The process of designing a guest space in a custom luxury home can be an exercise of escapism for the owner. Drawing from the experience of travel to desired locations as well as family or friend visits, one can be inspired to create the perfect setting for a guest to be comfortably appointed in the newly designed home that is created. As the design and construction of the home become a reality, so does the desire to share the beauty of the space with family and friends. Thus the thought of the spare bedroom, or guest room, or converting an exterior structure into a guest space, become a meaningful extension of a luxury custom built home.

Ideally the location of a peaceful guest room within a home should be separate from the family’s sleeping quarters and the main living space. Consider the experience you would like guests to have in your home, perhaps a lovely view of the property, direct access to the outdoors and privacy to retreat. Also give thought to the desired use of this space, if it extends beyond comfortable guest quarters as an additional hideaway for personal pleasure, such as a den or kids’ sleepover space. Homeowners with large extended families that envision their home as a frequent gathering space should then make the guest experience the priority, making it effortless to accommodate unexpected arrivals.

The basic needs for a comfortable guest space are simple: a comfortable bed, easy access to a bathroom and storage for clothes and belongings. If the “guest quarters” are intended to be dual purpose for family usage, it is important to have a clutter free solution to the space to make an easy transition from family space to guest room; well organized cabinets and closets that can alternately hold guest amenities and personal effects. Murphy beds are also making a great comeback as a space saving option to transform a smaller room into a comfortable guest nook.


Beyond the basic comforts necessary to host guests, particularly for extended stays, private baths are a must, and a peaceful setting is ideal. If family visits are expected, consider a layout that would accommodate multiple beds, yet still feel cozy for a couple or single guest. While finished basements are a common place to include a guest room, it could prove to be somewhat unwelcoming if it lacks privacy from an adjoining entertainment space or no natural lighting or outdoor view.


While separate guest quarters on the property may be daunting from the viewpoint of maintaining a separate structure that is not regularly occupied, it is truly ideal for visiting families. It also provides an option for older kids and temporary quarters for aging parents. Many luxury lake homes in Wisconsin today have either been restored to modern living specifications or built anew replacing the original homestead, yet the property boasts some additional treasured structures that provide unique opportunities for guest spaces. Small carriage houses or caretaker cottages in addition to boat houses and above garage rooms can be reimagined or created as an extension of the dream home, offering additional living opportunities for temporary or more permanent guests.

The following are a few creative spaces that may fuel the imagination for creating your own detached guest spaces: