guest room design plan

Marian ParsonsAll Things Home, Decorating, Guest Room, My House, Room Makeovers41 Comments

Now that the foyer project is nearing completion, I’m focusing on a few other rooms I’d like to work on this year.  I’ve already mentioned some building projects and rearranging that will be happening in the studio in order to provide more storage and make the space more functional.  I’ll also be working on my home office to address my lack of filing, need for more desk space, and better storage.  Both of those rooms have to be hardworking and I’m looking forward to addressing some of the functional issues I’ve noticed over the past year and a half of use.

The “fun room” I’ll be working on is our guest room.   Right now, it has a couple of really lovely anchor pieces of furniture – the French-style bed and the antique German wardrobe wearing original mustard yellow paint.

Otherwise, it’s bascially a cream/beige box.  I’m taking those two pieces as my jumping off point and am going to do this room in a beige, yellow, and greenish/blue color palette.  I imagined it in my head, but I had to order samples to make sure it really worked and felt right.  After plowing headstrong into many decorating ideas that worked in my head, but ended up not working in reality, I’m a little wiser and more patient now.  I order samples and take my time thinking through things to (hopefully) have a better shot at getting it right the first time.

I’ve been wanting to wallpaper a room, but I haven’t figured out the right room to hang it in.  I know that wallpaper is a passing trend and one that is much harder to remove than chevron throw pillows, so I want to be thoughtful about adding it to a space.  I think the guest room is a perfect place to stretch designs a bit since it’s a room that’s not used daily.

To cut down on the amount of paper needed, I’m going to add a chair rail and either paneling or wainscoting under the chair rail.  That will be painted out in a nice, bright white.

I’m also sticking with a neutral color palette and a pattern that feels timeless.

I know the current fabric on the bed works with the wallpaper, but I’m planning to reupholster it in the mustard stripe.  It’s just a more interesting choice and will tie the bed to the wardrobe.  I also like how the bed frame compliments the wallpaper.

Now, I’ll do the wallpaper first, because I might decide to use the fabric simply for pillows or for upholstery and I’ll leave the bed alone.  Reupholstering the bed will be the plan, but I can always call an audible, which I often like to do as I work on a room!

I used a swatch of MMSMP Aviary as the blue accent, but I will likely mix a custom color that is more of a green/blue.

And I will likely use that custom color on the pieces flanking the bed (or maybe even the lamp bases or the frame of a desk chair).

Right now, the two washstands used for night tables are a little small for the space and don’t offer much in the way of storage.  I’m planning on moving the desk I bought at a local antique store (that’s currently in our bedroom) down for one side.  Here’s the desk…

I bought it for Jeff to use when he’s journaling or working from home, but he can’t fit his legs under the kneehole!  That was an oversight on my part for sure, but I didn’t even think about that!  I’ll keep an eye out for a writing desk for our room and move that one down to the guest room for me to use as a shipping desk and for guests to use.  Well, except my dad, because he won’t be able to fit his legs under it, either!  He’s not one to complain, though.

And for the other side, I’ll get a small dresser.  I’ve been looking around on craigslist, but haven’t found anything that’s just perfect, yet.  I’m trying to take my time and be very picky about what I buy.  (Oh, and you get a peek at the chandelier we hung in there last fall!)

I’ll sell the two washstands if I can’t find a place for them in another room of the house.

I’ll also swap out the faux wood blinds for white plantation shutters, like the ones we got in my office and dining room.  I’ll make some curtains as well, but I’m waiting to let the other elements of the room come together before I figure that out.  I know the wallpaper will completely change the look, so I want to make that change and then decide.

As a general rule of thumb, I think that’s a good way to approach a design.  Make one or two decisions at a time and then look at those choices with fresh eyes to make the next one or two decisions.  A room makeover is rarely a timed event in the real world.


For now, I’m enjoying dreaming about the room makeover and looking at swatches and writing about it, but the thought of hanging wallpaper makes me want to cry.  I’m unfortunately having issues with my shoulder again (the same one I injured October of 2017).   I’m heading to the doctor to have it checked out again tomorrow and hopefully, we can get it healed up, so I can get back to my projects!

Oh, one thing I will work on soon is a pair of portraits for this room.  I’d like to do some old-fashioned his & hers portraits to flank the window.  I’ve been looking at antique portraits and I think this will be a fun project that will stretch me artistically and be an interesting addition to the room.

I’ll be partnering with Pine Cone Hill for some of the elements of this makeover and I’ll share links, tutorials, details, etc. as I work on bringing it together over the next few weeks (and maybe months!)

guest room design plan

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41 Comments on “guest room design plan”

  1. Lovely color combo. I like those old wash stands a LOT. The wardrobe is beautiful and the color seems perfect as is. The dog … the dog has my heart swooning, what a sweetie.

  2. Don’t mean to throw a wrinkle into the mix but what if you just wallpapered the wall behind the bed, as a focal point? Love the colors and patterns.

    1. I was wondering that also. Only because it’s such a big commitment & not the easiest thing to remove. (Although I hear the newer papers are better.)

      Love the wallpaper though. And I’ve always loved wainscoting.

      The room will be amazing, of course!

  3. I can’t wait to see it all come together? Loving your ideas. Thanks for sharing your thought process. You’ve given some great tips that are new and useful for me.

    I loved your stories last night with the boiling water. You could feel the excitement for Jeff and the boys coming through the video. Very enjoyable. Stay warm!!

    1. I agree. One wall painted a different color than the others or only one wall wall-papered just doesn’t feel right to me. It looks like there wasn’t enough money to finish the room or something. I think that is a trendy look and will go out as quickly as it came it. Those huge murals on one wall is a different thing. I’m looking for a different house now and I dream of finding one with a bedroom still holding its original 1940s wallpapered walls. I’ve found a couple but didn’t like the rest of the house. I have never seen so many old ruined houses. Covering original wood floors with laminate fake wood and putting up those tiny rectangle shaped tiles for a kitchen backsplash. You made a great choice with your kitchen backsplash, it is a modern version of the classic which I think makes it a classic. I don’t think you will ever get tired of it.

  4. It would be neat if the portraits you paint are family members from long ago. It will he fun to see how this all comes together!

  5. My husband made me promise to swear off wallpaper forever after having it in our last house and him having to spend hours sanding walls after it was removed (it was UGLY) so it could be painted.

    I have been itching to a accent wall in our dining room and love the neutral pattern you choose. I have always thought that doing a whole room in wallpaper might make the room look smaller? I have always noticed the trend of using removable wallpaper.

    1. I totally get that, but wallpaper is different these days and most are simple to remove. I don’t want it all over my house, but I think it’ll be fun in one room.

    1. It’s the Adams Ticking from Pine Cone Hill and it’s indoor/outdoor and comes in several colors.

    1. Hi Marian,
      Can you please tell us where you purchased the beautiful coverlet and matching shams. They are gorgeous!

  6. Sounds like a great plan….o love that mustard…can you give the source for the pillows and coverlet? I have just the spot


  7. Are you going to use the new “peel and stick” wallpaper? I just spent 3 weeks taking wallpaper off a bathroom and painting it, so I have sworn off it for now!

  8. I love the yellow! I’m hoping you’ll add a touch of blue or red to make the colors pop. My bedroom is a very pale creamy yellow with a blue and white toile bedspread. (it was yellow and white toile before) I add an antique red and white quilt at the foot of the bed, and have flannel ticking in red and white for winter. The sheets for summer are blue or yellow. It may sound like a lot, but it’s quite pretty and I enjoy it.

  9. I love what you do with your home, it’s very soothing. Where did you get that bed? I’ts amazing.

  10. Oh Marian, your collection of samples is brilliant. I’m so impressed that you can put together multiple colors and patterns that magically work when you put them all together.

    I’m with you on the idea of making one or two design decisions for a project then stepping back to see how they interact with all of the elements in the room. It’s good to have a chance to tweak the rest of the plan going forward.

    Very few people can imagine accurately all of the effects that even one element will have on a room, let alone a dozen or more. The incremental approach also keeps the project dynamic, leaving lots of room for serendipity. I’m looking forward to learning how wallpapers have changed for the better in recent years.

    I’m sending warm thoughts to you and your family as arctic weather dips into the Midwest. Think layers!

  11. I love what you have imagined for your guest room….but then all your work seems “just right” to me! It’s quite daringly charming, with your color choices and mix of patterns. Looking forward to the finished bedroom when it is all ready for guests. Hope your shoulder heals soon – that’s no fun!

  12. Ruh-Roh! Scooby (and God) are maybe saying “slow down” and let your shoulder heal before tackling the wallpaper project? And again, His blessing of placing your family in a city with excellent healthcare is revealed. Then, once you are fully healed, you’ll be so surprised at how friendly the new wallpapers have become ~ both to put up and take down! Meanwhile, enjoy playing with samples, mixing paint colors, and looking out for Puxatawney Phil. XoXo

  13. It all sounds just wonderful, color combination and ideas, it’s the waiting to see how it all comes together and the decisions, that will be fun.

  14. Hi! Love your little washstands and have been looking all over for something really small like that to use as nightstands in a very small bedroom. If you decide to sell I’d love to be in contact with you! Thanks:) will be fun to see the room evolve!

  15. I love your plan and color scheme. Have you considered painting a mural above the wainscoting? You did such a stunning job in your dining room. To me a room doesn’t look finished without crown moulding.

  16. I love your ideas as usual. It’s going to be awesome. I also love your lamps. Do you have a source? Good luck with your shoulder 🙂

  17. I can’t wait to see the project along the way and to the finish! It will be awesome! Would you share the source for those awesome table lamps? Love them.

  18. Marian,
    I love the fabric you’ve chosen for the bed upholstery!
    Wallpaper creates such a softness within a room.
    (I currently have two rooms in my home wallpapered!)
    The mustard hue in the furniture is fabulous!
    I’ll be watching for updates.

  19. Hi Marian! I love, love, love that mustard color! I think your green tinted blue will look great with it too. What luck to find a wardrobe with the original mustard paint on it. Love that wallpaper too, and what a sweet little bed frame that is! I can’t wait to see it all come together! Have a great day tomorrow and stay warm! 😁

  20. What a fun transformation this will be! I love the bed as it is – that is a gorgeous fabric on it now. I think the ticking would be gorgeous in pillows!

  21. OH…How pretty….Your colors are very much like the quilt I got on one of my precious mission trips to France…I cannot wait to see how it all comes together …Tho you are young enough to be my child…you are an inspiration to me…

    1. It’s an antique chandelier. Just search “pineapple brass chandelier” on Etsy and eBay and you’ll find them…

  22. I’ve been wanting to get a bed like this, but didn’t want that shade of material. I never thought of just having it reupholstered. Duh, right? Can’t wait to see it when it’s done.

    1. Yep! That’s one reason I bought it. I knew I could always change the look by reupholstering the panels and even painting the frame.

  23. Hi Marion, I am a newbie to your website and have fallen in love! I didn’t see an answer to the question about the coverlet and shams you have for your guest bedroom. Would love to know where you got them. Thanks and I am looking forward to following you with your adventures in decorating. Paula

    1. They were from Pine Cone Hill, but the pattern is no longer available, sadly! It’s so beautiful! It’s called the Uma, if you’d like to try to find it second-hand.

  24. Go for the wallpaper. Worrying about trends and removal before you even do it is not necessary. I have a few friends who decorate and it has stayed put for years. BORING! The wash stands are nice but if they don’t work anymore anywhere it’s fine to let go! I have 2 pieces of vintage furniture up for sale because after I finished my hardwood floor install these pieces no longer work. One of the reasons I connect with you is your creativity and lack of fear to try something different for a space.

    1. I totally agree! I always think it’s a little sad when homeowners make every decision based on resale, when they have no immediate plans to resell. They could be living in a boring, beige nondescript house for a decade before they have to consider resale. Just go for it!

  25. I have plantation shutters throughout most of the house. To put same shutters in spare room/office I’ve had estimates of $800 for one window; I have two windows in that room. Have you found better prices?

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