Elsie’s Guest Room(s) (BEFORE)

Guest room 1 BEFOREHey, friends! I am alllmost done sharing the before versions of our rooms. If you’re super tired of seeing blue carpet by now, I don’t blame you! It’s been REALLY fun to share these with you. And in the next week or two we’ll be moving on to phase two: the progress reports. And in January I’ll start touring spaces (which, crazy as it is, I plan to do for all of 2016 and probably most of 2017 too!).

Anyway! I mentioned in our empty house tour that we chose to prioritize a double guest room. It’s two bedrooms and one shared bathroom. I realize it may seem excessive, but we’ve already used both rooms at once TWICE in the two months we’ve been living here. Once when my parents came at the same time as my brother and his daughter and once when my friend came with her husband and their FIVE children. We LOVE entertaining and having guests and we plan to use these rooms a LOT.

I’m combining them into one post even though I’ll probably post the tours separately later on.

So this first room is the first bedroom you come to in our hallway of bedrooms. We decided to turn it into a family/kid-friendly room.

SmAR5A4842We are furnishing this room with a bunk bed that has a full size mattress on the bottom and a twin on the top. So it’ll be pretty versatile. I originally thought of it for my brother and his six year old daughter, but it’s also useful for families with three or more kids or times when we need more than one adult-sized bed.

SmAR5A4846SmAR5A4846In terms of decor, I honestly have no clue what I am doing in this room yet. I am still hoping a clear vision will pop into my brain. Any ideas?

And on to the second room….

Guest room 2 BEFOREThis is another small, square bedroom. It has a closet, three windows and a door to the shared bathroom. I’ve been working on this room a lot these past few weeks and it’s really coming along.

SmAR5A4864SmAR5A4864SmAR5A4864My number one priority in this room is comfort. It doesn’t need to be an elaborate room, but it has to be cozy for our guests. A comfy bed and a room that’s nice and dark in the early morning are important. And, of course, we’d like it to be a cool looking space as well.

I don’t have a clear vision for these rooms yet, and my biggest fear is that they’ll look like an afterthought. So I’m going to put a lot of planning and effort into them to make them really special spaces. What would you do with these spaces if they were in your house? xx- Elsie

Credits//Author and Photography: Elsie Larson.

  • Wow – this is definitely a 70’s lovers dream house! I can’t wait to see all of the afters… how long until we see them?

  • Guest rooms are such great spaces to have fun decorating! Can’t wait to see what you do!

  • This already looks pretty good to me, but still can’t wait to see how this is going to turn out!!

  • I tried to think of a comfortable pair of jeans with a white t-shirt as the “theme” for my guest bedroom. So indigo with white accents and other natural accents like brass, rope, wood, etc. just trying to keep it calm, soothing and an easy place to relax.

  • Clean, comfortable, and sooting should be the guideline for guest bedroom decor. If people with kids are visiting they are already stressed, so having a calm spot for recharging would be the best gift you could give them. Neutral tones, with small pops of color (in picture frames, pillows, throws, etc.), luggage stands stashed in the closets so they won’t need to unpack into a dresser if they don’t want to, extra pillows and blankets stashed in the closets, room darkening shades behind the draperies if they are needed, plenty of bathroom supplies on hand and easy to locate. A reading light on each side of the bed. Lots of accessible plugs so they can charge their phones and laptops easily. They will be so grateful and feel so welcome.

  • I’m just so excited to see what you decide to do on all of your rooms! I know they’re going to look amazing!


  • How beautiful is this space?! I love the idea of hardwood! What a fun project..enjoy!

  • I feel like the “kid” guest room could look really fun with a big mural on the doorway wall. To me it is begging for some sort of big artwork!

  • Your plans sound great! Can’t wait to see the finished room!

  • I think giving each guest room a distinct identity would be so fun. I’m not really into themed rooms, but with guest rooms it seems like you can almost foray into that sort of territory in a grown-up way and have it totally work. You could have “The Bold Room” per se and one that is more serene. Or “The Old School” room. Anything that speaks to you! All my favorite hotels seem to have rooms with very distinct identities which only makes it more fun to stay there and really puts you in the vacation-y mood.

    Having a luxuriously appointed bed–fluffy pillows and all the layers you find on nice hotel beds that make you immediately make you hate your bedroom at home–really make a guest feel welcome. Also, your adorable amenity bar carts from the past! I love that idea. Anything you can choose to make the guest feel like they are being indulged. I think you can go anywhere you want with the decor, so long as you make it into a real experience for the person visiting. Because as much as I love visiting my loved ones and staying in just a “spare bedroom” it is sooooooo much more fun when they have made me and my husband feel truly welcome with little things like snacks and Mad Libs or a little DVD collection and hotel-like linens. My mom does that when we visit and it’s just… thumbs up all around!

    Also, I am obsessed with the pineapple wallpaper from Rifle Paper Co. and want so badly to see it somewhere in your house! A guest room accent wall, where a bed with crisp mostly-white linens will be anchored, seems to make so much sense in my head given the history of the pineapple in the US and its symbolic ties to hospitality and welcoming others. It would just be so fun!

    Can’t wait to see what you do!
    xoxo, Jo

  • I love these posts! I’m house hunting now and it’s making me so excited to start the same adventure you’re on. I can’t wait to see what you do with these rooms. Your designs are always an inspiration!


  • I love all these updates on the house! I can’t wait to see what you do with them!

  • Perhaps you could do a pair of theme rooms, like a ‘Nashville’ room and a ‘Springfield’ room with photos, maps & design elements that pay homage to your hometown & new home. I personally wouldn’t go too too crazy on bright or dark colors, since you want to make sure any guest would feel comfortable.

  • As much as I love the family and friends we visit who lovingly host us, the best guest rooms are the ones that help me distance myself from them at the day and wind down, relax and get some shut eye. Helps me reset to enjoy the next day or fun and/or travel. Comfy bed, a relaxing bath with plenty of hot water, a dark space for some sleep. If those were my guests rooms, I think I’d have some fun with flexible configurations: set ups that would allow an air mattress on the floor if needed, a desk space for a guest with a demanding job who needs to do some work before bed, convenient luggage storage and access to lots of outlets! I also love guest spaces that have a small library or book and magazine collection to peruse, so I would include that!!

  • I can’t wait to see the “after”. Your decorating skills are always so inspiring to me.

    -Kari P.

  • I love that idea! So far all we’ve done is the bunk beds. I’m excited to paint and decorate!
    xx- Elsie

  • I agree with the idea that guest rooms can be a fun place to experiment. You can go a little crazier/different there because it is not an everyday use room and people who do stay there are usually staying for a short time. For some reason, I am thinking striped walls might be kind of cool….Can’t wait to see what you do!

  • I love your before photos but cant wait for the after ones now!!


  • When I had a house, I kinda treated my guest room like most treat their bathroom: an anything goes, fun room! I had an accent wall with ice blue, black and gold polka dots! I think for these, you could pick a neutral palette with one bold accent color and in the other room, FLIP IT!

    Like…white or grey walls, and LIME! and in the other room, an accent wall of LIME (!) and neutral bedding with another fun thing to tie both rooms together like both have gold toss pillows or geometric wall art.

  • In the room with the blue, I love the idea of fun, vintage shapes – perhaps an old dresser with a fun orange lamp, and a black and white striped chair. Even some old school bunk beds! Happy decorating 🙂

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.