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Many, many months ago (like 22 months…one might say, two years) we moved into our new hou e. We built the home builder basic [hack link] and then spent the month after we closed renovating it to make it our own. [link to reveal post] As we settled in, I focused on getting the most important spaces looking and feeling beautiful first – our living room/kitchen/dining, Master Suite, and Home Office. And while we’ve done some ongoing things here and there (a designer’s work is never done), there was one room in particular that was feeling neglected.
The Guest Room.
I bet most of you feel me on this. The Guest Room tends to be the wasteland where furniture and décor of your past self winds up. Things that aren’t bad enough to get rid of, but they’re for sure the Best Supporting Actors of your furnishings cast. That, my friends, is where we were.
The room wasn’t tragic by any means, but it definitely is more of a representation of who we were in our 20’s and early 30’s, which is when we acquired the majority of these items. My style has evolved over the years. Maybe it’s to do with having 3 boys now that makes me want my spaces to feel calmer and less COLOR IN YOUR FACE than I felt in my youth. I’m old and tired now. Bedrooms should be sanctuaries. They don’t need to be invigorating. I don’t want to jump out of bed. I want to ease into being awake, lay there for awhile, hide under the covers and pretend to still be asleep, before eventually making my way out for coffee.
And based on the fact that my guests are also generally my age or older, I bet they feel the same way.
SO. Our story begins. I set out to create a calmer, pulled together guest room that felt intentional and relaxing. A place that I might actually go choose to hang out in during the day, rather than being the room where the door is always pulled closed when guests come over!
But here’s the trick – I didn’t want to spend a boatload of cash on it. It’s a Guest Room after all. It needed to be really nice and inviting without breaking the bank, so I reused nearly everything in the room and spent precious little on the new stuff. A tall order, right?!
Without further ado – the new Guest Room.
My tombstone is definitely going to say something to the likes of “The key to a Cohesive Home is a Whole House Color Palette!” because it’s true. The thing that was really keeping this room from feeling like part of the whole was the color palette. It was a bit bright and bold, whereas the rest of our home has gone a bit softer and moodier over the years. First order of business, the bright had to go. Pulling from our Home’s Color Palette, I leaned into Olive and Blush tones, and brought in some earthy rusty terra cotta colors which definitely adds to the relaxing vibe.
The bed, nightstands, chairs, desk, and lamps all stayed - which is pretty incredible as that’s 90% of the main furniture in this room - but it has a totally different feel now.
To freshen up the bedding, a set of white sheets and a blush end of bed blanket were the only new things that were added. The pink pillow was a castoff from our living room that was hanging out in the closet.
The rug was pulled from our Master Bedroom, where it always felt a little too moody next to our blush pink bathroom. It has that terra cotta color running through it, giving me a great excuse to pull that accent into the room.
We were in dire need of bookshelf space; our past houses were all older homes with built in bookshelves. We haven’t created any built ins (yet), so opted for a pair of freestanding glass front bookshelves. I was super strategic with this choice, because these can be reproposed and split apart as nights stands should this room ever change from a Guest Room to a dedicated Kid’s Room. We have 3 boys and 2 of them share a room at the moment, and who knows if that’s going to last for the next 6 years.
In fact, with all of our decisions in this room, I wanted to be thoughtful in not doing anything permanent that would be “too girly.” I am, as you may know, a woman who has a pink tiled bathroom. It would have been reallllllly easy to lean into my feminine side and pink this place up, but I leaned into the more masculine colors just in case. I hate doing things twice if I can avoid it.
Also, speaking of flexibility, my original plan was to install built in sconces on either side of the bed, but again, that can be limiting. I intellectually understand that holes in the walls can be patched, but there’s an outside chance we might move a King Bed into this room since the room is large enough, and most of the people who stay with us are couples, and we know they’d appreciate the extra space. So for now until we sort that out, we’ll stick with these lamps (which desperately need new shades I KNOW but I can’t find ones I like, so the mismatched shades remain).
The art is really the star of the show in here. I filled the room with the latest batch of vintage art we released this week in our shop, and love how all of the greens and blues come together to make this room feel extra special.
Another key when designing a guest room (or any room in my humble opinion) is to keep the décor really simple. When people are staying for the weekend, they need space for their stuff. Don’t overload the nightstands with books they aren’t going to read, or surfaces with décor they won’t use. They need a spot for their toiletry bag and suitcase and phone chargers. When you think about it, one of the great things about hotels is all the negative space – the lack of stuff. Give your guests that gift! It doesn’t need (or want) to be empty, but be thoughtful to only put a few really good, curated things rather than a bunch of stuff.
Creature comforts – I added an end of bed bench (again, for stashing suitcases under or on), a blanket basket, a blanket ladder (you can’t have too many blankets), and a candle on each nightstand. Done and done.
The end result is so calming. I’ve been finding myself hanging out in here when I need a quiet moment. The kids haven’t figured it out yet, which is great. It’s like my own personal hideaway in the middle of my own house!
Here’s a link up to help you get the look! Some of the items in my room we’ve had for YEARS (the IKEA bed is something like 17 years old and has somehow survived 5 moves!), so I’ve included similar items that are actually available in this decade.
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