If saying hello to Baby means saying goodbye to your guest room like it does for many expectant parents, there’s another option you might consider. Combining a guest room and nursery into one space, or adding a guest bed to a nursery, is a solution that allows out-of-towners someplace comfortable to sleep, while also giving you the freedom to design somewhere special for your baby to call (mostly) their own. 

There are a few important things to keep in mind when setting up a guest room-nursery combo. The first is that this room will primarily be your baby’s, so even though their sleep space takes up less square footage than an adult-sized bed, you don’t want the room to feel like just a guest room with a crib shoved in the corner. Rather, select a theme and color scheme that you love for Baby, arrange the furniture and accessories for comfort and ease with them, and put the guest accommodations second. Anyone staying a few nights in your home and saving money by not staying in a hotel room is not going to mind a few teddy bears or twinkling lights around!

Also key is the organization and use of space. Nursery furniture and baby stuff already have a decent sized footprint; adding a bed that sleeps at least one adult and potentially a dresser for guests to house their items will take up precious room. Keeping any baby’s room organized and functional is important to decrease your stress and make the days (and nights!) go as smoothly as possible, but this is especially true in a multifunctional nursery such as one combined with a guest room. 

After a soft focus on Baby first, guests second, plus smart storage solutions, the next goal is a clear delineation of space. Whether the room is sprawling or itty-bitty, make sure that the baby’s sleep, dress, and play spaces are here, and the guest space is there. When there are no visitors, of course, you'll make use of the entire room. But when it comes to keeping things easy to tidy-up, a bed and simple table or dresser for guests on one side of the room and a crib and dresser on the other make the absolute most sense. 

Here are some beautiful inspiration images and clever ideas for combining a guest room and nursery flawlessly–and stylishly.

Invest in a Daybed for Your Nursery-Guest Room

 Guest room with a daybed, crib, and SNOO bassinet

Image: SOS Interiors

This charming and handy piece of furniture is not only going to be clutch when guests come to town; it’s also a great place for a parent to crash when Baby is excessively fussy, teething, or waking often for night feeds and you’d like to be nearby to avoid multiple trips down the hall to tend to them. Later, it can serve as their “big-kid” bed, too.

The daybed can be decorated as a couch 95% of the time in the nursery, a lovely nook for cuddling up and reading a story or playing a quiet game. It then doubles up at any time as a sleep spot for Mama, Dad, or out-of-towners passing through. Pro tip: consider a daybed with a trundle option to sleep an extra guest!  

White, Blue & Green Nursery-Guest Room

Light blue and cream nursery-guest room 

Photo: Life to Lauren

Whether you’re expecting a boy or a girl, white walls plus soft blue and/or green accents create a gorgeous look in the nursery-guest room. These parents stuck with clean lines in the furniture and added sweeping, pale blue drapes for interest. The muted, bottle-green rug and classic lamp add style and interest. As Baby grows, you can incorporate framed photos, wall art, and toys that stick to this color palette to keep the room soothing and cheerful for guests and your little one alike.  

Nursery-Guestroom With Babyish Details 

 Neutral guest room with crib and rainbow decor

Photo: Momma Society

Sticking with a classic, sophisticated design is one route, but this is a nursery, and it’s totally okay to focus on details that will delight the little one instead. After all, most of the time, they will be the one sleeping and playing in here, and you want it to feel like their space. These parents were wise to create whimsy in their guest room-baby room combo with a floating rainbow and bold rug.  

You can’t see it in this photo, but behind the crib is a cheerful accent wall featuring striped wallpaper and a fun art print. These little details are pleasant reminders that a baby lives here, without detracting from the guest room functionality. This room is a perfect example of delineation of spaces, down to the flowers on the far table.

Consider a Murphy Bed in Your Nursery-Guest Room

Guest room with crib and hidden Murphy bed
Photo: Brepurposed

Tight on space? You’re not the first person to find yourself in this design predicament. Though not as easy to source as they were in the heyday of the mid-to-late 1900s, you can DIY or purchase these handy foldaway beds and only bring them down when company comes to town. The rest of the time, the space serves as shelving or an art wall in your little one’s cute room. 

In this warm, moody nursery-guest room combo, the guest bed is hiding behind that armoire in the left of the photo. Baby enjoys a cozy and neutral space to explore, play, and dream, and when guests come to town, their bed folds down easily for maximum comfort.

Nautical Nursery-Guest Room

 Guest room-nursery combo with a nautical theme and floating bookshelves

Photo: Mom Needs Merlot

Choosing nursery colors can be a challenge, especially when you plan to combine the space with a guest room. Navy and white are clean and classic and will easily grow with Baby from the early days through toddlerhood and beyond.  

The details in this space are kid-friendly but streamlined, from the tuck-toys-away bench to the floating bookshelves. Baby’s laundry and clutter are easily tossed in bins and baskets, and the map art above the bed is pleasing to guests and little ones. 

Boho Nursery-Guest Room

Pink and gray guest room-nursery combo 

Image: Project Nursery

Who wouldn’t want to spend a night—or their formative childhood years—in a bright and pretty space like this? The rainbow and macrame wall details, chunky pink throw on the guest bed, and potted plant are bohemian-chic at its absolute finest. 

A boho-chic nursery can double as a guest room with the simple addition of a plain bed with white sheets and a sizable white dresser. Use at least half the storage areas for Baby’s items, leaving a drawer or two to allow guests somewhere to place their things if staying more than a few nights. 

Cream & Green Guest Room Nursery

 A guest room-nursery combo with a cream-and-green color scheme

Image: Black and Blooms

If you love the clean look of white but want something a bit warmer and cozier, cream is a comfort color that looks lovely and is easy to decorate around. Green tones in the art and accessories are perfect and can be swapped later as Baby develops an opinion.

These parents moved toward a jungle motif (see more safari themed nurseries) but you can just as easily lose the animal prints for a simple color palette and no theme. The cream background feels inviting, while greenery twining its way around the room is fun for little ones and guests of any age. Plus, it’s effortlessly gender-neutral!

Monochrome Nursery-Guest Room

 Guest room-nursery decorated with black-and-white decor

Image: Mallory Joy

White walls, a black crib, and expertly coordinated furniture and accessories throughout make this guest room/baby room combo a slam-dunk. The details here are whimsical and sweet, yet not overwhelming or garish for an adult guest. 

Monochrome does not have to be boring; art prints, coffee table books, and lots of matching toys round out the space and keep the eye moving. Baby will love growing up in a space that’s eclectic and fun, and visitors will appreciate every chic detail.

About Jenny Studenroth Gerson

Jenny Studenroth Gerson is an Atlanta-based lifestyle journalist and novelist (Let Me Let You Go, 2020). Her work can be seen in publications including HuffPost, Cosmo, and WSJ, among many others. Jenny has researched thousands of baby names, combed through hundreds of nursery designs, and curated dozens of baby shower guides, making her absolutely the mom—and writer—you want to talk to when planning for Baby. When not meeting deadlines, she is chasing toddlers or chugging coffee—or both! Find her on Instagram @ourlifeinrosegold for mom hacks and more.

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