Guest House Floor Plans: Everything You Need to Know

If you enjoy being social and live in the San Jose area, you likely have guests coming over all the time. Some people implement 3-day rules for visitors, while others try to retain their sanity through extended visits.

Either way, entertaining guests can quickly become a chore and added responsibility. The best way to combat this? A guest house!

While it can seem like a luxury, guest house floor plans are a practical solution to a legitimate problem. As such, they are a must for those who love to have friends and family to stay. 

If you’re looking to build a one bedroom guest house on your property, here are some great starting points.

What Does a Guest House Typically Look Like?

If you’re looking for guest house floor plan ideas, you might find that many of them look similar. The kitchen is smaller and there’s typically one bedroom, bathroom, and an open area.However, each guest house floor plan does vary. Some of them have more appliances and utilities in the kitchen. Others house all the spaces within one room for a studio-type layout.

These are known as a one-bedroom floorplan and include a bathroom in the layout as well. 

Making Your Guest House Unique

The main aim of a guest house is to provide a comfortable space for your guests that provides privacy for everyone. Treat that as the utmost priority.

But ensuring your space and floor plans are unique will create a memorable experience. Having a wow factor will also increase your property value (if you wish to sell down the line) and encourage Airbnb rentals if you’re looking to do short-term rentals when guests aren’t around.

There are many ways to make a guest house unique. A more budget-friendly solution would be to create a cohesive color and materials palette. Adding small decor touches will also create a warm and inviting atmosphere.

If you have the budget to spare, why not add some luxe additions to your floor plan? Adding floor-to-ceiling windows will create lots of light, a modern look, all while increasing functional use.

How to Choose the Right Floor Plan for You

There is no one answer to the ‘perfect’ floor plan. It depends entirely on how you plan to use it, and as such, should reflect your lifestyle and preferences. Not to mention what your individual property will support legally. After all rules in every city are different.

With years of experience in creating Accessory Dwelling Units, we suggest asking yourself the right questions before embarking on your project. Here are some examples:

  • Who do you plan to entertain?
  • How will the space be used?
  • How big is the house?
  • What are the facilities and rooms you require within the area?
  • What’s your budget?
  • How much privacy does the unit require?

Once you have an answer to these questions, get to brainstorming ideas. Pinterest is a great place to bring inspiration and start sketching out some initial ideas!

What Are the Characteristics of Good Guest House Floor Plans?

When selecting your ideal floor plan, there are some key factors to look out for. Implement the following elements to pick a floor plan that will evolve and change with your needs.


Make sure that the space is versatile. If you have kids down the line, the area could be converted to a playroom. It should also be designed keeping in mind a future buyer and property value.

Ideal Layout

The layout is critical when picking your space. Make sure there is ample natural light coming in and that there are good views throughout. F


You have to account for movement. Are the hallways wide enough to be wheelchair accessible, if that is important to you? Will it allow for furniture to be moved around and people to walk in? This will depend entirely on your needs, so give this element some thought.

Functional Yet Chic

The most important thing you need to consider is practicality. Look at safety, HVAC systems, and other considerations. These are small spaces, so sacrifice too much function for architectural details.

Try to integrate small elements that spark joy. This could be a focal staircase or a beautifully fitted out kitchen. 

The right mix of form and function will be perfect for making your space stand out.

Convert an Existing Structure

Family homes in Silicon Valley tend to be built on large lots, from anywhere between 6,000-10,000 square feet. Many have detached garages that have the possibility of being converted. In some cases, garages can be converted into guest houses if they don’t require substantial habitability upgrades. In these cases you can keep the footprint of your garage and avoid building a new structure that might require separate setbacks. 

If you are looking to convert an existing structure to a guest house, this will require a few structural changes such as adding windows, changing paint, and altering ceiling and flooring to transform the existing space. These minor fixes add up to a modern and sophisticated overall effect.

Build Your Dream Guest House Today

Whether you need a place for the in-laws to visit or your favorite friends, a 1 bedroom guest house is the best solution. You can also make some extra cash by converting it to an Airbnb rental, or long term home for family and/or caregivers.

However, designing guest house floor plans can be challenging for inexperienced builders That’s why we suggest calling in the professionals. At Acton ADU, we specialize in designing and building high-quality and personalized Accessory Dwelling Units, or ADUs.

If you’re in Northern California, specifically the Bay Area, be sure to reach out.

Click here to check out more of our services!

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