATED: Add a sofa bed for a comfortable place to sit or sleep

7. Make every inch count

This New York nook features a daybed (with storage underneath) that can easily accommodate a guest when the need arises. A well-designed lighting plan is essential for a room like this. Here, three different light sources ensure that the petite sleeping quarters don’t feel like a cave.

8. Murphy bed magic

A wall of custom bookshelves can be designed in a myriad of ways. This sophisticated space in Toronto includes an ebony-stained floor-to-ceiling bookcase with a full-size Murphy bed that’s ideal for hosting guests. While the quality and comfort of pullout sofa beds are improving, providing a real mattress for guests is still preferable when possible.

9. Three-in-one

This transitional New York guest space actually serves three functions: It’s a library, a guest room and a home office all in one. Although there’s a lot of furniture in here, including loveseats that pull out to beds, a bookshelf and a slim glass desk, the space still feels airy and can easily morph into a different configuration when visitors come knocking.

10. Take it outside.

If you don’t have a guest room inside your home, try looking outside for a possible alternative. Here we see a converted garden shed that’s pulling double duty in style. The custom daybed with its assortment of eclectic pillows looks like a great spot for some light reading and can host an overnight guest in a pinch.

RELATED: An armchair is the perfect addition to your spare room

TOP