Our guest room is complete! And good thing, because we have a crew of friends stopping in every other weekend through December. Now instead of welcoming them with apologies (um, you don’t mind the joint compound on the walls, right? Oh, and that closet door sticks; you don’t need to use it, do you?), we have a fresh and somewhat-quirky space that’ll hopefully make our friends and family feel happy. Warm. Comfortable.

Aside from a few statement pieces – the wallpaper! the headboard! – this room didn’t need much. We had fun pulling together found treasures, making up the bed with new sheets and fluffing up the shelves with a few good reads and greenery. Oddly enough, the most time consuming part was preparing the drywall for paint; this has proven time and time again as a massive undertaking, but it’s just one of the many things we’ve come to accept in this old house. (Worth it though!)

We had originally planned on hanging more art on the wall above the headboard, but with the wallpaper on the opposite end, our neat stack of shelves and that beast of a headboard, we opted for simple. Only our gold eagle made the cut, and it gets us every time!


It’s a tight squeeze along the bed wall, so we pulled out our space saving floating cubes and mounted our Ikea-hacked lights above. (You might even remember this same setup from our condo bedroom.) The lights (an idea from Daniel and completed with his help!) received an instant upgrade with silver tipped bulbs, a nod to our chrome pendant across the room – keep on scrolling to see!


Prior to this room update, our guest bedding had been a hodge podge of Franken-sheets – nothing matched, everything was juuust a bit too old and too faded, and so an overhaul was in order. We’ve always preferred the look of a white duvet and equally bright sheets, but we had a bit of fun with subtle pattern mixing as well. (All sources will be listed at the bottom of this post for easy reference!)


Across the room, we swagged our refurbished pendant in front of the wallpaper, creating a a sweet little nook for our guests to relax in their room. The wallpaper paired with our green velvet chair is our favorite vignette, but I’ll freely admit that it makes me a little sad to have that chair in here! It’s always been one of my favorite finds, but it works so well in this room. It belongs in here – for as long as I can stand to part with it.


You saw that Scott carved our initials in the vintage school desk (appropriate!), and for kicks, we laid out a guest book for our friends to write in anything they wish! You all know that we love, love, love Chicago, so it could be a fun place to jot down their favorite brunch or tourist tip. The book was personalized through Pinhole Press, and the first several pages are filled with photos I’ve taken of our favorite haunts around the city.


There’s nothing inside the desk just yet (although Scott insists on filling it with mini booze bottles, because, why not?), but we did gather a few travel-sized goodies for the shelf above:


The former closet doors never closed properly, and we couldn’t even open them without shouting every expletive in the book (I wish I was kidding!). Because our bedroom and laundry room have been put on the back burner (we don’t even have closets yet, aye!), we’ve always used this closet to store our extra towels, blankets and extra textiles. We nixed the doors altogether for long white curtains and ditched the single rod for floor-ceiling-shelves and a smaller rod for our guests. We picked up a luggage rack and kept the floor clear for our guests’ shoes:


We made our own curtain rod using this same technique of yore, and we sprayed everything a matte black. Just around the corner, we added a mirror (do you ever notice how guest rooms rarely have a mirror?) and hooks on the door for towels, coats or purses:


It’s without a doubt that I say that this room kicks our room’s ass. (I mean, our room is barely more than a human bed, doggie bed, and kitty fluff tumbleweeds, but still.) Outfitting this room has been all sorts of fun, and we never took ourselves too seriously. It’s the right amount of play and purpose, and we can’t wait to welcome our first guest (which, come to think of it, is tonight!)

Sources: Paint color (walls, ceiling and closet): White Pistachio by Valspar / Headboard: found + painted / End cubes: CB2 (old) / Reading lights: Ikea hack / Eagle: flea market / Faux-bear plaque: flea market / Sheets: Gray Dot c/o Schoolhouse Electric / Striped pillowcases: Painterly Stripe c/o Schoolhouse Electric / Throw pillows, duvet cover, coverlet and bed skirt: H&M / Rug: Rugs USA / Light: CB2 Eden pendant / Wallpaper: Cities Toile by Hygge & West / Green chair: Humboldt House / Shelving: DIY / Most items on shelves were thrifted or vintage finds / Desk: flea market / “Room Service” print by One Must Dash, framed by Framebridge / Stool: Overstock / Luggage rack: Overstock / Closet storage bins: Container Store / Mirror: flea market / Coat hook: gifted from Schoolhouse Electric

48 replies on “The Guest Room: Now Accepting Guests!”

  1. WOW! it really looks great, so inviting and comfortable. thanks so much for listing your sources for the bedding; i’m in desperate need of upgrading mine. that bed is perfect… from the gorgeous headboard (with eagle) to the sheets, duvet and pillows. SO nice!

    kudos on a job well done! what’s up next??

    1. So many things! We’re sort of starting to jump around on some loose ends, but we’ve also begun some kitchen planning…

  2. It’s just perfect. So many sweet details. I can’t decide if the green chair + wallpaper combo or the bed (headboard! linens! I want to dive in!) is my favorite. Also, can you come photograph my house?!

  3. Hello from a neighbor! I live just up the road in Avondale :) The guest room is absolutely beautiful–Have a fun time with your guests!

  4. Love it! going to make some changes to my guest room, great ideas, especially for smaller spaces. what color on the walls?

    1. Just updated the source list – thank you! It’s White Pistachio by Valspar. A very, very soft green-gray. (It actually falls under the “white” category.)

  5. I love each and every little thing about this project. Each little detail is so awesome, and inviting! What a great way to feel welcomed.

  6. It looks great! This is pushing me to finally do something with our master bedroom. We’ve lived here for 2.5 years and it’s the only room we haven’t touched at all. I think we need to start with curtains, using your tutorial for rods.

    1. The best thing about making your own rods from conduit is that it’s SO strong. You don’t need a center support (well, assuming your window isn’t 10′ wide or something)!

  7. love it. the green chair, the wallpaper, the shelf you left open for the guests to use – you are wonderful designers AND hosts! (and doesn’t having a real guest room make you feel like an actual grown-up?)

    1. Yes! This house has sort of pushed us into adulthood, ha! Much better than offering a blow up mattress in my old studio. Now everyone can be comfortable!

  8. Kim! This is absolutely gorgeous! I love the wall paper and pendant light too. Such a special place in a guest room. Typically that room is overlooked! I’ll need you to come help me someday when we own a place ;)

  9. I love everything you guys do always! This is the first time i think the wall color seems as if it doesn’t do justice to that magnificent wallpaper and the headboard. I’m guessing the white pastachio is photographing very cool and it looks more cohesive in person. Would a warmer paint color (in the valspar warm whites) be better with the gold in the wallpaper and more dramatic against the black headboard?
    But this is a beautifully decorated space.

    1. Thanks, Tina! It is a pretty cool color, leaning green-gray. We chose that route to balance all the warmth in the paper, and we knew we’d be mixing in greens and blues. In person, it’s such a pretty color!

      1. Kim, I checked out the valspar color swatches and it’s gorgeous! I see the green-gray now. Stunning on second look!

        1. Aw, thanks, Tina. The color is very much a chameleon – warm when the sun hits it, cool in the corners, and it becomes a soft, sage-like green in evening.

  10. Hey, I know it’s been weeks without a comment but I’m still there, reading. And I’m trying to improve my home, too. I love the choices you made for the guest room, especially the headboard, the wallpaper and last but not least : the poster “This is not a bloody hotel” ;-)

      1. You’re welcome. I think it’s a win-win since I have a poster from A.Burrill thanks to you !

  11. I’m not sure if you’ve mentioned this in another post or not, but where did you get your doorknobs from? I’m looking for black ones as well, but possibly with a lever (easier for our kids to open), but I love the square detail around the knob.

      1. We picked them up from, and you can see more about that here:

        Just a bit of warning, while we LOVE the knobs, we accidentally dropped one while installation, and the knob dented! It was a major bummer, but perhaps a sign that they aren’t super solid construction. Now that we have them all up, we’re super happy with them, but I guess I would compare them to say… the difference between buying ikea cabinets or having custom cabinets made. Hope that makes sense! (We’d order them again without hesitation, but just wanted to give my fair warning.)

  12. So amazing! You guys are seriously talented! The guest room looks so inviting and comfortable. Love it!

  13. Perfection. Love what you were able to do with such a tiny room and so many corners! I’m in love with that reading corner vignette.

  14. Amazingly-designed room. Because of the big bed, the room doesn’t look small at all. I love that silver-tipped bulb. It’s unique and seems quite helpful too.

  15. Hello! :) We are actually thinking of nixing the closest doors in our master in favor of curtains and as I was watching your home tour I spotted the curtains in this room! I’m curious where you got the curtain and if it’s a sheer or something a little heavier.
    Thanks friends … miss you guys!

    1. It’s a little heavier, which helps it to lay straight. We got this one at Home Goods, and I’d recommend something cotton that you can throw in the wash if you need to. IKEA actually has great, heavyweight curtains for a steal, but you’ll need to hem them!

Comments are closed.