Whether you have family visiting for the holidays or a few friends who want to check out your awesome Nashville apartment, it’s likely that you’ll host overnight guests at one point or another. It can feel like a challenge to make room for guests in a small space, like a studio or one-bedroom apartment, but with these tips, you can make sure everyone stays comfortable and enjoys their stay.

1. Be willing to rearrange your apartment a bit

We hope it goes without saying that you should clean your space before having guests. So while you’re dusting your coffee table and vacuuming behind the couch, consider how a few tweaks could create some extra room (or at least the illusion of it).

Move the coffee table against a wall to open up the floor plan and make rolling out the air mattress easy when it’s time for bed. Bring a small chair into your guest’s sleeping space to serve as an easy luggage rack. Clear an end table and add a power strip to make a convenient nightstand for a glass of water and place to charge any electronics.

It may be a delicate dance but experimenting with reconfiguring your space can make a big difference in helping everyone feel like they have room to breathe.

2. Give your guests some privacy with a folding screen

One of the biggest considerations for hosting overnight guests in a small apartment should be privacy. A folding screen is a great solution to give your visitors the illusion of a guest room. During the day, keep it close to the wall to shield luggage and other personal items. At night, shift it to the outside of the air mattress to give the feeling of a semi-private bedroom.

When your guests leave, fold it up and stash it in a corner, under your bed, or in a closet!

Plus, Nashville is full of awesome thrift stores and consignment shops for finding the perfect screen to fit your apartment’s décor and add a touch of character.

3. Invest in a quality air mattress

The key word here is quality. We’ve all started the night on a bouncy and firm mattress only to wake up at 3 a.m. on the floor. But not all air mattresses deserve the bad rap they too often get. These days you can find mattresses with variable firmness settings, ‘pillow’ tops, and built-in air pumps. A small investment in a nice air mattress can help your overnight visitors get a solid night’s sleep.

Pro tips: consider laying the air mattress out against your couch for a makeshift headboard, and if you don’t want to make and unmake the bed, try stacking it on top of your mattress during the day to open up space.

4. Free up or create storage space

In a small apartment, you’re probably already using all the available storage space for your own stuff, but it can make a big difference for guests to feel like they have somewhere to hang their towel or store their toothbrush.

We already suggested using a chair or stool as a luggage stand. You should also think about adding hooks over the bathroom door, clearing out a drawer or shelf in the bathroom, and clearing off a hanger or two in the closet. A few small changes can help your guests feel like they can unpack without worrying about cluttering your space.

5. Pick up some linens just for guests

Don’t be the person that pulls the musty, “left over from your college apartment” sheets from the back of your closet to make up the guest bed. And we beg you, don’t make your friends shiver under your living room throw all night because it’s the only extra blanket you own. Spending a bit of cash on a nice set of sheets, a cozy bed spread, and a couple of fluffy towels can do wonders to make your guests feel both comfortable and welcome.

Worried about storing the extra items? Try space-saving vacuum bags. If you haven’t hosted anyone in a while, give them a fresh wash and dry to keep everything feeling clean.

Bonus tip: Go out!

Nothing will make you feel more cramped than staying inside your apartment all day. Head out for a boozy brunch, catch a live show, and take a stroll in one of Nashville’s historic neighborhoods to keep the cabin fever at bay.

You may not be able to turn your space into the Ritz, but these tips can certainly help make it more comfortable to host overnight guests in your small Nashville apartment.


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