Guest Room

Room Refresh. Quick and Short                              ...guest blog author RMS

You’ve always wanted a dedicated guest room and now that…. the kids are off to college, the baby is in his older brother’s room, or you don’t sew anymore…you want to convert one of your rooms to a guest room. I commend you.

A guest room can be versatile, classy, traditional, bright and cheery, subdued and cozy—anything you want it to be.

You would want it to fit the overall look of your home, yet be something to show off to those guests staying there. This is the opportunity to move past pink or blue, or even yellow or green to something sophisticated. What is your vision?

Again, it’s time to shop. Your first thoughts should be... color scheme. Remember this is a refresh and not a remodel so try to stay away from painting. That might make it more challenging to refresh a room but it can be done. If you want to subdue a paint color there are ways to do that: larger furniture covering more of the wall, large wall art, tall ficus trees and a combination thereof.

So go ahead and choose the color you wish the room to be and we’ll work around it.

We’ve covered this before in previous blog bursts…get busy shopping. Check out a few stores depending on your style… TJ Maxx? JCPenney? Hobby Lobby? At Home? Pier One…Pottery Barn…Macy’s…Target! There are so many stores to choose from. The key is to start with the store you are most comfortable in and reflects your style or taste.

From there wander the aisles…and check out the color schemes they have already set up for you. Which catches your eye? Which is the direction you are wanting to go?

Color, and the psychology of color, is a big design trend. When the color's right, it can:

  • Enhance feelings of health and well-being
  • Modify perceived temperature — make your space feel warmer or cooler
  • Transform perceived space — make your space feel larger, or more cozy and intimate
  • Illuminate dark areas
  • Create mystery and romance in dull areas
  • Energize static areas

But it has to be the right color for you. Don’t be afraid to choose what you want—it’s your home.

Most stores, along with those listed above, have professionals creating displays and organizing merchandise. Some even went to school for it! As you view their designs and color schemes choose what you like and what you think will work as a guest bedroom in your home. Feel free to ad-lib as there is no correct answer, only what you like.

As in all of our refreshes, think 3 elements. Just 3. Make it easy, simple and fun to refresh this room. In a guest bedroom there would most likely be a bed, dresser or desk, lighting, wall art, plants or other decorative items, bedding: sheets, blankets, pillows, comforter and throws. As in the bedroom refresh we already did, it seems easiest if you start with the bedding. It doesn’t have to all come in a package, matchy-match. You can mix and match for contrast, contour combinations, and texture. Again, it’s what you want to see in that room. I typically go for something light colored and refreshing like lavender, or light blue. But in one house I did have yellow and white. I have loved them all and they “fit” in the house they were in. This is why we do the REFRESHES…to change it up and have fun with it.

You may already have a guest bedroom but just haven’t redecorated it— ever. Here is your encouragement to switch it up! Just choose 3 elements and go for it!

Curtains, drapes and shutters can also have a wonderful effect in this room.

plantation shutters in guest room

Choose colors that complement the overall design. And if you didn’t know, the thick plantation shutters are very popular now and come in various stains and paint colors. You can tone down a room or give it a splash of accent by choosing the right color shutters.

colored plantation shutters for accent

Or think about accent curtains or drapes to flank the windows. If you already have shutters that close you can focus on hanging these as accents that don’t need to be closed.

drapes flanking shutters

Tie in the window colors and texture with the bedding and wall art.

What about dressers and desks? I picked up one of each at a garage sale one year and sanded and stained the desk and sanded and PAINTED the dresser. They both turned out beautifully. I loved them even more because they were my creations. The stained desk looks antique-y and the dresser I painted was for the purple guest bedroom I had. Both fit perfectly in the rooms I placed them in. The dresser was painted lavender to go with the dark purple walls of one room and the antique-y desk was stained to go with a light pink, very light pink and white guest bedroom.

These accents can make your room refresh more fun. I had a friend that found used--a dresser, bed frame and 2 night tables. She re-purposed them for a downstairs guest bedroom that created an eclectic feel. She hung various decorations and wall art to add to the effect and I’ve never forgotten that room. There’s something about a room that has received all that personal touch that makes your guest(s) feel special and loved.

As previously mentioned if you have paint you're not fond of on the walls in this room, try looking for artwork that covers the majority of a wall. You can incorporate colors that blend with the room, completely contrast the wall color, or mute the color on the wall. Say you have a RED room and you want it to be more soft and soothing. Try hanging wall art with a dominant theme of cream. If a painting has just a touch of the softest lightest version of the red wall within the cream colored painting that will mute or subdue the wall color as well.

In the bedroom below, I would place a tall light wood dresser to the right of the fireplace, with that same artwork above it. I would place a tall ficus tree between the door and the window, moving the night stand closer to the bed or somewhere else in the room. I would find a piece of art that is the width of the bed and as high as the first rafter and hang it above the bed. It would be mostly light cream with a darker color in it or contain a very small amount of subdued orangish-red color like the wall. I would SHOP for this art piece. And I would know it when I saw it.

subduing a red wall guest room

The ultimate goal is making the wall color only a very small accent color in the room. As it is now, it is the dominant color in this room. There is nothing wrong with this room! This is just an example of what is possible to do to refresh a room when you don’t want the same paint color anymore or if you are tired of it or don’t like it.

The below is another example of a lot of green color in the guest bedroom. If you are only “refreshing”, you’re not painting. So what would you do to refresh this room and eliminate the dominant green color?

 all green room to refresh

If you want a bit more work, try incorporating contact wall paper that is easy to adhere. A grey wood grain color would subdue a brighter color while giving it a wood accent look. I would use the grey contact paper on the wall with the window creating an accent wall that would offset the green and yet still complement it.

Next, I would put a solid darker color on the bed for a comforter. Maybe a dark grey comforter, that accents the new light wood-grain grey wall, and pillows with shades of black. I would switch out the chair for something else in the house that isn’t green. Or buy a new one! I’m not sure what color chair would look best there, but that is the definition of shopping. Shop until you see the right chair that you can picture in that space, adding positively to your new color scheme.

And…if this was my guest room, and I wanted to change out that green color, without painting, I would remove the lamps on both sides of the bed, hang a drop light in the corner and set up either a tall dark grain wood dresser or tall antique mirror on the right side of the bed. If you hung a pretty chandelier in the corner it would add to the “feel” of the room and also cover that portion of the green wall. See here:

 chandelier for corner of guest room     ORcorner chandelier for guest room

Lastly, hang artwork above the bed to cover the majority of green there too. I would shoot for a metal piece of artwork. Like this:

 metal art for above bed in guest room

 Here are a couple of other choices I found:

metal art for guest room

 colorful metal art for guest room



wood wall art for guest room


Sometimes wood wall art works here too:




 I LOvE wall more--

metal wall art for guest room

Ok, just one more...

cabin guest room wall art

Well this one would be for more of a cabin get-away guest room.


If you’re reading this and you are thinking NO! I wouldn’t do “that” I would do “this”? PLEASE share below! We would love to hear your ideas.

To sum up, your choices for a guest room refresh are…

  • Drapes, curtains, shutters
  • Drop lights, chandeliers, lighting in general
  • Dressers, desks, mirrors
  • Chairs or footstools
  • Bedding—comforters, sheets and pillows, throws
  • Contact paper—not quite painting, but more decorative
  • Wall art!  Metal, pallet signs, paintings and art
  • Artificial plants and trees

Choose the 3 elements that will enable you to refresh your guest room and do it! Remember to keep it to just 3 elements so as not to be overwhelmed. If you’re overwhelmed with the thought of the refresh it’s because you’re thinking you have to utilize more than the 3 elements. Don’t do that! Have fun with it!

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