Guest Bedroom Makeover Reveal — Nan’s Room Before & After

It’s makeover reveal day (and oh my goodness, I LOVE makeover reveal days!)!I’ve been slowly working on transforming our downstairs guest bedroom for about a year. (It’s actually “Nan’s room” — as it was created to be her permanent bedroom when she visits, but for sake of confusion and readers who see that and think she lives with us, it’s also sometimes referred to as the “downstairs guest room ;).) While this room has been in process for a long time — like the powder room makeover that I shared last month HERE — most all changes made were easy, budget friendly upgrades. Why did I want to change it? When we moved in, this was the room that got all of our former master bedroom furniture. Well, not only is the room small — MUCH smaller than our former master bedroom — but two walls are entirely dedicated to French doors and a large window, and a third wall is dedicated to the bathroom and closet doors. The heavy-framed canopy bed felt like it took up the entire room and while I know a bed of the same queen size isn’t going to take up more floor space, I thought that opening up the space above the bed would make the room feel a little more “breathable” and less cramped. After slowly working our way through the room, we’re finally finished and have our comfortable guest bedroom!

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**All room sources & details are located at the bottom of the post**

Small Guest Bedroom Design (with French Doors!)

Casual, Natural Comfortable Guest Bedroom: The Before & After

While a lot of my rooms have gotten total makeovers and complete furniture and fixture switches, I wanted to keep some of my furnishings in place and find ways to make and DIY small, affordable updates. I’ll share all of those as we go along. Before, the bedroom was a little dark, definitely cramped, and my style had definitely “relaxed” a bit since I first set it up. Here’s where we started…

And here’s how Nan’s room looks today.

Guest Bedroom Makeover Reveal with Easy , Affordable DIYs!

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After layering several natural textures, linens, and mixing neutrals with some blue and contrasting blacks, we have an end result that’s so much more open, light and fresh! Let’s break it down.

Casual, Natural Comfortable Guest Bedroom: The Details

As soon as we switched beds, the first update we made — over a year ago, now — was in giving the walls a fresh coat of Simply White (by Benjamin Moore) paint. I love our rooms with wall treatments and mouldings and while this wall could definitely benefit from it, I kept it more simple and opted for less expense.

Small Guest Bedroom Makeover Reveal (Before & After!)

Belgian Flax Linen Quilt (white) // Belgian Flax Linen Duvet Cover & Euro Shams (white) // 700 TC Sateen Sheet Set (white) // Tobacco Teddy Bear Throw Blanket // 24” Blue Belgian Linen Throw Pillows (Gunmetal) // 20″ Black & Cream Stripe Pillow

I still went with a queen sized bed and while it still takes up a large portion of the room, it feels like you can move around more easily. The bed I went with (HERE) is no longer available but they have been known to bring back discontinued items so it may be worth watching. Here are a few similar natural, woven and cane beds:

To give you an idea, this room is around 12’x12′ and a queen size bed frame is almost 7′ in length — that leaves very little room in front of the bed to maneuver around. I do keep a folding luggage rack on tucked away and on hand (which is a great inexpensive, helpful addition for your guests) but I really wanted an additional flat surface/place to set items. I found THESE upholstered accent stools with rope detail — and only $123/piece — that were just narrow and enough.

Small Guest Bedroom Design and Decor

As I mentioned, there are a few budget-friendly DIYs in this space — one being the simple wall art gallery above the bed. My original plan was to order this set of blue birds (I’ve loved this set for a long time and still may pull the trigger one day) but I decided to get resourceful to save the $450. If those prints look familiar, it’s actually wallpaper remnants from our recently completed powder room! (I shared this project back in my progress post HERE). These three inexpensive thin black frames with mats (mine are the 16×20″ size; they come in four finishes — black, silver, gold, and rose gold), and palm frond wallpaper scraps totaled about $45 for the entire gallery. For a diverse look, I took each mat and moved it around on the paper until I had framed out three difference pattern portions.

Guest Bedroom Design & Color Scheme

Once we transitioned one of our guest bedrooms into Eliza’s nursery, I moved the linen bedding to this room — FYI, today is the last day that it’s all 25% off! I know I rave about my linen quilt and linen duvet cover (and THESE sheets) a lot, but I have them all in several colors and love the collection I’ve built for my rooms. I also used throw pillows I already had in my collection; the one new addition was THIS huge, plush teddy bear throw. It’s different than any other blanket I have, is heavy, and I LOVE it for a bedroom. Plus, I am loving that cognac/tobacco color right now — it’s on sale right now, too ;).

Blue, White, Black and Brown Bedding and Pillows

One of the most important aspects of the room are the walls of curtains; I actually attempted this (very poorly) when we first moved in but finally got around to doing it “right” this year. The room is tight, so it’s hard to get an accurate shot but boths sides of windows and doors are actually even 😉 I’m going to do an entire post on these soon so I’ll reserve a lot of detail for then, but did want to let you know that Select Blinds is currently offering an additional 5% off lowest sale price of shades and drapes with code KELNAN5. The shades (c/o Select Blinds) are an inside mount, cordless Bali Natural with privacy lining and the drapes are Vanilla Bean Linen Weave, also with privacy lining. I’ve used this color drapery in multiple rooms now and love the polished finish (I still need to do a little pleat training) and they are repeatedly some of the most asked about things in our home. You can order fabric and woven shade samples for free HERE.

Privacy with Wall of Windows and Curtains in the Bedroom

Luxurious Guest Bedroom Linen Bedding -- How to Make a Bed

I reused THESE wraparound curtain rods (they come in multiple colors and sizes, up to 144″), and THESE inexpensive rings. The drapes come with curtain hooks already attached, which makes hanging them so much easier.

Bedroom Window Treatments -- Pleated Drapes with Woven Shades

Because the bed does take up so much room and there are multiple doors that open inward, toward the bed (both the closet door and French doors), I had to opt for narrow nightstands. THESE black, 3-drawer stands with aged brass pulls are perfect for a tight space, were a great price, and are way heavier and more substantial than they look!

Blue and White Guest Bedroom Decor

If you saw my latest Snack Around the Plate, I shared my PSA that Trader Joe’s had mini Fiddle Leaf Figs for $10 — here’s where mine went 😉

Nightstand Decor with Plants

I scored a great deal on these pretty blue lamps but just saw they’re no longer available. :/ That’s one hard thing about sharing spaces that I build out more slowly; sources have a greater chance to disappear/become discontinued. Like the bed, it’s worth the watch to see if they’re re-stocked!

Guest Bedroom Nightstand Styling and Decor Details

Tiffany Blue Lamps with Tassels

Another piece I saved from one of our former guest bedrooms was THIS lantern pendant — it’s a dupe for our Darlana lantern in the entry but a fraction of the price. I had the champagne color so as another DIY, for just the cost of a can of satin black spray paint, I plugged each light socket with paper towels, covered the end of the wires with masking tape, gave her three coats, and with zero attention to detail (haha) she came out perfect. It actually comes in black too, HERE.

DIY Painted Lantern Pendant (Cheap, Easy Darlana Knock-Off)

I originally thought I would change the dresser — and I still may one day — but I didn’t see anything different enough that I just had to have. I love THIS dresser but it was almost a twin to my current dresser, aside from the hardware. I considered changing the hardware but the current hardware only had a 2″ spread with those plates. So, I decided to try my hand at using Rub n Buff (my Kris of has pulled off some crazy amazing looks using it in the past) — I wanted more of a weathered, antique look so I ordered a 5-pack of golden brass colors to test. They each come in tubes and after a quick text tutorial from Kris (put some on a cloth and rub it on — literally, that’s it and it dries pretty much on the spot), I chose Antique Gold, removed the hardware, and finished them all within the hour. Here’s my caveat. I loved this method and can’t wait to try it again! BUT, I wanted a “barely there” finish and this stuff goes on so easily (and a little goes a LONG way), there wasn’t much of a “barely there”. I went as light as I could but once it’s on, it’s on. This style hardware was way more difficult that doing something straight without flopping handles and tiny nooks. So, next time I go for it, I will apply to its full strength 😉 I can’t decided if I’m going to apply something to tone it down but I’m kind of digging the “just polished, but weathered” vibe they have. There’s a lot of colors but you can get the 5-pack I got HERE.

Simple Dresser Decor and Styling in the Bedroom

Dresser Decor with Plants and Wooden Accents

This large ceramic egg lamp is probably my favorite lamp in the house — eventually, I want to get another pair (they have several colors) to go on the sideboard in the dining room.

How to Style and Decorate a Dresser

It’s small and confined but Nan’s room is finally relaxed, airy and breathable! That closet on the other hand… well, that’s for another day 😉

Small Guest Bedroom Furniture Layout

If you don’t follow me on Instagram 1. you should, 2. you missed my news this past week. After more than a decade of living apart, my mom — Gran Nan — is moving to Georgia! Not only will she be moving here, but she’s becoming a pretty major part of KN (more on that later!) This room will always be “hers” but it does put less pressure on having multiple guest bedrooms (which is why I mentioned we are looking forward to turning the upstairs guest bedroom into a playroom later this year 😉 ). This will become our only guest space soon so I’m stoked to have it finished and ready. My mom’s home construction begins soon (coincidentally and fortunately, minutes away from me) and I’ll be sharing that process, details, and all the fun stuff that goes along with it as she transitions to her new home. Subscribe to my emails HERE and you won’t miss a thing to come — in my house or hers.

Room Sources & Details

Walls & Windows: Drapes — Linen Weave Vanilla Bean (Privacy Liner) // Woven Shades — Bali Natural (Cordless, Privacy Liner) // Curtain Rods // Curtain Rings // Gallery Art Frames (black, 16″x20″) // Blue Palm Frond Wallpaper (art clips) // Round Mirror (36”)

Furniture: Accent Benches // Nightstands // Bed (no longer available) (SIMILAR) // Dresser (not available) (SIMILAR)

Lighting & Accessories: Lantern Pendant // Blue Lamps (no longer available) // 29″ Ceramic Cream Egg Lamp // Jute Rug (5×8) // Wooden Vase (festival) // Wooden Planter — At Home (SIMILAR) // Blue & White Dishes (no longer available) // Floor Basket // Black Volcano Candle

Bedding: Belgian Flax Linen Quilt (white) // Belgian Flax Linen Duvet Cover & Euro Shams (white) // 700 TC Sateen Sheet Set (white) // Tobacco Teddy Bear Throw Blanket // 24” Blue Belgian Linen Throw Pillows (Gunmetal) // 20″ Black & Cream Stripe Pillow // Blue Pattern Lumbar Pillow (on bench)

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  1. 2.5.20
    Pam said:

    Awesome job! I love everything about it!! I like how you reused what you love and purchased what you needed. Such a calming space that any guest will love to stay in (and not want to leave). I bet you are so excited about Gran Nan moving to Georgia!!! Having grand mom close by is the best!

    • 3.8.20
      Vanessa Powell said:

      Beautiful room. I’m way behind my blog reading due to recently, like two weeks ago; moving my mom from Cumming to Tuscaloosa AL.
      I just noticed the blue lamps are back and ship between March 13-18! 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻
      Now I must stop reading and get some things done around my own home. Hahaha. Can’t really decorate for spring /Easter with a messy house.

      • 3.9.20

        Wow. Our moms are going in opposite directions, as my mom is moving from Alabama to Georgia. Hope you enjoy the lamps! ❤️

  2. 2.5.20
    Wendy said:

    What a beautiful room. I love the way you have reused pieces and done some diy. Your rooms always look relaxed and ready to move into. Looking forward to seeing Gran Nans new home and lots more lovely transformations.

  3. 2.5.20
    Daniela said:

    Love it! Question… your draperies look amazing. How many panels did you use?

    • 3.11.20

      Thank you! There are two for the window (one on each side) and two for the door (one on each side). Each panel is the full width of the window/door.

  4. 2.5.20
    Gretchen Thomas said:

    I love the before, but the after is literally fantastic! It is hard to pick what I love the most…the bed, stools and lamps are wonderful. And that cognac throw…it’s the most sumptuous thing ever. As usual, every bit is perfect. 😘😘😘

  5. 2.5.20
    Sue said:

    The room looks very pretty! I really like that newer dresser a lot but for the money, I totally understand keeping what you have. It just wouldn’t have made a big enough difference. So happy your Mom is moving closer. Should be fun to see all of the rooms in the new house.

  6. 2.6.20
    Shelly said:

    Wow! Great job, it looks alot more roomier now. So glad your mom is moving closer to you, how nice that will be. My dad lives in Texas, I live in North Carolina. My husband and I are flying down to Texas to move him in with us next week, he is almost 89, we are looking forward it. I hope to redecorate the room that will be his after he gets here, your makeover has given me some great ideas, thank you.

  7. 2.9.20
    Martina said:

    Kelley this looks so cozy and inviting I love how it turned out! We had to also put curtains up along the sides of our glass pane double doors for privacy in our guest room. You’ve got me already wanting to redo our space now 🙂

  8. 6.27.20
    Katherine McLaughlin said:

    I’d like to copy this room for my master bedroom that has a king-sized bed.
    Do you have a recommendation for a rug with the same color scheme but is soft under bare feet?
    Also, what size rug do you recommend to put under a king?

    • 6.28.20

      Hi Katherine,
      Thank you so much for stopping by. The rug I used in this room is described as sisal, but it is not scratchy at all and is actually very soft. I really like the look of adding the rug so that it starts at the bottom third of the bed and ends a couple of feet past the foot. This has been an affordable solution and has also helped when limited sizes of a rug I love are in stock!

  9. 6.28.20
    Sara Giannandrea said:

    Love this room so much! Curious what size mirror you got? Looking for a round mirror and love this one but having a hard time with sizing

    • 6.28.20

      Hi Sara, Thank you so much for stopping by and for your kind words! The mirror is 36×36 and was a very welcome change. Hope this helps!

  10. 8.14.23
    Melissa said:

    Hey Kelley, love your ideas! Redoing all my bedrooms and wondering if you have any thoughts and/or good suggestions for mattress toppers? Feeling like my beds all need an “oomph”!

    • 8.15.23

      Thank you for your kind note, Melissa! I am so sorry, but since I don’t have any mattress toppers on our beds, I am not able to recommend a product for you. I wish you the best in your search!

  11. 12.22.23
    Lisa said:

    Good morning Kelley,
    In the picture half way thru your guest bedroom makeover pictures. You have a gorgeous vase that’s gorgeous. I’ve never seen a listing for it, so im assuming you’ve had it a long time?
    Happy holidays to you and your family!!

    • 12.22.23

      Hi Lisa! My mom bought that wood-turned vase several years ago at a local arts festival. I love it too and have used it in several different areas in my home.