Design Dilemma: The Perfect Guesthouse | Home Design Find

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Design Dilemma: The Perfect Guesthouse

traditional garage and shed how to tips advice

Summer is the season of the guest. And the lucky among us actually have “guesthouses” which can offer our friends and family a comfortable place to stay with a degree of privacy and separation from the activities of the main house. Guests appreciate the opportunity for a little quiet time, and so do hosts!

How do you create a guest space at home? If you’re lucky, you may have a garage that you can convert into a guesthouse. If you don’t already have a garage, you may be able to erect a pre-constructed shed in your backyard that can serve as a resting spot for guests.

Here’s an example of one backyard guesthouse:

traditional exterior how to tips advice

And here’s another:

tropical garage and shed how to tips advice

And here’s a more upscale version:

modern pool how to tips advice

So what does it take to create a perfect space for guests? There are a few components that go a long way to creating a pleasant guest experience.

1) A guest cottage with connection to a common area.

A separate guesthouse has many advantages for visitors, but guests can also feel a little disconnected from hosts if a guest cottage has no component opening onto a common area. Guesthouses that open onto common patios, pool areas and yards neatly solve the problem of isolation — allowing for just enough privacy, but not too much. A perfect example below, is a guest cabin that shares a patio area with a main house:

eclectic garage and shed how to tips advice

2) A good bed and a lounging area, but not necessarily a kitchen.

A small guest kitchen can be a nice amenity, but it’s really not necessary for a great guest experience. Guests usually enjoy mixing it up in the kitchen with their hosts during meal preparation. More important is simply a good bed and a lounging space that allows guests to “hang out” in their guest quarters to read a book,meditate or just relax.

Below is an example of a guesthouse with a kitchen:

tropical kitchen how to tips advice

Here’s another example of a shed converted into a guesthouse. It features a rustic kitchen and a modest dining space:

eclectic garage and shed how to tips advice

3. Exotic charm. A separate guesthouse is an utter luxury for many of us who simply don’t have the space to construct an entirely separate structure. If we do have that opportunity, we should go the whole distance to make a guesthouse feel cozy and characteristic. What you’re looking for is the exact opposite of the impersonality of a hotel room. Rusticity is often the way to go in a converted shed or garage. Something like this:

traditional bedroom how to tips advice

Here’s another example:

traditional porch how to tips advice

And what guest could resist this tropical Hawaiian guest abode:

tropical patio how to tips advice

Successful guesthouses usually walk a fine line between coziness and character. They have unique architectural details (like the unfinished or distressed wood framing we see in some of these pictures, but they are usually relatively spare, allowing guests to feel comfortable and welcomed with room to spread out. Keep these tips in mind and be prepared to enjoy your summer guests!

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