Before & After: Guest Bedroom/Home Office Makeover

We recently completed our guest bedroom/home office and we're excited to finally share the before and after photos of the space with you. When 2020 started, we had no plans to work on our guest bedroom, let alone create a home office, but suddenly it became pretty essential when I started working from home full-time. Our guest bedroom is the last untouched space on the main floor of our house other than our kitchen, and it's about the same size as our main bedroom (which is also pretty small.) We weren't using it for anything other than to house Nick's clothes and a guest bed, but it was admittedly a pretty sad place for guests to stay.

Over the years I had started to brainstorm design ideas for the guest bedroom to keep in my back pocket, but those plans pretty much went out the window when we decided to incorporate a home office into the space as well. I worked from our living room for about the first six months of the pandemic, but having a desk in our living room felt a bit intrusive and was a bit of an eyesore in such a public area of our house. 

Our big project last summer was painting the exterior of our house, so while we were working on that, I started thinking about what our new guest bedroom/home office was going to look like. Since we couldn't dedicate time to both projects at once, I decided to make a moodboard with my thoughts for the space so that I could see how things looked together. This was my first time making a moodboard and it really helped me get excited to work on this room and actually plan things out a bit in advance.

We finally started working on this room once the exterior painting was finished, around late August. As with our other room renovations, we started this project with the messy task of resurfacing the walls with a lot of skimcoating and sanding. Eternally grateful to Nick for taking on this task because it is no fun at all. Next we primed and painted the walls with our go-to paint - BEHR Ultra Pure White. Once all of the walls were painted we installed and painted new trim, and finally we had a clean, blank slate to work with.

Since the room is small, we get the most usable floor space if we have the bed pushed into the corner. Though that's not really typical of a queen bed, I thought it could be cool if we made it seem kind of like a queen daybed, so we made our own wraparound built-in headboard. I was inspired by two separate ideas from Emily Henderson's blog - Emily Bowser's wraparound velvet headboard for the style, and Brady Tolbert's headboard for the color. I actually purchased the same fabric that Brady used and I love it so much in person. To create the headboard panels, we made wooden frames rather than using plywood and it made the headboard pretty light and easy to hang. It's just resting on nails and tucked behind the boxspring so that it doesn't move. The platform bed frame I purchased ten years ago when I graduated from college and moved into my first apartment. It's nothing special, but it does the job and I'm glad we've kept it all these years. The simplicity of it really allows the wraparound headboard to shine.

When gathering the other decor items and textiles for the room, I went with a combination of bigger stores, small businesses, and DIYs. To save on floor space, we built a little nightstand shelf with a pretty narrow profile so that I don't bump into it while working. I also knitted the magenta blanket at the foot of the bed, which sent me on a journey of knitting nearly ten blankets over the fall and winter. I hadn't knitted much in a long time, and it felt very good to create something that prevented me from staring at my phone. Above the bed is a wire sculpture I found on Etsy - there are a few different framed prints in the room, so for above the bed I wanted something a little more sculptural. I painted a pink square behind it to make it pop, and it's one of my favorite things in the space.

We're still using the IKEA Malm dressers, which work great for us. They work perfectly with the drawer dividers that I love, so we can make full use of the dresser space for Nick's folded clothes. In this corner we also hung a beautiful print called Lift from Juniper Print Shop, added a brass lamp, essential oil diffuser, some magazines (for future guests to read), and plants that enjoy this room's natural light. In the closet, we built out a system for Nick's hanging clothes, along with space to keep our hampers. We installed bifold doors that we added the trim boxes to, using the same technique that we've used so many times now - you can see the tutorial here.

For my desk, I wanted to recreate this easy desk idea from Paper & Stitch using the IKEA Ivar cabinet. We only had enough space to use one cabinet, so the other end of the desktop is attached to the wall with support brackets. I really love the clean lines of the deks, and it's nice to keep my computer tower and wires hidden in the cabinet. We cut out space in the back of the cabinet to thread the wires through, which provides some room for air to flow and prevent the tower from overheating. We also added a vent on the side for added air flow, just in case. We also use the cabinet to house our personal MacBooks, pens/pencils, envelopes, and all other desk supplies we seem to accumulate.

Above the desk we added a shelf to house some art and decor, as well as a flip clock that I bought early in the pandemic and really love. Luckily this room gets pretty nice light, so we hung a fern in the corner by the window and it's grown so much over the past year. On my desk we also have some small lemon trees that were gifted from my mom, and our pride and joy - our monstera. I can't wait to see how big it gets in years to come! Behind the monstera is another Juniper Print Shop print because you'll find Juniper everywhere in our house (sadly this print is no longer available.)

I've been working from this room about six months now and it's truly been a blessing to have a dedicated space to work during the pandemic. I'm also glad that it's given us a reason to utilize this space more than we would have. Our house is probably pretty small to many people (~1,200 sqft), but honestly doesn't feel that small to us, especially when there are rooms that we're not really using that much, like this guest room. It feels good to take full advantage of this space in our house and it's made our home feel just a little bigger in a time when I'm not seeing much outside these four walls. Can't wait for the day we can have some vaccinated guests make use of it too!

Here are the sources for everything (but if I missed something, please let me know):

Wall Paint (BEHR Ultra Pure White) - Home Depot

Bifold Closet Doors - Lowe's (Trim DIY)
Hampers - Goodee

Dresser - IKEA

Dresser Drawer Dividers - Amazon

Hand Print (Lift) - Juniper Print Shop

Gold lamp - Target

Dresser Tray - West Elm

Essential Oil Diffuser - Target

Window Shades - Home Depot

Black & White pillow - Jungalow (no longer available)
Orange & Magenta shag pillow - Jungalow (no longer available)
Cream textured fringe pillow - Ecovibe (no longer available)
Gray linen pillow - West Elm

White Quilt - Target (no longer available)
Magenta blanket - DIY (knitted with Bernat Blanket Extra yarn)
Headboard Fabric - Famcor Fabrics

Nightstand shelf - DIY
Bedside sconce - Matt Alford Studio (Etsy)

Wire lady art - SmithyShop (Etsy)

Desk cabinet - IKEA

Desktop - Lowe's

Desk chair - Poly & Bark (no longer available, similar here)
Triangle shelf brackets - Danish Design Store

Flip clock - Ecovibe (no longer available)
Full-length mirror - IKEA

Ceiling light fixture - Illuminate Vintage

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Thanks for reading!
Sarah & Nick