Emma’s Guest Bedroom (Before + After)

Emma's guest beedroom tourOne of my goals for the summer was to (finally) finish our guest bedroom. During the first year and a half that I owned my home I had a roommate who occupied this room (my little brother—best roommate ever!). Soon after that, Trey and I got married and started living together, and this room became at times kind of a catch-all or junk room. I did finally get it to a place where someone could stay with us. That's how you see it in the photo below.

Guest room before and afterI wish I had taken a photo of this room when I first moved in because it also had stained, dark tan carpet which I eventually upgraded to wood laminate to match the rest of the house. In the before picture you can see the original paint color. 

I had a few goals with this room before I began. First off, the room is the smallest of my three-bedroom house. I've had smaller bedrooms in my life, but still, I didn't want to add any elements that would make it feel smaller. I wanted to open the room up while adding cozy touches. 

My second goal was, honestly, to keep it simple. I wanted to have a put-together space that friends and family could crash in when they were visiting. But I didn't want to sink a bunch of money into the room since Trey and I really don't use it much ourselves. Most weeks I hardly even go in that room except to water the plants.

Emma's guest beedroom tour    Bedframe diyEmma's guest beedroom tour     The first thing we did was paint the walls and trim white to match the ceiling. I also had my dad help me remove the oversized ceiling fan and replace it with a much smaller (but still bright) light. This helped visually open up the space a little more.

While planning, I decided I wanted to keep the furniture to a minimum as the room could very easily begin to feel overfilled quickly. Obviously we had to have a bed for guests (it's a queen that we already owned from Trey's previous loft). The chest was something Trey had bought years ago, and it now holds extra blankets and bedding. I got the dark rug on sale last year, and I love the contrast it adds to the room. I picked up the small leather chair that sits in the corner from a local flea market one weekend.

Corner chairEmma's guest beedroom tour  I hung a few magazines using wooden clothing hangers. I try to keep the magazines somewhat up-to-date for guests. I also hate to throw magazines away, as they often have content as good as a book (just shorter usually), so it seems a waste that they are so disposable, you know? 

Emma Chapman Hanging globesThis is my favorite part of the room—the hanging globes in the corner. The flameless candles offer a safer alternative, while the little lights add a cozy feeling to the room, especially at night!

Emma's guest beedroom tour      Cactus and succulentsVintage owlEven though the room is super simple, there are quite a few fun details that I love. I added some glass containers to the top of the chest that hold snacks and travel toiletries for guests. I really stole this idea from my sister. I also love the potted cactus and succulent mini garden. Now we'll just have to see if I can keep them all alive (I'm the worst with plants!). Also, on one wall there's a macrame owl that I thrifted a few months ago, a photo of Trey and me from our one year anniversary pictures, and a fun photo I took while in Seattle recently. 

Side table diySide table diy Our guest bedroom features a few DIY projects throughout, since that's one of the best ways to keep your budget low on nearly any decor project. We kept the Light Up Headboard my dad and I made a few years ago. I also built the bed frame, and I'll share that sometime this week (spoiler: it's really simple). 

Since I didn't want to add too much furniture to the room, I couldn't decide if I should add some kind of side table next to the bed or not. In the end, I decided to since it's nice to have a place to put your phone or a glass of water. I used a jigsaw to cut out a circular piece of plywood to fit in the corner of the room. I sealed it with polyurethane and then attached it to the wall with shelf brackets. I had collected these two branches from a park about nine months ago and had let them dry out in my garage. Then I peeled off the bark, sanded them down, and sealed them with polyurethane. It's a very similar process to how I made my own stump side tables, so check out that tutorial if you're interested. 

Emma's guest beedroom tour       Leather chairVintage owl 25Emma's guest beedroom tour   The oversized print above the chest is actually a photo of Trey I took while we were in Costa Rica this year. I used some of the actions from the Folk Collection to change it black and white and also add a double exposure. Then I had it printed at Kinkos (it's a blue print copy, like what they use for building plans), and it cost right around $10. Inexpensive, but personal, art; love it! Plus usually his sister Kat (remember Kat? She taught us about wine here and here) and her husband usually stay with us during the holidays, and I know they'll get a kick out of this photo of Trey. 🙂

Emma ChapmanThanks for letting me share our guest bedroom with you! If you enjoyed this, then I know you'll love seeing both my and Elsie's houses in our upcoming book Happy Handmade Home. Just saying. (Pre-order, pre-order, pre-order… Yes, I'm subtle.)

Also, I'm going to try to list and add links to all the stuff you see in my room in case you have questions. But if I miss anything, or if you have any other questions, please let me know. Thanks! xo. Emma

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman. Photography: Janae Hardy. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions. Duvet Cover/Ashley G for UO (similar), rug/West Elm, hanging globe lights/CB2, plant stand and chair/vintage, light fixture and plant pot/Lowe's, chest/old and we repainted it

  • I love that idea of flameless candles in the hanging globes! So creative, and would be so lovely and cozy!

  • Love the globes!!! What kind of fasteners did you use for the filament. I have textured ceilings and don’t want to damage the finish. They look very unobtrusive.

  • I loved the hanging globes so much i went out and bought them! I have a bunch of them now but I have no idea how to hang them up like you did on the ceiling. Any tips?

  • Ahhhhhh! I love you guys but, please!!! Those brackets on the side table have got to go. Makes that corner look so cheap! Love everything else xoxo

  • I love this guest bedroom my favorite features are the floating globes, the chest and the twig side table. Great job decorating!

  • Lovely 🙂 That wall color is EXACTLY what I am looking for to paint my living area! Which one is it???

  • I know that no one would know where you’re talking about if you didn’t mention Kinko’s, but they’re called FedEx Office… and were bought about 10 years ago by them. It’s interesting because at our branch (and I imagine all the branches, I’m from Louisville, Kentucky) we had to have something that said, “Kinko’s Copying Inside!” In the couple of years that I worked there, my most common question was probably, “When did you guys change to FedEx?!” and then talking about their project. 🙂

  • Hey Emma! Love this new project. I discovered your site recently via Design Sponge a while back with your weaving diy. I’m already on my 3rd weave now! For the globes, just wondering what you used to hang them? I am curious to see as it looks like it’s on there with very little hardware. Thank you!

  • So sweet – I want a sleepover! I love that you prepare those glass containers for your guests. Also really really need those hanging globes asap!

    Warm regards,

  • Hello!
    what a lovely room!
    very neat and simple!
    I wonder where you found that fantastic flower pot pedestal/stand?


  • Love that blueprint! Love the symmetrical sort of geometric look mixed with a candid and comical vibe. I would buy that.

  • I’m in love with this room! Everything is so put together and there’s a nice open feel to the room. My favorite part is all of the little personal touches such as, the art and the DIY projects. Its just so awesome!


  • OOOOOhhh !!!! what a lovely place is now !!! with every simple detail !

  • Oh my gosh it turned out beautifully! My favourite part is definitely the rug – I love the colour and it’s definitely the backbone of the room. I also love the lights in the corner above the chair though they do look like they would be a pain to turn on and off!

    Erin // http://www.beingerin.com

  • I like everything is this room. I find everything smart, especially the clothing hangers. What a cool idea!! Love it! Thansk for sharing


  • Lots of cute ideas here! I’m planning out my guest room at the moment, and I love the chest and chair and magazine holder ideas! 🙂 And if I didn’t have a bed head idea in mind already, I would so try something like this!

  • I just love the globes! but, how did you fix it at the ceiling? I would like to hand some globes over my bed, but have no idea how to do…

    xx Viktoria

  • You really did a great Job!!!
    It looks so calm and cozy, and the hanging globes are just amazing!! Did you order them in the internet?

  • I absolutely love this spare room makeover and how you make the most of the space available. I hate overcrowded rooms and this perfect, I especially love the side table – you are so talented.


  • I love it, Emma!
    The room feels so cozy, minimalist and relaxing, I would love to spend some time in it for sure, your guests are going to be more than pleased there!
    I’m loving your house so far I cannot wait to receive your new book!

    Ester 🙂

  • Globe lights…awesome! Magazine holders….brilliant! The one thing I would miss is a bedside lamp for reading those magazines or to keep me from stumbling to the door on those midnight runs to the bathroom.

  • Ok – seriously? the hangers for the magazines – brilliant

  • How did you hang the glass globes – I couldn’t see any hooks in the photos. I’ve wanted to do a similar thing but worried about marking up a big chunk of ceiling!!

  • I just love this Emma! I bought my first house this year and the guest room is the last room I need to redo. Thanks so much for all the great ideas (and all the ones to come in Happy Handmade Home)!

    One question: How did you hang the globes? I saw them on CB2 a while back, but there were no details on how to hang them. I love that you don’t see anything on your ceiling.

  • This is really great, Emma! I love how soothing and neutral the room is while also being interesting! There are some great touches but still simple enough that a guest would feel comfortable spreading out and not like they are infringing on your ‘things’. I love this!

  • Emma this room is stunning. You’ve done a great job! I love how fresh and uncluttered it is but you still managed to include fun and personal details. I recently bought my first home and will be moving in around Christmas time so the guest room will be one of the first rooms I’ll need to decorate. Thanks for the inspiration!!

    Hannah x

  • How did you hang the globes?! I have very similar ones but have been stumped.

  • LOVE IT!!! The room looks amazing!!!

    jack – http://jackedwardbevan.blogspot.co.uk

  • Yes, I used fishing line and thumb tacks with white tops because they blend in with my white ceiling. If you can’t find white topped tacks or you have a colored ceiling you could always paint the tops to match.

    Good luck!


  • Hanging globes, ordered! 🙂 Could you give any tips for hanging them? I love how clean it looks. Did you use fishing line? How did you adhere them to the ceiling? Maybe beginner questions, but, well, that’s exactly who I am!

    I love so many of the elements in this room and have been thinking all day of ways to adapt some of them to my space. Beautiful vision, Emma!

  • You know what? I have a basement bedroom that’s barely been touched, company coming this weekend, and I think I’m going to incorporate at least three of your ideas in there TONIGHT. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • I adore how simple this guest bedroom is. David and I have a spare room in our apartment that is home to his closet and our desktop, but I’ve been wanting to change it into a separate craft room and/or guest room for when my sisters or our friends stay the night. I really, really like the idea of handing magazines on a hanger! Perfect! I think I might do that in my bathroom, actually. 😉


  • I would so love to see a shot of the glass globes all lit up at night! Great space. 🙂

  • Can I just have a sleepover at your house? I love that your guest bedroom looks so cozy! And you have snacks! 😀

  • I love the big print of Trey! I have a few large pieces of art and I was wondering what you used to secure it to the wall since it’s not in a frame. I’ve used furniture nails in the past, but the corners always curl up after awhile, any tips?

  • You have very unique, different style that I would never think of but I still can appreciate. You also have good taste in magazines 😉

  • I love the coat hangers on the wall with magazines!

    Come see me: www.bicyclestograpefruit.blogspot.com

    You’ll get a cookie! (you might need to buy it yourself….but still 😉

  • ohhh so cute! I love the headboard, the “side” table with tree limbs, the tea lights…I love it all! I feel so inspired to do more DIY projects for furniture and decorations. Thanks for sharing!!

  • I love this room and it is the size of my bedroom. I have…HAD no idea what to do with it, thank you for sharing! It will eventually become a guest bedroom, and I love the touches you added specifically for guests.
    (I know Springfield has a Staples – their blueprints are cheaper. I got a blueprint this size for about $7 at the Staples in Rolla.)

  • I really enjoy the brightness of the room. The light & the white walls help to open up the space. It’s rustic & homey. I love the sleepover decal! :] // http://www.itscarmen.com ☼

  • Beautiful. The sleepover headboard is wonderful 🙂

  • This is a lovely and cozy place with minimum details that stand out so well…love this room, and love everything in it… i need this room in my house!



  • The best kind of simple is when you can tell it’s well thought out even when it’s not cluttered. Not that things don’t just throw themselves together sometimes, but just saying 🙂 I really like it! And I’m usually the (hopefully artful) cluttered type 🙂

  • This is so pretty Emma! I love the clean and simpleness of the room, yet it’s so cozy! 🙂

  • It is so simple yet so chic, it’s the perfect bedroom for guests… absolutely beautiful.

  • I still love that Sleepover headboard! It’s one of my favorite projects you gals have done!

  • What a beautiful guest room! I LOVE those hanging globes. What an awesome space, Emma!

  • My absolute favorites are the floating candles 🙂 Amazing idea and so simple!


  • INCREDIBLE. This is actually perfect.


  • Not sure if it’s my style (I’m kind of girly ;p), but this is such a cool space!
    You guys used so many unique details I never would’ve thought of (ie: those hangers!)

  • Oh I love this room, it looks great the little frameless candles are so cute, the big print looks great 🙂

  • Ooh la dally! This is marvelous. I’m a ‘lil ol’ college student living at home and my room is packed with the stuff I want to take when I leave. I’m pinning this for reference though! I can’t wait to have my own place to decorate and design. I love the different colors and textures here – especially the long curtains, color-block bedspread, the rug and the leather chair.

  • Oh my cat!! I am so obsessed with the hangers as a magazine rack! This is so perfect for our rental, because we can’t put too many holes in the wall. Thank you for the inspiration. 🙂

  • Woow! You guys can seriously work some magic!
    You can invite to come over and stay in the guest bedroom any time you want haha

  • It’s just from Lowes. They have a couple color options and I honestly forget which one this is as I had them done about a year and half ago now (should have written that down!). I already had wood laminate in my hallways and living room (came with the house) so I picked a color to match. I might go with grey or a an almost white if I had been able to pick anything, but I like this color too.

    It holds up really well but I would not recommend it for rooms with lots of moisture (like kitchens and bathrooms). I have tile in my kitchen and bathrooms (used to have laminate in both bathrooms when I moved in) and it’s great for spills and clean up.


  • Honestly I wish I had vintage wooden ones for this room—good save!


  • I’m not sure you can see it but I also have blinds on the windows. They are those inexpensive, plastic kind that you can just pull a string and they go up or down. I have those in my bedroom too (also have almost sheer, white curtains in there) and they block the light pretty well. Not as well as a more heavy duty alternative though, so if you’re the kind of person (or if my guests where, in this case) who really needs a room to be completely dark in order to get a good nights sleep I would not recommend this type of curtain.


  • You know, I’m loving the whole minimalist look more and more lately too. 🙂


  • love the light idea! this room is great, cannot wait for the bed post!!! we are going to be moving soon & i need fresh ideas!


  • Oh Emma this is so cute!! Love the little jars of goodies for your guests. Lovely post!


  • This room is lovely! So cozy and welcoming. I really like the style of this post too – just to let you know. The informal/walking us through the process/casual dialogue is fun! xoxo

  • Totally love your guest room! My favorites are the Sleepover headboard, the hanging clear globes & the customized picture of Trey. Thank you for sharing that great customized art idea (and so affordable!).
    -xo Jessy

  • Loving the bright open feel! And the corner shelf is so neat!


  • Now this is a guest bedroom I wouldn’t mind sleeping in, or even living in! I love the ‘sleepover’ writing and the hanging globes help create the cozy vibe. I’ve never seen magazines hung up on wooden clothing hangers but I love that idea!


  • Oh I just LOVE it! That headboard alone is so darling!


  • Love this! It’s amazing what a room spruce-up can do! I love the warmth that the rug + ( adorable ) light fixture adds! Plus, that PRINT! Learning about new kinkos hacks that cost next to nothing are my favorite – plus it’s a great way to utilize your own artwork! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Wowie the transformation in this room is just awesome! It really does look amazing x


  • It turned out amazing! Love the idea with the branched and shelves xx


  • I love this, Emma! I wish I was better at DIY projects. I would never even think to do half of this! My favorite is the headboard and using the wooden hangers as a magazine rack (genius!).


  • Emma! I’m about to redo my floors and I’m looking into wood laminate. I love what you used, any chance I can get the source? and is it holding up ok?

  • Love the simple, clean feeling this room has!! I like that it is mostly neutral and caters to your guests needs. Definitely great inspiration for a future guest room!!

  • Can i be her guest for a day? > < Lovely place! http://nathaliakalil.com.br/

  • Amazing interior!

    OXANAMUA Beauty Blog by Oksana JansonNEW POST! Bridal makeup tips/longlasting makeup tips.
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  • I love those hanging globes… nice inspiration! also the SLEEPOVER over the bed is awesome! all in all, a beautiful room !


  • Love this! Think I need to steal a couple of these ideas for my own guest bedroom, like the jars of useful stuff and those coathanger magazine racks–would be perfect use for those vintage wooden coathangers I inherited from my 100 year old grandmother (everyone thought I was a weirdo for wanting them haha). Love the wood in the corner too! Can I come stay? 🙂

  • I’m dying over this room! The fresh white with the natural woods and hits of black are right up my alley. And those hanger magazine holders are so freaking cute. You’re such a creative genius! xoxo, Sarah

  • Emma, so nice and beautiful and stylish and ….

    I love your guestroom.
    And i want to be your guest ;-))

    Greetings & Love


  • Emma! This is beautiful. My two favorite things are the corner shelf with the walking sticks and also the magazines on the hangers. Such a cool feature.

  • love the bubble lights idea. may have to steal that idea for my room. 😉

    also, fyi, i preordered the book and on the email that is sent with the link for downloads, it says the prints come in two different sizes but gives dimensions for three sizes. i doubt it matters but just thought i would let you know just in case you were wondering. ha. 🙂

    can’t wait for the book! love yall’s work.

  • Love this makeover!! The hanging magazines is such a cute idea 🙂

    xo, erica

  • Awesome guest room. I love the little side table you made and using hangers for the magazines is a great idea. And the succulent garden, so cute!

  • Emma, I love the room and your tips; this style reminds me of my own apartment. I just have one question about the curtains. I love sheers in bright white rooms, but at night the room seems to be too dark to sleep in. (And there are lights outside the apartment.) But light blocking white curtains are hard to find, and they change the texture of the room dramatically. Do you find that guests have any trouble sleeping in a white room with sheer curtains? Do you have any suggestions?

  • I love this! The magazines on hangers is such a cute idea, and I am so crushing on that sleepover headboard!

  • i am in love with those little hanging globes!! this room is so beautiful and i love all the little details!! xoxo

  • This is exactly how I’d have a guest room. I wouldn’t say it’s simple at all. It’s bright without being cold, the wood really brings character to it from the branches to the door and floor and the art actually means something.

  • Emma, I should have known the way you “design” with food you’d be able to do the same with decor in a room…you are so so talented in many ways, thanks for the great ideas!

  • Awesome sauce! I’m not a fan of furniture, I have to say, I like open spaces and I think you used the space really wisely. Yup.

  • Great job! It’s simply yet super stylish! And looks super comfortable, that’s the most important thing, no?

  • Absolutely love the hanging globes !


  • The bubble lights are so adorable!! I love that idea….and I kinda want to try it in my bedroom! lol! LOVE that headboard too!

  • It looks so amazing! It’s so simples but still it looks so cosy! Congratulations xx

  • I love your side table/shelf! Very unique, cool, and useful without being bulky and in the way. The branches really add a nice rustic touch!

  • the more i saw, the more i loved! the bubble lights + magazine hangers are marvelous!

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