How To Convert a Couch to a Guest Room

How To Convert a Couch to a Guest Room

Nov 4, 2010
(Welcome to Elizabeth, who's trying out for a spot on our editorial team. Enjoy!)

It seems that every Friday, as the weekend rolls around, we find ourselves host to a friend or two visiting the DC area. We used to offer the living room couch as our plush guest sleeping quarters until we recently came up with a solution: the sunroom turned guest room! This small space, covered with windows on three walls and a set of French doors on the fourth, was an unlikely suspect for the private guest room we were hoping for. However, a couple of hours and one old couch-turned-fantastic-new-daybed later, we were no longer embarrassed to house our visiting friends.

What You Need

Couch with removable cushions
Sewing machine (or needle and thread)
6 yards of fabric (depending on your couch)
Various throw pillows
Opt. matching covers for throw pillows


I used a "This End Up" couch that I upcycled from my parents' basement. I would recommend this style of couch that has a wood frame because it is sturdy and looks less "couchy."

1. Remove all the cushions from the couch. Save the top cushions for a future project.
2. Lay the bottom cushions on the floor (as they would sit on the couch) and measure from end to end.
3. Once you have this number, you'll know how much fabric you need. I used fabric from the local fabric discount outlet but you can try checking Craigslist, Etsy or local flea markets for amenable table cloths or bolts of eco friendly fabric.
4. Fold your fabric in half with the pattern facing inwards to create one giant cushion cover instead of three separate ones. This saves fabric, time, and creates the look of a mattress for the bottom cushion of your daybed.
5. Take the length of your cushions and add 2-3 inches to it. Stitch one short side and one long side of the folded fabric, leaving one long side open and the other short side with a fold.
6. Turn your giant cushion cover inside out and put your old cushions inside. (Side bar: If your cushions are not comfortable, you can substitute a large piece of foam or add extra batting to the top of them.)
7. Put your new daybed mattress cushion on the couch and top with throw pillows. Pillows can be matching or mismatched pieces gathered from around the house, yard sales, thrift shops, etc. I bought matching and easily washable cotton covers for under $20 and stuffed them with old throw pillows.

Additional Notes: The daybed was not the end of our sunroom transformation. This room was previously being used as our home office. In order to add the day bed for guests, we had to find new ways to create storage space in the room. I added a repainted file cabinet as a side table and a coordinating base kitchen cabinet (both free from Craigslist) for office storage. We put a pillow and blanket in the bottom drawer of the file cabinet and added bamboo shades to the French doors. While they are open most of the time, they can be pulled over the windows to create some privacy when it's time for bed. We now have a much more functional space that can be used for work and play!

Thanks, Elizabeth!

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(Images: Elizabeth Iverson)

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