How to Turn Any Living Room Floor Into a Luxurious 'Guest Room'

We miss times when pals snoozed on our sofa every weekend. Here's how to deck out your apartment to be guest-friendly again after COVID.

Mar 8 2021, 11:00pm
A week of sharing our ultimate fantasies for life after COVID-19.

Welcome to Fantasy Week, where we indulge all our grandest daydreams about what we wish to do when this is all over. After a year of pandemic life, we’re fantasizing about globetrotting, throwing ragers, and dressing like we truly give zero fucks, and imagining a world where we’re all vaxxed and the world is our big, briny oyster.


You may know the expression that "houseguests are like fish—they go bad after three days." And for a long time, that rang true: Sometimes, you love people, but you need them to get the hell out of your personal space before your friendships start decaying like a snapper washed up on the beach. If you're the social type, maybe, for years, your living room hosted a rotating cast of visitors, from vacationing amigos to your college roommate's touring band members. And every time they'd gallop off into the horizon, you'd breathe a giant sigh of relief to have your space back. But houseguests are one of those things that you just don't know how much you're gonna miss until they're gone. 

Sure, taking a break from hosting was nice for a few months… but those months of quarantine have stretched on and on, with nary a friend snoring on the sofa and asking where they can score a sick cold brew in the morning. We didn't see it coming, but damn, we miss them all—even that bearded drummer who smelled like beef jerky. (He was funny!) And dare we say we hope that once we're all jabbed with anti-COVID juice, those stinky little houseguests will return for adult sleepovers aplenty. We're awaiting their return with such anticipation that we're fantasizing about decking out our guest rooms or "guest rooms"—whether that's actually a dedicated extra space with walls (nonexistent in New York) or just a particularly unoccupied corner of the floor behind the couch (much more likely)—with a welcome warmer than a hug from Tom Hanks. 

But if you want to be a true pro host, you really need to graduate past the ol' one-decorative-throw-pillow-and-a-stolen-airplane-blanket-on-the-floor level of hospitality. Maybe your budget only allows for "I have an extra toothbrush for you," or maybe you're balling enough to stash a Murphy bed. We've got ideas for either or everything in between. 

FLOOR CRASHIN’

The can't-go-wrong air mattress

Photo: Amazon

So you're starting your journey toward becoming one of those people your friends call a Good Host. Congrats! The first thing you'll need is an air mattress, and while prices certainly vary, you can definitely get a decent one for under a hundred bucks. This Coleman number is nice and high off the ground, has a velvety top to keep pillows in place, and can double as a camping mattress if you take a post-COVID road trip. 

Coleman SupportRest Plus PillowStop Double-High Airbed, $91.17 at Amazon

The pad that pumps you (and itself) up

Photo: Brookstone

This air mattress just makes things reaaaal easy: Flip a switch on its side, and you’re on your way to self-pumping cloud town. We love when decor is that self-sufficient.  It also comes in a variety of thicknesses, sizes (twin, full, queen) and with its own fitted sheet. 

Brookstone Perfect Air Bed With Built-In Pump, $149.99 at Brookstone

You almost joined the commune

Photo: Wayfair

But you didn’t wanna share your quinoa. No worries. Here you are, sharing your delightful fold-out foam mattress with that friend who insisted on getting a round of fernet before closing. No need to inflate with this boy, just unfurl. 

Two-Sided 5" Medium HR Foam Mattress, $176.99 at Wayfair

DAMN, YOU'RE A GOOD HOST

Hit them with the drip kit

Photo: Bubble

Do it for the subtle, caffeinated flex of waking up not to an instant Nescafé (no shade), but to the drip-drop-pitter-patter tap dance of artisanal coffee in a pour over drip kit. We love this dance. 

Aguas Atlas Guatemala Pourover Coffee Kit, $17 at Bubble

Their very own mug so they don't bogart your fave

Photo: Urban Outfitters

Mugs are a very personal thing. Many of us have one particular mug that we don't want anyone else touching—which can create awkwardness when a houseguest helps themselves. Present them with a streetwear-backed smiley mug, and everyone will have their morning coffee in happy harmony (and, thus, a perfectly pleasant day to come). 

Chinatown Market X Smiley Camping Mug, $18 at Urban Outfitters

Avoid that day-after breath

Photo: Spotlight Oral Care

They’re toothbrushes, but they’re also a mouth portal to peak-Sesame Street-core. Which sounds less weird in our heads, but here we are. This five-pack is made out of bamboo (sustainable!) and the color blocking makes it easy to color-coordinate between brushes for your buds and brushes for your rotating boos. 

5-Pack Bamboo Toothbrushes, $15 at Spotlight Oral Care

A super-long charger so you don't have to awkwardly crouch by the wall to use your phone while it's juicing up

Photo: Amazon

A 10-foot-long cell charger is one of those simple buys that will change your life to a surprising degree, especially if you're stuck in an apartment where wall outlets are few and far between. Charge while you lie in bed. Charge while you cook. Charge while you loaf around, simultaneously playing Stardew Valley and watching Murder Among the Mormons. Buy a 3-pack and let your sofa-crashers do the same. 

iPhone Charger 10 ft, 3-Pack Extra Long Lightning Cable, $9.99 at Amazon

A ridiculously enviable set of travel toiletries

Photo: Nordstrom

Maybe your visitor is the come-prepared type, with their own stash of mini hair and skin care products, or maybe they're counting on some Dr. Bronner's at their point of arrival for all of their hygiene needs. Either way, whoever becomes the recipient of this fancy, delightful-smelling Aesop set—with shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and lotion—is really fucking lucky, indeed. If you don't have any friends you like enough to give it to, buy it for yourself and all your post-COVID travel fantasies. 

Aesop Arrival Travel Kit, $35 at Nordstrom

Some targeted aromatics to help them take a vacation dump in peace

Photo: Poo~Pourri

One of the worst parts about being away from home is having no gosh-darn privacy when you need to have some personal time in la toilette. The noise issue is one thing; disguising the smell is even more terrifying, as you frantically open windows and try to steer your host away from their own bathroom until the ripeness dissipates. God bless Poo~Pourri, a brand that really thought about this shit (no pun intended) and made a product specifically for disguising all of the unpleasantries we create after our morning cup of coffee. Provide the "In A Pinch" pack and rest assured that anyone else's #2 will become your #1 problem. 

Poo~Pourri In A Pinch Pack, $17.95 at Poo~Pourri

The restroom candle, for the poo-accessory shy

Photo: Nordstrom

If gifting something with the word "poo" in its name is just not on-brand for you, you can also put a wonderful scented candle in the bathroom next to a pack of matches. Nothing wrong with that.

Boy Smells Purple Kush Scented Candle, $32 at Nordstrom

A sleep mask so your hangover doesn't get blasted with searing sunlight

Photo: Lunya

One of the toughest things about crashing with friends—besides hiding your bathroom smells—is waking up in a curtainless living room, hung over from last night's bottomless margaritas, being positively attacked by morning sunshine. This super-soft sleep mask is perfect for sharing because you can wash it in between uses, and it will provide both better sleep and a sense of privacy for your much-needed REM cycle.

Lunya Washable Silk Sleep Mask, $48 at Lunya

A set of guest towels so you aren't all wiping your bods on the same terry cloth

Photo: AllModern

How long has it been since your dorm days? And you still only have two towels?? Buddy. Get thee some extras. We like these because they stand out, so there are no mix-ups when it comes to the damp fabric you're rubbing on your naked bodies, respectively. 

Stansfield 6 Piece 100% Cotton Towel Set, $63 at AllModern

KEEP 'EM COZY

You were downtown clubbin, ladies night

Photo: Amazon

“Hey Ma, what' up, let's slide [into this blanket].” – Cam’Ron

Rockfeeltee Flannel Cam’Ron Blanket, $43.99 at Amazon 

A crazy-soft statement blanket

Photo: Wayfair

It's easier to forgive the surface you're sleeping on—which, as we discussed above, is hopefully not just a hard floor—when you're cuddled up with something soft and cozy. The New York Times ran an awesome story recently about these super-soft imported blankets that are a source of warm and tender feelings within many cultures—the Times likens them to "a warm hug from an angel." Sounds great—we'd like ours with a side of kitschy tiger print. Animal prints are neutrals, duh. 

Oryana Super Soft Plush Korean-Style Mink Blanket, $66.99 at Wayfair

The humble folksy wrap

Photo: Etsy

Devendra Banhart was one of your first talent crushes, and you know aaalll about the politics of Fleetwood Mac over the years. This abstract throw blanket is graphic without feeling cold or pretentious, and feels like it rolled right out of the 70s just for your arms.

Large Abstract Throw Blanket, $95 at Etsy

To conjure dreams of Neil Degrasse Tyson

Photo: Etsy

One of the things we miss most RN is crowding inside our nearest planetarium with total piece of mind. This blanket wraps you in a deep fried version of the Milky Way in which astronauts mingle with space pooches, and pyramids on earth are cooked on an egg. The best part? A good statement throw blanket doubles as a très chic wall hanging or substitute headboard when you're not cozied up with it. 

Outerspace Throw, $137.60 at Etsy

Movie-and-a-burger blanket

Photo Iamfy


Because in 2021, the healthiest place for you to put your love of the Quentin Tarantino classic is on a blanket that allows you to be comfortably sandwiched between John Travolta and Uma Therman. Minus the nose bleeding. 

Mambo Textiles Pulp Fiction Dance Woven Throw, $199 at Iamfy

You tattooed your inner lip in high school

Photo: Iamfy

This graphic blanket is cool enough to hang on the wall as a 24/7 tapestry, and ripe for being dramatically ripped down to warm your guest(s) toes when they crash. It’s also 100-percent cotton, made in the USA, and machine washable. Spill away. 

Studio Meowdy Textiles Virtues Throw, $199 at Iamfy

DAYBED-BALLIN’ TRUE GUEST LUXURY

You love Le Corbusier

Photo: Wayfair

You’re ready. Ready for a real guest daybed—not a couch that passes as a meh couch, but a piece of furniture that looks fully baked. This caned daybed could have come from the estate sale of some fabulously chic, deceased French woman. Or maybe we’re projecting, but it doesn’t matter. This baby holds up. 

Cane Daybed by Allmodern, $1,469.99 at Wayfair

You use the word “summer” as a verb

Photo: Urban Outfitters

You miss traveling to Greece and Italy most of all, and have divisive opinions about olive oil. A rattan daybed is for you and your guest, because you can get comfortable but not too comfortable (you’ll have a plane to catch) and it looks like something you might’ve picked up at a warm weather flea market. We dig that it’s so low-slung, because it won’t take up valuable space in your home or (hint) foyer. 

Kaliko Rattan Daybed, $599 at Urban Outfitters

The golden child

Photo: Wayfair

Getting a golden couch for two-hundred-and-something bucks is bananas, and reassuring: It is infinitely less stressful to have someone spill on this stunner, than, say, that Roche Bobois couch that went for the price of your security deposit. This guy has an easy fold-back mechanism for converting into a bed, so that your guests can go down in under three seconds. (Our ETA; Who knows.) Sometimes affordable loveseats just look cheap from close-up, but this one also has actual wooden legs and a subtle, old-school stripe motif. 

Robidoux Twin 80" Wide Tight Back Convertible Sofa, $349.99 $293.99 at Wayfair 

The human chess board/Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice

Photo: Wayfair

Nope, Lisa Says Gah is not making couches (we would support that, to be clear). This is a true roll-up your sleeves find—a checkered couch whose aesthetic just so happens to coincide with our enduring love of ska bands,  Beetlejuice, and Nascar. Your bud won’t know what dimension they’ve woken up in. KEEP ‘EM ON THEIR TOES.  

Twin 64" Wide Faux Leather Tufted Back Convertible Sofa, $169.99 at Wayfair

The Muppet

Photo: Eayfair

This smol convertible sofa comes with a retro shag fabric, solid sale discount, and the blessing of Jim Henson’s spirit. It’s super compact, but can comfortably cater to two bottoms (or pull out into a small bed). If you live in a studio, this is a primo pick. Go for the grey, because you’ll be able to add a rotating selection of vibey, hectic pillows to match you or your guests’ mood. 

Avreigh Twin 36.5" Wide Tufted Back Convertible Sofa, $329.99 $303.99 at Wayfair

The one that transforms into a cabinet

Photo: Wayfair

Of all the beds, couches, and pseudo-couches, this is the truest Transformer. The Barham bed hides an entire queen-sized mattress (comes with purchase) in its panels, and comes in four color options for your living room pleasure. If you don’t want to have another loveseat, this is the perfect guy to plop at your entryway. 

Barham Cube Queen Murphy Bed with Mattress, $2,039.99 at Wayfair

The one you’re gunna have sex on

Photo: eBay

Intended as a piece of furniture for children, the Nugget moonlights as really great sex furniture (see: the Nugget After Dark community, which is very Eyes-Wide-Shut-meets-Dance-Moms) because it folds out into a bunch of different shapes, and comes in the form of Liberator Wedge-y modules. (It’s also the perfect Pantsdrunk couch, too.)

The couch: The Nugget Limited Edition Bamboo, $799 at eBay


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Tagged:

friendship, shopping, decorating, furniture, housewares, Fantasy Week, guest rooms, floor crashers, guest room ideas

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