Guest Bedroom Project: The Planning Stage

I believe that updating a room is a rite of passage for anyone who has a blog about interiors. And rightfully so! If you're preaching it, you should be able to take action on it yourself. With this in mind, I'm very excited to take on my first big home project: my guest bedroom!

Instead of doing one big reveal, I'm going to take you along the way and present everything transparently, including the budget.


Currently, this room is a drop zone. In fact, I had to haul a mound of unfolded clothes off the bed in order to take these photos. Also, nothing matches. I just put everything that didn't really go anywhere else in here because we don't use this room often. I'm going to sell of a lot and keep a few key pieces that will work for the new design!


I posted a poll on my Instagram story to see what most of my followers would spend on a guest bedroom "renovation." I probably should have used a better word to describe what will be happening to my guest room, which is more of an "update." Most answers hovered around the $1,000 mark, which is what I had planned on budgeting for the project, with a goal to keep it around $800. Keep in mind that I already own a few large items that might normally eat up a lot of the budget. I'll detail them below.

In the spirit of transparency, at my current phase of life -- newly married, twenty-six, working off a pretty strict home budget --- I wouldn't normally spend $1,000 to update a rental home guest bedroom. And certainly not all at once. The reason I'm doing this rom update is because 1) I want to take on a project for the blog and 2) I cashed out some savings bonds my grandmother had put away for me and, after investing, decided she would be pleased if I used some of the funds for something fun and creative.

... and maybe 3) because we are still pretty much stuck at home and I need to challenge myself to do something creative before I lose my mind! Working from home in a pandemic is not easy, especially when you're used to working in an office. I think it is healthy to flex our creative muscles and work with our hands when we start feeling discontent or "stuck" in a situation.

Back to the room update, I also feel that I'm pretty good at picking pieces I'll like for a while. We're renting now but I assume we will have a guest room at a future home, so the plan is to invest in pieces that in standard sizes so I can use them in the future.

The only element that isn't going to fit into that philosophy is the stick-on-wallpaper I plan to purchase. But we will get to that later! For now, let's look at where I'm starting. Here are the pieces I own and plan to use in the room:


Via our wedding registry, I own this Anthropologie Rivulets Quilt in peach. In person, it has more of a pink/peach tone than orange/peach. This bedding will be the main color driving every other decision made for the room.


I'm starting off strong with my family's antique wooden headboard. When designing, the bed is always a hard item to select because it can set the tone for a room. Luckily, I was able to drive this piece cross-country in my Uhaul last summer and can check "bed" off my to-purchase list.

It is only a headboard (as opposed to a bed with a frame) so I paired it with the queen bed frame I have from Amazon. It isn't the most sturdy (because I'm not connecting the frame and the headboard, which you can do with some power tools or most freestanding upholstered headboards) but it'll work for a guest bedroom.

For now, I'm definitely not painting it. I love the color and warmth of the wood, especially considering that I will have a painted dresser on the opposite side of the room. It is important to mix your materials and textures.


I've mentioned the dresser before when referring to my design blunder. In short, I bought this dresser for $75 on Facebook marketplace while I lived in Birmingham. I color-matched the paint color to the mountains in a wedding photo I planned to hang above the dresser. Well, we moved and our house doesn't have a spot for the vignette I was so excited about. I still love the dresser and will simply have to repaint it! It needs new knobs as well.

One Curtain Rod and Curtain (I have two windows)

Ha, ha. Yes, I have one curtain rod and one set of curtains up in my guest room that has two windows. I purchased them when we first moved in, thinking I would use my "home goods" budget allotment the following month to complete the set. Well, I did not and the room still has one naked window. The curtains are super sheer from Target, which is fine 99% of the time but not great the 1% when someone is spending the night, although we do have blinds. I might move this set to the living room (which will leave two untreated windows there in the meantime) and start fresh with some thicker curtains for this room.


I have a really cool, antiqued mirror that has already been hung on the wall. It weighs about 70 lbs and has to be specially hung, so I had the handyman I hired on Thumbtack take care of it when we first moved in. Luckily, it will work with the rest of the items I have planned to use and it is hung in a good spot.

Petite Chair

This cute little chair was my Grammy's and holds a lot of sentimental value for me! The wood tone is similar to the tone of the headboard, which is a great perk. The pink fabric will also work with the vision.

Next Step: Vision Board

At its core, my style is feminine. I always gravitate toward these looks and while I wouldn't want every room in my house to go overboard with wallpaper, pattern and texture, I love it for a space like a guest bedroom or powder bath.

My next step was to create a vision board. I threw this one together pretty quickly because it is somewhat subject to change. Right now, the #1 thing I want to test is this wallpaper, then I'll really go from there. The other specific items aren't as important right now, but will be when (and if) I can confirm the wallpaper.

The wallpaper is from Etsy, which I first linked in this Friday Favorites. It is stick-on, which is renter friendly! I've ordered a sample ($12, which will be accounted for in the budget) to make sure it will look good with the bedding. I'm thinking the flowers in the paper will coordinate really well with the bedding.

The wallpaper will also help me determine which color I should paint the dresser. I'm thinking a warm gray as of now but we will see.

The wallpaper has great reviews and solid customer photos (above).

If it works color-wise, my next step is to measure the wall where I plan to install it, then place the order! After that, I'll really dig in to the other pieces I'll need for the room.

I also need to start selling a lot. I need to get rid of my current rug, end table, wall mirror, some pillows... Facebook Marketplace, here I come.

Thanks for following along. I look forward to hearing your opinions along the way. Stay tuned!!