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Guest Room Refresh Reveal

With spending so much time at home lately, have you been re-evaluating each space like never before? We’ve completed a ton of “quarantine projects”, but one of the easiest and most fun was redecorating our guest room. Have you been thinking how to decorate a guest bedroom on a budget? Read on to see how the room came together.

At the start of the pandemic, our guest bedroom became my husband’s work from home office. Our cat, Blanca joined him often, so often, we joked they were co-workers. Blanca seemed pretty pleased with the space, however my husband’s human co-workers often commented that his surroundings looked so bare.

This got me to thinking how our guests must feel in the room and what makes a perfect guestroom? The walls were pretty sparse and the bedding was an old set that was great in our previous guest room, but seemed somehow out of place in this space. And we had no headboard!

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But before we even got to the decor, there was a ton of work that we (friends and family included) did first. I added some before photos below, so you can see the state of the room from the very beginning and in-progress. I love a “before & after”! Don’t you?

The room as it looked when we got the keys to our house; looking in the same direction as the first photo above.
The closet we removed to make way for a bathtub in the adjacent bathroom.

One of the first things we did was remove the carpet. We also closed up the closet door opening to use the closet itself as space for a bathtub in the bathroom located on the other side of the wall. Are some of you thinking it is crazy to remove a closet? Don’t worry, we added a new closet in a different part of the room and now our guests have a full bath at their disposal! You’ll see a glimpse of the new closet further down.

The left wall shown is the wall that used to have the closet.

In the photo above, where the picture is hanging is where the closet door had been; totally undetectable. Now for some of the fun decor! One of the things that stumped and prevented me from finishing this room was a headboard. I looked at so many, spindle style, iron farmhouse style, upholstered. The new ones I liked were so expensive! I really wanted a wood, antique-looking, curved shape with carved detail. I finally turned to sites like Nextdoor and Craigslist. Ultimately I found this wood beauty! At first I thought I would have to buy a conversion kit to make it fit to our queen size bedframe, but the sellers had already fashioned something themselves! If you ever see an antique headboard that you need to fit a slightly larger bed, you can purchase a conversion kit.

Once I had the headboard in place, I could envision the look I was going for. I wanted a cozy, calm feel; a space where guests could recharge. Bedding is an easy way to bring in the coziness. I mixed some old and new linens. I had a blue print velvet comforter set from Target that I had bought for our room, but never used. The set is no longer available, but here are some similar velvet options, a plain blue and a floral. To compliment the blue, rust and neutral in the comforter, I chose a blush duvet cover with crochet trim from Zara. It sold out pretty quickly, but I’ve linked some similar here and here. Since most of our guests are visitors from warm, sunny California, I wanted to layer in some accessories that would help them feel toasty. Boll & Branch has a great selection of soft, thick throws, perfect for curling up on soggy Seattle days. This neutral option I purchased can work with so many styles. Scroll through their blankets to find your fave.

The photo above shows the room before I found the headboard. Blanca probably preferred this unblocked view of the birds and squirrels. This is the cute yellow floral bedding from our previous guestroom that now seems a bit out of place with the rug. The headboard really grounds the space and it will be more comfortable for guests to lean against, rather than the windows. Hunting down an antique bed can be tiresome, and if you are looking to find one in a king or Cal king, it is pretty impossible. Here are some options to get the look without the trials and tribulations. These choices here and here are upholstered, which I like, but worry my cat would scratch up. I would totally buy this cane headboard for our future basement renovation! And this four poster bed is such a dream.

Back to the new bedding combination! How do you make a guestroom cozy? In addition to layering blankets, I added a couple throw pillows. I didn’t want to overwhelm the bed since the headboard has such pretty scroll detail. I chose the Boll & Branch pillow cover to match the chunky knit throw and a Target block print lumbar. The lumbar pillow is sadly sold out, but I found items with similar color palette here, here, and here.

Remember how I said the majority of the room’s walls were bare? That prompted me to add some of the art we have sitting around in boxes and closets. I wasn’t quite sure where to start. I had two pictures that are so-so. Lately we have been working to clean out our basement and as I was looking through piles, stacks and the like I found a vintage frame I had totally forgot about. It is a nice wood, with a bit of metallic and the inner part is lined with a neutral linen. I didn’t have a canvas, but I had a ton of cardboard. Using some old paint samples, I painted the abstract picture shown above in the middle. To attach the cardboard to the canvas I asked my mister to staple it down. I figured if it was hideous, I could just recycle it. So far it is holding up until I get an actual canvas. Check out the process here. If you aren’t up to paint on your own here are some similar abstract prints, a cool solid circle and some graphic spirals. For the two pieces on the sides I used Target Project 62 frames for some art we had bought during a trip.

Looking from the bed to the wall you now see this seascape given to me by a friend of my grandmother. The blues tie into the other art, as well as the bedding. Off to the left you see the closet we built using IKEA Pax pieces. The vintage bentwood is a good spot for visitors to set items like the pillows or throw.

Here is another “before and after” for you. Here you are looking from the doorway into the room. We discovered layers and layers of wallpaper under the blue paint gasp! We had some super sweet friends scrape the wallpaper before skim coating and painting was done.

The room after many, many layers of wallpaper were removed. A special shout out to friends who handled that tedious task!

This is the desk my husband has been using as his work from home station. The nightstand is sometimes in my living room; it is called a Martha Washington table. My mom told me the history after I had brought it home from a thrift store. I bought because of all the storage- the drawers, plus flaps on top that open.

On the mismatched nightstands I added a brass lamp from Target, an earthy ceramic catch-all dish and a floral arrangement in rich fall tones. Since I have a few vintage pieces in the room I wanted to balance the old world feel with the abstract painting I made, the metallic lamps and the organic ceramics.

From this angle you can see the cute telephone niche in the hallway. There are some updates I would still like to do. I want to replace the curtains; the current ones are a bit too short. We had planned to add crown moulding and other moulding around the closet, but other projects took precedent. We have the moulding pieces, just need to install them. The rug was from the living room at our old house and I might eventually move it. For now I think it will be a little oasis for when my mom comes to visit, which I am so excited about! It will also be more pleasant for the mister and his officemate Blanca ha ha.

My little guy approves of the bedding and is ready to snuggle with grandma!


If items are no longer available, similar ones have been linked.

Art options

Black Circle In Ornate Frame

Spiral Abstract Art

Bed options

4 Poster Bed

Cane Headboard

Grey Upholstered Headboard

Bed With Upholstered Headboard

Gold Accent Lamp

Bedside Tables

Black MetalAccent Table

Black Metal Table


Chunky Knit Pillow Cover

Chunky Knit Throw

Floral Velvet Quilt

Pink Duvet

Thanks for reading! Leave me a comment and let me know what you like to include in a guest room.

44 thoughts on “Guest Room Refresh Reveal”

    1. Thanks so much Danielle! I learned about conversation kits when I was looking at beds for this room! I was so happy to find out about them. Opens up so many possibilities ๐Ÿ™‚

  1. Marie! I love what you’ve done … fabulous transformation. Although I’m sure your kitty cat is not pleased. Your guests, particularly from California, are going to be so happy. They may never come out. We have a similar situation going on in our second guest room. It was intended to house two twin beds but we’d just moved in when Covid hit and my husband took over the room. His co-workers have also commented about how are the room is. Ugh. You’ve given me some great ideas. And, I’m forwarding your post to my niece who needs to find a headboard for her bed. I didn’t know about the conversion kits. Brilliant. By the way, the phone cubby is so charming. What a lovely house you have! xo

    1. You are so sweet Juliet! Thank you for all your kind comments. I thought it was pretty funny that the coworkers commented on the bare room! Things people notice, right? Thanks for forwarding to your niece- hope she finds it helpful! ๐Ÿงก๐Ÿ˜Š

  2. Barbara at Mantel and Table

    YES! I love before and afters, and this is a great one! LOVE that headboard! Thanks for the great inspiration!

  3. I just love your style! Itโ€™s not trendy but the perfect mix of classy and cozy. Iโ€™m always amazed at how great your photos look too! It looks beautiful!

    1. Aw thanks Jessie! I’m never sure how to define my style & I really like your description! Thanks for the photography compliment- I took classes years ago but never felt totally secure in my skills. I really appreciate your kindness. You’re so sweet!

  4. An absolutely gorgeous makeover! I have a guest room to makeover sometime next year. I’m in the dreaming and gathering stage. Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. kim@shiplapandshells

    I love your guest room makeover Marie. I always love before and afters! Thank you for sharing at Charming Homes and Gardens.

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