Last Updated on August 25, 2023
If you’ve been watching my Instagram, you’ve probably seen a couple of sneak peeks of the guest bedroom makeover. I moved towards a look that was out of my comfort zone. Right before teaming up with Decorist, I noticed I was obsessing over white and neutral spaces. Pinning them like I was on fire. Decorist hooked me up with Ashley Redmond, interior designer extraordinaire. I was psyched! Today I’m sharing my 7 tips on how to decorate a bedroom and a before and after reveal of the guest bedroom. Let’s dig in!
Table of Contents
7 Tips on How To Create A Cozy Guest Bedroom
1. Choose A Calming Color Palette
A bedroom is a place for rest, so I like to choose subtle colors. Vibrant, bold colors are so fun, but if you’re building a sanctuary, stick to creams, lavender, subtle blues, and light sage greens.
2. Add Luxurious Bedding
There’s nothing quite like slipping under the covers into fancy soft, yet crisp sheets. Do not skimp here. This is a hot cozy guest room tip that Bobby Berk taught me. There’s nothing like sleeping in your own bed, but if you can add a luxurious experience for your guest when they crawl into an unfamiliar bed, this is a memorable one.
3. Add A Seating Area
Adding a small chair in a corner, even if it’s like the wooden chair below, is a nice convenience for guests. Another idea might be converting a closet into a reading nook.
Before Decorist stepped in, my guest bedroom looked like this. A space that acted as a catch-all for the “stuff” I didn’t know what to do with. Oh, I have an extra chair; meh, I’ll throw it in the guest room. What do I do with this old duvet, meh, I’ll put it on the guest room bed. Miss Maus has a dresser that won’t fit in her bedroom until we move the rocking chair out of there. Meh, put it in the guest room. That train of thought caused a train wreck of a room.
You’re scrunching your nose, aren’t you? Oh. Em. Gee. Clutch the pearls. I mean, ya, it’s bad. We can all agree on this. I don’t blame you. Are you covering your eyes and gasping in the horror of it? If you, seriously, that is somewhat dramatic, but I don’t blame you. I’m embarrassed to think this room was even in my home but a few months ago. It’s a space that is rarely used, and my thought was, what’s the point? However, when guests actually DO stay overnight, I silently die on the inside. It’s one of those rooms that almost everyone has. I’m just the same as you.
Let’s think of this mood board as the foundation. After the general concept was chosen, Ashley moved on to the styling of the space. The fun stuff like pillows and bedding and vases and such. The bedroom makeover moved into Phase 2, and I was given a list of home decor to purchase. Let’s just say the delivery man gave me an eye roll on a daily basis for like 2 weeks. When the final piece arrived, I actually hugged him, and he looked as uncomfortable as a cat in a bathtub as he ran back to his truck. Apparently, he didn’t understand the gravity of what he was delivering…and it’s not like I could explain and ask him upstairs to my new beautiful bedroom. The hug was awkward enough.
So, after all my rambling, are you ready to see the final before and after? I know you must be dying!!! I know I am. Are you even reading this anymore, or did you just scroll down? The suspense has been killin’ me!
I KNOW RIGHT! Jaw drop! The white and the neutrals! It’s glorious with all the texture popping! It keeps your eye moving. I think that wedding blanket weighs like 10 pounds. I placed a rattan tray full of fluffy white towels and a couple of my favorite magazines on the bed as a welcoming gift to overnight guests. The duvet and shams texture contrast nicely. I added in a mud cloth pillow from an Instagram sale with Orlando Soria and paired it with a metallic pillow. The bentwood pendant was hung in the corner and works well as an extra reading lamp. I used an edison bulb for subdued lighting or you can add a dimmer. Over the bed is hung a photograph of birch trees…which was actually quite personal to me, unbeknownst to Ashley. My favorite tree while growing up was the birch in my front yard. I used to climb it with my sister and much to my mother’s dismay would pull layers of the bark.
4. Add Texture
Natural fibers add layers and depth to your bedroom decor. Faux furs, linens, matelasse, and small patterns help you add texture to your space. Also, if you’re adding texture with blankets, you’re also keeping your guest warm and cozy.
5. Add Window Treatments
No guest will feel comfortable changing into pajamas if they feel exposed. Add curtains, a roman shade, or bamboo roller shades for privacy. If you do not want to spend a lot of money on window treatments, check out where to buy cheap curtains and drapes.
6. Layer In Lighting
Multiple sources of lighting in the bedroom is key in a guest room because it helps guest maneuver around the room without it being completely dark. I like to add in a floor lamp, table lamp, bedside lamps, and ceiling lights. One can never have too many.
The nightstand and headboard in the concept were original, per my request, from an existing bedroom set. Ashley worked with it and incorporated the old furniture into the final concept. She did leave me with some wise words that rang true in my brain. If you want a mid-century modern look, be sure to avoid the matchy-matchy look. I put the entire room together and the old master nightstands and bed frame stood out like a sore thumb.
It was 100% my fault. I raided Miss Maus’ room for this beauty of a nightstand and hit the flea market. Only to find the most amazing vintage rattan king-sized headboard. I walked through the gates and saw it 200 yards away. I beelined for the booth and grabbed the owner basically screaming like a crazy woman, “Just take my money already!”
The nightstand has this super cute little pull-out tray that is great for added room, but the icing on the cake was that adorable little doggie drawing.
I instantly fell in love with the mid-century modern dresser I snapped up on Craigslist. And would you believe that the fiddle leaf fig tree is a faux plant? Yeppers! While the room gets quite a bit of light, the corner does not. The mirror adds even more texture to the space, and the brass task lamp gives a metallic pop.
7. Leave A Welcome Gift
There’s nothing quite like a thoughtful gift and pretty packaging. Below is a few welcome gift ideas that I like to leave in the guest room.
While walking around Target, I found some rattan trays. The perfect way to make a guest feel at home while visiting is to leave some personal gifts like matches to light a candle, smelly soap, a roller of perfume, and a luxurious lotion.
While thrifting months ago, I found this amazing white tulip table. It bounced around from room to room and finally landed in the perfect spot as a nightstand. The woven stool was purchased at the Randolph Street Antique Market…speaking of which I will be attending this weekend. If you’re in the Chicago area, stop by, track me down, and say hello.
At the foot of the bed is this chair that quite possibly sold the entire concept. The leather woven slipper chair paired with a leather Moroccan pouf…perfection! The sheepskin rug is seriously the softest thing I’ve touched. I’d be lying if I said I haven’t pet it.
The corner felt a little bare, so I added in my worry beads with a colorful horse hair tassel. They hang from a vintage brass fox hook.
I was pleasantly surprised by how much of my personality was brought into a room design that was completed over the internet. For those who think the process might be sterile or impersonal, it’s sooooo not. They listened to me, and by the end of the project, there was a bond between Ashley and me. We’re even Instagram buddies now.
She left room on the walls for me to hang my favorite photo booth strips from my wedding. These photos are especially fun in my guest room since the people in the photos are usually the guests staying in the space. Every morning over coffee, my wedding is usually the topic of discussion.
Oh, and this is always asked…what is the best white paint — Sherwin Williams Snowbound is my go-to. It doesn’t have that tinge of yellow nor did it turn gray.
So that’s it…did you make it through this post? I certainly hope so. Decorating this bedroom was a blast, and I hope you all had a fun time following along. Have a great day and happy decorating!
I was not paid for this post but did receive a makeover as compensation. I only recommend products or services I use personally and feel my readers will enjoy. All opinions are 100% mine.
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