Our Guest Room Makeover

As most of you probably know, we moved into our home in le burbs over a year ago now (see the full before tour here). It was a 2004 build and nothing had been updated since then, so while the space, layout, and location was exactly what we were looking for, there was a lot I wanted to refresh. Unfortunately due to work and life demands the last, well, basically since we moved in, it has been a slow process. Things I used to tackle by myself in a few hours, like painting a room, has been impossible. There are still a few details in the kitchen that aren’t finished-and that was renovated last October! We just haven’t had the time or energy.

But I received an email from one of my favorite partners, Serena and Lily, asking if I wanted to team up to makeover a space; and while most of the rooms in our home are fully furnished, I looked around my half empty guest room/office, and thought, I know just the room that could use some lovin’.

As with all my home makeovers, let’s start at the beginning.



Above was the room on move-in day. We knew this bedroom would be the guest room since it has an ensuite bathroom, a nice privacy feature for anyone visiting. The boys share the hallway bath. It has some fun features including the roofline ceiling and windows on two walls, so I thought about wallpapering the whole thing, but as you’ll see, there’s a lot of pattern in the room elsewhere, so ended up going with paint. It’s definitely a weird layout though with no great spot for a queen-size bed; I don’t love beds up against walls but there wasn’t another option. And because the room functions as a guest room/office, the window nook turned out to be the perfect size for my desk.

Shortly after we moved in last May, I purchased the striped bed during a Memorial Day Sale and an Avocado pillowtop mattress (the best). Good enough to host someone over night, but then this is how the room sat for over a year.



I knew I wanted to do kind of an English-inspired retreat in this space, which is all the rage on my instagram discovery page. I’ve been loving earthy greens since I decorated Charlie’s nursery, and I wanted to do a room in the color, trim and all.


I wanted to switch out the white nightstand we had been using from our old place with this timeless glass and brass side table. The room layout is kind of odd, and a round table floats nicely since it isn’t directly against a wall.

I planned to add this stunning brass wall sconce you see here (the one we have is now sold out but this is similar) in the wall nook next to the bed for late-night reading or scrolling.

I added a stunning woven-frame floor length mirror in between the closet and bathroom– essential for any guest suite, but it also reflects the windows and makes the space feel even larger and brighter.

The bed has my favorite linen bedding on it, ensuring a luxe night sleep for anyone spending the night (but mostly gets enjoyed by Tucker who lounges here all day while I work).

We replaced the dated ceiling fan that was completely off-centered with this beautiful woven cone pendant light. I love the unexpected statement it makes!

And speaking of what’s perfect for a guest room, how amazing is this raised bed tray?! Like a boutique bed and breakfast. I actually use it in my room all the time to hold my laptop and coffee!

I picked up another dip dye stool which is nestled at the foot of the bed, ready to hold fresh towels or a guest’s bag.

So the room design was coming together perfectly, but I really struggled with finding the right area rug for this space, which was really the anchor of it all since it had to hide the 20-year-old carpet (we will replace eventually). I considered moving our bedroom rug into here, but it wasn’t the right look.

Erin Gates of Elements of Style just so happened to share a sneak peek at her new rug collection on instagram stories right as I was about to give up on every rug in the world as a viable option, and as soon as I saw the floral patterned natural rug,  I knew it would be perfect with all the woven pieces I chose from Serena & Lily + the green walls I had planned.

It arrived; I laid it out. And see?! Talk about a game changer.

Fast forward, and what was meant to be an easy makeover project, of course spiraled, as all home projects do.

I went to my local paint shop and picked out three sagey green samples. The middle one is Forest Floor and was too dark; the bottom was Tate Olive which is super popular but felt too yellow to me. We ended up going with the top swatch, Rolling Hills, by Benajmin Moore.

Dan started painting the room himself, but eventually we needed to bring in the professionals: both painters and electricians, and it was a “which comes first, the chicken or the egg” situation. Dan did the first coat of paint, then we needed the electrician to come and and install the sconce where there was no electrical, which meant cutting several holes into the wall that required professional patching by a painter. So then we needed a professional painter to come in and patch and do the second coat and trimming.

It was at this moment I freaked and said to keep the trim white. I couldn’t commit. I didn’t know if the contrast would be better and a little brighter. I figured we could always go back and paint the trim, but so far I’m happy with the choice to keep it white.

The green walls looked good, but the room was missing the finishing touch: the art. Fortunately, I had a bevy of pieces I had not hung anywhere in our home yet–and oh to my delight, they all worked perfectly in this room! Like, seriously perfect.

A little gallery wall here, a little vignette there. And it was done.

Here’s my crazy brainworks:

 I do these mock-ups in Photoshop. See how I was STRUGGLING with a rug choice? Yea.


And just like that, one year and two months later, the room is complete! 

It’s like a totally different room, yes? Alright, truth time. The green paint is not my favorite. I kind of wish I had gone with a Farrow and Ball color because they really are the pros at muted tones. I was hoping for something a little softer, but… I still really like it and was not about to spend a small fortune testing every green paint sample under the sun. I was pot committed once I bought that gallon.

The green also looks a bit warmer in these images because I took the photos as the sun was setting and shining directly into the room, giving off a very warm light. It feels like a cooler green usually for anyone considering it!

So that’s that! It feels like the first room to be done! Granted I’d still like to change out the blinds and add linen curtains. I also want to add an inspiration board over by the desk, but overall, we’re going to consider this room done!

Let me know if you have any questions! 

Thank you so much Serena and Lily for partnering and inspiring me to finish this space!

Shop the Guest Room