Clever small space design tricks transformed my awkward-shaped spare room into a pretty guest room

Berry tones, stripes, checks and scalloped accessories have given our plain scheme a bold hit of colour and pattern

spare bedroom with purple sofa bed and wall shelf
(Image credit: Laurie Davidson)

Arranging furniture in a guest bedroom can be tricky, especially if you're faced with an awkward-shaped room. And when that room needs to double as an office, dressing room or a place to hang laundry, it's even more important to consider how best to use the space.

That goes for a spare bedroom too, which was the case when I was looking to decorate our new box room. I knew I wanted it to be a spare guest bedroom, but the shape of it was going to be a challenge!

Awkward-shaped guest bedroom makeover

Having had a new upstairs extension added last year, I was keen to turn two of the bedrooms into somewhere that family and friends could stay over occasionally. 

The larger room was a breeze to kit out, as it was big enough for a bed and some furniture, but the second room wasn't so straightforward. It had a corridor-type shape to it, with limited room, so we had to get our thinking caps on as to how we could best use the space.


before shot of a plain room DIY

(Image credit: Laurie Davidson)

Although it was a brand new room and lovely and light, the main part of the space was compact in size. I wanted it to be a spare bedroom, but it also needed to double as a place for me to hang the washing on a day-to-day basis, as we don't have a utility room. That meant that putting a bed in here wouldn't have been practical as I'd have had no room left for a clothes airer.


spare bedroom with purple sofa bed and wall shelf

(Image credit: Laurie Davidson)

Having planned out the space and thought about what was needed, we decided the key piece of furniture was a sofa bed. I wanted something that looked modern, and is comfortable and easy to pull out. After much research, we chose the Islington 3-seater deluxe sofabed from Sofology in 'Drift Plum' with walnut feet. 

I've slept on many an uncomfortable sofa bed over the years and I wanted one that guests wouldn't have a bad night's sleep on and the Islington is definitely that. Plus it's super comfy if one of us wants to come in here and read or relax.

We could have gone for a smaller size, but I wanted it to feel roomy for guests, so we went for the largest size we could fit along the length of the longest wall. We couldn't be happier with it and I'm so glad we decided to go with this rather than a full-size bed – it means we have more room in here when no one is staying. 

spare bedroom with purple sofa bed and wall shelf

(Image credit: Laurie Davidson)

The plum colour dictated the rest of the colours for the room, with a soft neutral paint on the walls but then lots of berry colours, reds and pinks in the accessories. 

Next to the sofa, I managed to find a side table from Rockett St George that would slot in nicely and it has an integrated magazine holder, so I quite often sneak in here to have a flip through a mag when I want a bit of peace and quiet! 

window with striped blind

(Image credit: Laurie Davidson)

The room has two windows and I did think about putting up curtains, but I wanted the room to feel as spacious and light as possible, so Roman blinds were a better option. I went for a striped fabric (Ella Stripe Cappuccino from Blinds2Go) as I thought they would go with anything, even if we change the colour scheme further down the line. 

The two extras that I decided to go with were, firstly, a blackout lining – again, as it's a spare bedroom I wanted guests to have the ultimate good night's sleep. Secondly, we decided to go for electric blinds, so they can be operated by a remote control without having to reach over the sofa.  

wall hooks with wall hanging and dressing gown

(Image credit: Laurie Davidson)

Wall hooks are always a must for people staying over, so I went for gold initial ones from Anthropologie, which they can use to hang bags or coats etc.

The fun cowboy boot wall hanging from Urban Outfitters gives a nod to my love of western style and I saw this cute little table lamp from Marks & Spencer – with its scalloped shade and deep red check pattern it was instantly in my shopping basket! 

cushions with frill and panther design

(Image credit: Laurie Davidson)

The fun part is always the accessories in my opinion and I bought some new cushions to suit the scheme. This red velvet design has a gold panther embellishment that I love and I got this at the same time as the rug – both from La Redoute.

rug with slippers

(Image credit: Laurie Davidson)

Although we have a carpet down, I thought a rug would add some more pattern and colour to the room, and this vintage-style flatweave design from La Redoute is ideal. It's the exact width of the room and a really good price for the size – I've put some of it underneath the sofa, to avoid it looking like it's 'floating' in the centre of the room.

spare bedroom with purple sofa bed and wall shelf

(Image credit: Laurie Davidson)

You can see here that with the sofa bed out, there isn't much space to walk around, but I don't mind that as it's only for one night and a bed would have been like this permanently, whereas I can put this back to the sofa when the bed part isn't needed. 

large gold leaner mirror with plant in basket

(Image credit: Laurie Davidson)

Opposite the sofa bed, I went for the largest mirror I could find – a gold leaner mirror from Dunelm. Yes it's big, but it actually helps the space feel larger I think and I often use it to check my outfits as it's such a good size. 

This is the end of the room I can hang washing in to dry and there's also space for our ironing board too. 

wall shelf with candlesticks and accessories

(Image credit: Laurie Davidson)

The wall shelf (from Wayfair) is also handy for knick-knacks and accessories. I've got a storage box that I have lots of little samples in (incase guests forget anything) and some candles and books. 

It's not the largest of spaces but I think we've made the most of it and I like to think it's a nice room to stay in. The only thing left to get is some over-door hooks to give some extra hanging space and then we're ready for our first guests! 

Laurie Davidson

Laurie Davidson is a professional stylist, writer and content creator, who lives and breathes interiors. Having worked for some of the UK’s leading interior magazines, styled homes up and down the country and produced sets for TV shows, adverts and top brands, it’s safe to say Laurie has had a pretty exciting career. Find her on Instagram at @lifeofaninteriorstylist or over at