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A Simple, Eclectic Guest Bedroom



Nothing hurts my soul more than not being able to find a ‘before’ photo. Can you imagine watching The Biggest Loser and the contestant saying ‘Sorry, we forgot to take photos or weigh me at the beginning but trust me, I was a lot bigger!!’

Its just devastating. But I’ve looked through two old computers and 2 old phones and I’m now convinced that I didn’t even take before photos, in fact I’m wondering if this room actually existed before. Did my imagination dream up  this room? Did I use The Secret and produce this room with my brain? Maybe. My brain be very powerful. As I’m writing this my powerful brain is renovating my disgusting bathroom. Finally, I found a (mental) contractor that is in tune with me. (Meanwhile this was all before DropBox, which I realize every single day saves my career).

Luckily this room makeover is the fastest and least dramatic of the whole house (which is why I’m posting it so fast after the living room) so a lot of process photos aren’t totally necessary. It is the guest room and you know how most guest rooms go – no splurging; just pretty and simple. Lets get into it:

After the reno was complete we just needed to get this room to be functional and ready for Shana’s family to come and visit her and her newborn (read this post if you don’t know the back story of this situation). She wanted us to focus on the other rooms first to make sure that we weren’t inspired to spend like 15K in this room. Instead we used a rug she already had (I mean, who just has these rugs just lying around in their garage?) and we custom-made a bed, changed out some sconces, dressed the bed and thats pretty much it.

Unfortunately there is really only one angle that Country Living shot, because the rest of the room was just simple – a wardrobe, a bench and that’s kinda it. We are shooting the other rooms in the house tomorrow and if we have time we’ll shoot a pulled back shot of the rest of the room for you, but honestly it wasn’t totally designed so there might not be much to see.



We ordered the bed from Dekor (like the sofas) and chose this more classic, and slightly deco shape to work with the house. We pulled the color from the rug and wanted it to feel seamless with the rest of the house, so that blue was a no brainer.

Shana bought these french antique sconces from a dealer, but as you can see, when Orlando held them up we thought they just didn’t portray the french beauty that they had and went kinda ‘wanna be’ really fast, even though they were the real deal. They were candle sconces and would have had to be rewired to function so we decided that the effort and expense wouldn’t give the result that we wanted. So we nixed those and decided to do something slightly more modern with the sconces seen on the right. They still felt old world (they are aged bronze) but had a simpler shape. We kept her side tables and lamps because they were pretty great. Ready to see it transformed?

Welcome to the new guest room:


eclectic guest room

Yeah. I’d move in. We styled it pretty differently for the style book (I can’t wait to show you) but I love how they styled it, too. Here’s a secret – there is only one of those brass lamps – they must have photoshopped the other one in. How do they do that? They have the camera on a tripod and they take one photo with the lamp on the left, then they move the lamp to the right and take another with the lamp on the right and then they put the two photos together in Photoshop. I would say they were cheating except that for the book we actually made that painting larger over the bed – it’s a bit dinky as is. Magazines are full of lies. Beautiful, wonderful, eye-candy lies.


Don’t you agree that the painting should be about 10″ bigger? And how do you feel about those shades? I still kinda want to modernize them with drum shades but at the same time I think that traditional bell shades like these are coming back in so maybe in a year I’ll feel differently (but maybe not pleated?)


Right outside the guest room is the backyard and the view/light in here is just beautiful. It’s such a happy room which is why we didn’t put too much money or effort into it. It kinda looks good all the time because the light is just so beautiful.


That tassel bedding is just incredibly adorable if not perfect. It’s from Anthropologie and its expensive but you could DIY that pretty easily.


Its simple, happy and totally guest friendly.

guest bedroom

Some quick questions answered: The wall paint is Swiss Coffee by Benjamin Moore and the window frame color is Deep Space, by Benjamin Moore.


Regardless of the lack of ‘totally before’ photos, this transformation is still pretty satisfying, no?

Here’s a ‘get the look’. (And I read all the love for the ‘look for less’ in yesterdays post so don’t worry more of those will be coming, we just didn’t do one for this because it was just so few things).

Get the Look_Shana Guest Bedroom

1. Kilim Rug | 2. Side Table | 3. Upholstered Headboard | 4. Brass Lamp | 5. Striped Pillow | 6. Tassel Bedding | 7. Grey Blanket | 8. Chinoiserie Vase | 9. Wall Sconce 

Happy Friday. Now go get your guest room ready because Tailor Swift and I are on our way over. We hang like that. xx

*photos c/o Country living Magazine. Photographer Max Kim Bee and stylist Elizabeth Beeler

Check out the Living Room, Reading Nook,  Master Bedroom, Dining Nook, Kitchen, Nursery, and Master Bathroom.

Fin Mark


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Love it!

Why not frame the painting over the bed? A couple of inches of linen mattboard and a 2 inch frame would give you the added size, and the house works with the more finished look. Just a thought!


Second this idea. Framed, it’s whatever size you need it to be. 🙂


agree. 🙂


Yep. Such a good idea. For some reason most of the oil paintings she has are unframed and I really like the edges, etc, but certainly framing it would add the width that I want. xx


So fascinating about the photoshop lies. I knew it was rampant in beauty magazines, but never really thought about in shelter/design mags. Us regular folks just cannot escape this false perfectionism, I guess.

In any case, I love the room.


I would do bad things for that rug. Just sayin.


I was just thinking the same thing… LOVE that rug!


I’ve been reading a bunch about the changing nature of blogs (here and elsewhere), and that it is disappointing for bloggers that they are getting less feedback and response. Evidently people are flying through and not really responding. I do that and didn’t realize that bloggers don’t like the lurkers that don’t engage. So I decided I’m going to do a better job of responding to my favs, and you, my dear, are at the top of that list. Love, love getting to see your take on a different aesthetic. This room and the LR are lovely and so fresh… Read more »


Thank you. Very much. I’m happy if you lurk and don’t comment, but when you comment I get VERY happy and it absolutely informs the content I produce. So thank you. You are allowed to comment ANY TIME YOU WANT. Its so appreciated. xx


This room looks great. I love when you explain the thought process behind your choices. I like the fact that the night stands are petite relative to the bed. Would you have chosen something different had the homeowner not already owned them and you had budget constraints? Is petite okay because it is a guest room? I’d love to hear your thoughts on why this works and how to err on the side of it looking like a conscious decision instead of looking like the homeowner just haven’t had the means or time to buy a typical size nightstand.


in person they don’t look too small, but in the photo I guess they kinda do! The headboard wall isn’t massive, certainly. Anyway, I’m a huge fan of storage in nightstands so if we had purchased it would probably have a drawer, but i love these tables. xx

You are tempting me with that idea to DIY the tassel bedding! I love how it adds a playfulness to an otherwise sophisticated room! Great job! That is fascinating about all that photoshop business, but if the idea is to present results that inspire, then it’s totally working!

I’ve DIY tassled a pillow before and it was quite the undertaking! I made my own tassles, though, so with pre-bought tassles it may not be so bad. 🙂

So cute! I get mad sometimes about the lies (as in this blog post) but I totally get that for a book/publication it’s different. I just resent that I have to live in a world with ugly heater vents and cords and improperly sized paintings, haha. 😉 Thank you so much for pointing out that the modern sconces actually look better! I’m obsessed with certain period antiques (Art Deco and Art Nouveau, mostly) so I need to be reminded that it’s not worth rewiring some gorgeous swoopy nouveau sconce that will end up looking dinky and wrong when you actually… Read more »


This is lovely. I’ll be so interested to see the differences in styling from pictures in your book. (Is that blanket and striped pillow actually BROWN?) 🙂 Keep up the great work– you are such an inspiration!!




Oh and i’m not sure if they are brown. looks like it tho

Alison G

Your knocking this blog out of the field lately. Amazing posts and inspiration. Keep up the good work.




Such a pretty bright room! In both of these rooms, I’m loving the black mullions in the windows with the off-white walls – and then realizing they look great in this style of home (mimicking iron?). Have you ever used them in other styles of homes? I am not sure why this jumped out at me so strongly, but I love them now.


I would be very hesitant to use them in other styles of homes. They are metal – which is why they work. The window isn’t, but the frames are. So it just made sense to embrace it and it looks awesome.


So simple and nice! Looks luxurious and cozy, without me being afraid to make wrinkles on the bed. 🙂

Haley F

Love these types of posts!


You can do no wrong Emily Henderson!


Oh, I can. But thank you. xx

Lisa B

Love, love, love the tasseled bedding!!!

i love the simple makeovers just as much as the gutted, all-out renovations. this was so well-done! very relatable for those that have little budgets and just want to spruce a place up.


I want to sew tassels on everything now.

Solid guest room. Comfortable, yet still elegant.

Good choice on the sconces. This house has the best windows.

I used to watch you on tv when you had that show where you’d have couples pick their favorite styles and then you’d present them with their morphed style and give it a name like, “traditional meets Andy Warhol-esque” or something along those lines. Anyway, I thought you were fantastic and thankfully stumbled upon your blog. This is my first time commenting and I have to tell you how cool it is that you’re real and honest about the process – losing or never taking a “before” shot, the photoshopped lamps, saying how you’d prefer different lamp shades. I love… Read more »


THANK YOU. Thats incredibly wonderful to hear. xx


Is it just me, or is it a little ridiculous how well the bedding goes with the rug? It’s like they were made for each other.

I love this room. It’s simple, comfortable, and beautiful. It makes me want to redo my guest room!

I think your guest room is great!! I’d love to try my hand at a DIY fringe duvet cover, but that will have to wait until I’m decorating a guestroom for my next home. I’ll have to put a pin in this idea. I agree that 10″ bigger would be great on the painting and for the lamp shades, a drum shape would be nice, but I agree, your current shape is coming back into style (but maybe without pleats). But on the other hand, I bet these pleated lamp shades would look great dyed a deeper color. Oh, and… Read more »

I am loving this room! To be quite honest, I’m loving the whole house! I went a bit gaga over the living room reveal from yesterday. Beautiful work!


I agree with the Heather above the painting needs a frame and a mat job to up its quotient and then it would be perfect. It’s just lacking in a little “hey I’m important” factor it gets lost without a frame otherwise it’s lovely.


Another beautiful room! Wanted to let you know that you are one of my 3 teachers in my personal little design school. The others are Rosa Beltran and Jenny of LGN. People say I have the decorator’s eye, but I just can’t get certain things right and don’t know how to make the fix, and then another session in “school” and either you, Rosa, or Jenny will come up with the answer and it all makes sense. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge.


Yea! Those are great teachers, for sure. xx


I wanted to say thank you for the “get the look” posts, especially the one about the living room in this house. It is so nice to get a real breakdown of costs, even more so than the “get the look for less” ones. We know you chose the pieces because they worked for the space, and not so as to copy them best, so it’s phenomenal to have this guidance when you start budgeting. What I also liked about the posts on this house is that you described how you started with the color/texture story, and thus we get… Read more »


Thank you. Much appreciated. xx

Jess Hartnett

This room is definitely cozy. I’d spend a week or two there!
I have a couple of questions about the room.

1. Can table lamps and wall sconces usually co-exist on the same wall or is this because it’s a bedroom and they provide different kinds of light?

2. Did you consider painting the door to the backyard and its framing the same color as the walls or as the other windows in the room? Is the door and framing a different color because everything is so light/neutral anyways?


1. Yes, they can totally exist because they have different functions. Every room should have overhead, sconces and table lamps. Now not every room has that (I only have like 3 sconces in my house) but its so nice to have.
2. I had to scroll up to look at the picture to see what you were talking about! I didn’t consider painting it because they came white, but I see why you brought that up. I think it could go either way. xx


Is it possible to add a button following a comment that allows you to like someone else comment to show you agree? I often see comments that I fully endorse and rather than restating, I would love to check that Like button! Yes, to drum shades on the sconce but no to framing the oil painting above the bed. Amazing how just the right touch of color maintained throughout the room ties it together but in a restful way. Ooops, no pun intended!!!


OOh, interesting. We are re-doing the site now and this is definitely something i’d love to add, so thank you for bringing that up. like a thumbs up, right?


Thumbs-up to no framing the painting! 😉


Loving this makeover. Can’t wait to see the rest. You’re the bomb Emily. Love seeing Orlando’s little face again on your blog.


Fabulously straightforward but not simple. The room is lovely, but why not frame the painting help size it up? And what goes on the second bed side table in RL? The pair of chubby lamps are the perfect lovers for the skinny sconces…I’m struggling with if it the room would feel lopsided without the PS lamp!

Nina Bond

Yep looking good! Great job. As you say the picture is way too dinky. it looks oh so you. Okay so just wondering but when you hire a stylist or decorator, do you expect that your house will look like their style or do you expect that they will totally transform the room into your style. I mean eveyrthing I see from you looks like it has the Emily Henderson stamp on it. Not judging. Just sort of curious.


Ha If you look at my portfolio there are 1 million different styles with a few similarities – vintage inspired, happy and eclectic. So yes, you must want that, but the rest of it is the person’s own style. So to answer your question – hire a designers whose style you love and if they are good they’ll give you the best version of your own style.

Love,love that tassel bedding and yes I agree the painting needs to be bigger. Could be accomplished with a large frame. The sconce shade shape does not bother me but I do think they would benefit from a simple band of color around the bottom so they dont disappear against the wall. Cute room…


“Magazines are full of lies. Beautiful, wonderful, eye-candy lies.”

Emily Henderson, this is why we love you.


🙂 Thank you. xx


That is so funny, I spent a good few minutes looking at those lamps when this came out in Country Living! I kept thinking, something is off – they aren’t at the same angle or width- so I wasn’t losing my mind. I kind of wish they had just put something else on the other table, a different lamp that coordinated, maybe a task lamp or something other than a lamp. Lately, in my interiors business, I am trying not to obsess about perfection or style rooms too much. I know that sounds weird b/c that is kind of our… Read more »


Thank you. I actually really like those shades now, too. They feel like she’s had them forever and that is worth something. They are in good shape, they just aren’t necessarily the totally on-trend shape and style right now. But they are good, so we can accept them anyway and that is what charm is, right?


I love the blue and tan color combination. I was never a huge fan of those kind of rugs. They used to look to southwestern to me, but I’m looking at them in a new light now.

I like what jd had to say about letting go and embracing a little imperfection. I’ve been feeling the same way as of late–especially if the “design offenders” are objects of nostalgia, family heirlooms–or anything my little girl proudly draws 🙂 These are what make our homes special. I think this room is really well executed and contains so many beautiful design elements–among which are the ‘imperfect’ ones! Nice job, Emily, and looking forward to seeing the rest of the transformation.
p.s.–I see we both made Centsational Girl’s B.O.T.B. list today. Whoop!

patty blaettler

Anthropologie should use your picture to sell their bedding!
Question re: get the look… The side table in the room looks like a Saarinen/style, and it’s very handsome. Your ‘get the look’ is different. Did they own that table or did you buy it and it’s pricey?? Just wondering.


Curious where the floral bedding from the progress shot came from?


Love those tassels! I’d even put them on the shades!

Hannah Rose

That rug! That’s all.


Really enjoying your posts this year. Interested in learning about your decision process when decorating. Also, great to get a list of sources. Very inspiring. I would love to see more of these. Thanks!

What an amazing room!!!! I’m dying to replace my VIYNL blinds (ugh, I get so angry every time I pass by them) but they are still up because I can’t find decent roman blinds that I like, but I love these!!! Could you give me a few recommendations where I could find similar ones?

patty blaettler

PB Teen grosgrain ribbon trimmed roman shades are totally excellent quality.


I love the feel of the room and the softness of the space. Fantastic work!

Where is the rug from? I have been searching for a Kilim rug to compliment an existing piece.

Thank you!


Loving these posts Emily and will be buying your book once it comes out. Do you know the release date?


I’ve only read the first paragraph but had to immediately ask…Brian was the realtor for the sale to the current owners wasn’t he? Wouldn’t he have photos for the sale? Also I did the same thing with our house and ended up downloading the photos from the internet listing as my before photos…do the american real estate websites show sold listings?

I love every single thing about this room – I also appreciate the comment about the photo shopping in – I would have never guessed – thought that was only for 6 ft models 🙂 Really, really love your blog!

love the blue headboard and the added door… brings such brightness in it.


This is an out of context comment but as I read this I realized why you got mixed reviews for your craigslist posts. The posts where you described what you would do with each piece were great and weirdly helped me find jems in my own city’s craigslist. The ones where it was just great pieces but no styling advice were less great, felt like filler.


This room has 3 things that have been living in my pinterest world for a while: the tassel bedding, a very similar rug from PB and blue velvet (for a sofa).

Love this room!

Great coverage of article! This is an outstanding site for providing an essential data which I ever needed. Splendid work!

I’ve always had really warm tones throughout the homes I have lived in…lots of persian carpet/kilim colours, …..and I’m really ready for much lighter brighter colours. I love how this room uses those colours, but is still really light and bright.

Really cute! I love the headboard and the tassel bedding/pillows.


The rug + the duvet cover + the striped pillow on the bed = genius. Perfectly balanced.

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