Old House Design One Room Challenge The Scenery House

One Room Challenge Week 1: The Guest Bedroom Plan

April 5, 2018

One Room Challenge Spring 2018 Before

I’ve decided to do a crazy thing (with the sweet encouragement of Ashley from The Gold Hive, one of last year’s winners alongside the fantastic Natasha Habermann) and jump in as a guest participant in the Spring 2018 One Room Challenge! Participating itself is not a crazy thing at all, but I do consider it bold to jump in and get on board less than a week before it kicks off. If you’re not familiar, every spring and fall, 20 featured designers selected by the ORC team participate in a 6-week challenge to decorate one room. In addition to the featured designers, hundreds of other folks with blogs join in on the challenge as Guest Participants <— that’s me.

If you’ve hopped over to this post from the ORC website – welcome! I’m Emily, this is my blog, and I’m working on undecorating the 1929 tudor-ish home I share with my husband, Andy, and our corgi, Penelope. This is where I should describe my style so I guess I’d say it’s something along the lines of traditional-modern which doesn’t sound like a real thing. I am glad you’re here.

So what room am I going to transform over the next 6 weeks? It’s gonna be our guest bedroom! This challenge came at a great time because we were already planning on sprucing up the space for Andy’s dad’s first visit to our home in May. Participating as a guest in the ORC will help me stay on task and stay accountable.

The most dramatic change in this space would typically be painting it a new color. Buuuut we already did that about a year ago. I also blogged about big plans for our moody guest room in this post but never moved forward on more than the paint. For the real, true before, though, let’s go take a stroll back in time and look at where we started.

Listing Photo for Boys Room

Here is the listing photo of the guest bedroom. If you’re not sure, yes the ceiling is blue.


This is a more accurate photo of the green color of this room. The green walls and blue ceiling worked well as a room for the young boy who lived in it, but not so well for soothing our guests to sleep.

Our guests genuinely loved the space lamp, and if I were a fun person, I’d have kept it. The stars and planets glow in the dark, even. I am no fun and it is gone.


Behold the scalloped window shades. This won’t be the last time you see them. They are, in fact, still up in the guest room as I type this.


I include this painting process photo so you can feel like you’re there with me. I’ve always been one to cut in first but I’m hearing so much lately about people rolling first and then cutting in. Also, this is the room where I learned the hard way to always paint the ceiling first.

One Room Challenge Spring 2018 Before

Painting the walls Behr’s Black Evergreen made a HUGE difference in this space. The rug and bed moved over from our apartment guest room as did the desk and chair(s). The only new things we’ve put in this room are the wall hanging, the mushroom lamp, and two pillowcases.

One Room Challenge Spring 2018 BeforeThe vintage end tables from our apartment living room have been serving as nightstands until we find the right replacements. I love them but they are too deep and are too squeezed into the space for my visual comfort.

One Room Challenge Spring 2018 Before

I can’t wait until we have a guest bedroom with two matching nightstand and lamps. I’ve actually never had two matching nightstands and two matching lamps in all my furniture and lamp owning life. I got that lamp with the funky shade from Urban Outfitters probably 10 years ago now. I no longer care for it.

One Room Challenge Spring 2018 Before

The windows in here are beautiful and let in the best light in the afternoon. We have kept the scallop hem shades in here because they are blackout shades and one of the exterior house lights shines in at night.

One Room Challenge Spring 2018 Before

The guest room has a long wall that we’ve left completely blank all this time. The door on the left leads to the hallway and the door on the right is a closet door. I can’t get over how this dark green paint makes the woodwork glow.

The Challenges

  • Creating a space that our guests find comfortable, soothing and perfectly cozy
  • Providing the accommodation of a nice hotel while feeling like home
  • Finding a solution to block out the exterior light and morning daylight for sensitive sleepers
  • Solving the tech charging dilemma – an extension cable propped on top of a nightstand is no longer acceptable

What We’re Planning on Keeping

  • The bed + mattress
  • The ceiling light
  • The ceiling and wall paint
  • The rug

So you’ve seen where we’ve been and where we are, are you ready to know where we’re going?

One Room Challenge Green Guest Room Moodboard

[ Paint | Curtains | Curtain Rods | Roller Blind | Flushmount Ceiling Light | Bed (similar) | Brass Double Lamp | Nightstand | Flower Print | Painting Print | Quilt | Sheets | Dresser | Pink Lamp | Mirror | Blanket Ladder]

These are the beautiful things (or similar beautiful things – I’m giving myself permission to change my mind here) that I’d like to see in this room, along with things we already own. I’m a little worried that the walnut nightstands might be too dark against the light rattan bed and light dresser –> I would love your opinion! I’m also wondering if painting the dresser is the right call too. I definitely want to bring in more pink and gold/rust accents in accessories and bedding because they’ll look so good against the deep green walls.

Guest Bedroom Layouts

Where am I gonna put this stuff?

SketchUp Layout of Current Guest Bedroom

Our current guest bedroom layout is pretty simple and not ideal. The rug placement is awkward, the nightstands are really packed in there, and when two guests stay, one draws the short straw and has to squeeze into the bed on the tight side by the window. I like that this layout allows for a desk, but I’d like to have a dresser in here for guests that stay more than a night or two.

The new layout makes for a much nicer room-entering experience. We are going to add blackout curtains to block unwanted light and layer sheer, light filtering roller shades mounted inside the window frames. Moving the bed to underneath the windows gives us much more room for nightstands and for guests to move around the room comfortably. A small dresser is just enough room to store folded clothing and to give guests surface area to lay out jewelry and odds and ends at the end of the day. Adding a blanket ladder will be a great way to store extra blankets in plain sight and also provide an extra place to hang towels if our guests don’t want to hang them in the bathroom.

That’s so many things! It feels like so much but at the same time, it feels manageable, which worries me because I know myself. I feel a time consuming DIY brewing in my brain.

Remember to follow along and see what the Featured Designers and Guest Participants are up to!

One Room Challenge Guest Participant

Hey heads up: This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

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  • Reply Marti April 5, 2018 at 2:30 pm

    Yay! I’m super excited about this – your plan looks perfect.

    • Reply thesweetbeast April 5, 2018 at 2:38 pm

      Thank you so much, Marti! <3

    • Reply Marti April 5, 2018 at 2:42 pm

      P.S. Good find on those nightstands. I’ve been looking for something exactly like that for my own guest room, having given up on finding a vintage pair with the dimensions I need. Please share a review if you end up ordering them!

      • Reply thesweetbeast April 5, 2018 at 2:46 pm

        Finding affordable (+ nice, + wood) nightstands has been a struggle – I’m almost ready to order these! I love that they have the secret USB ports without looking super modern. I will def give them a thorough review if I order them!

  • Reply Sam | Away She Went April 5, 2018 at 4:16 pm

    Yay! I’m doing my guest room for the One Room Challenge too! I LOVE the wall color you picked out! I want to use it somewhere in my house now. I painted our master bedroom a dark navy a few years ago and still love it. Moody walls work so great in bedrooms. Looking forward to following your progress! Good luck!

    • Reply thesweetbeast April 5, 2018 at 5:31 pm

      That’s awesome! Thank you, moody colors are the best. Our living room is a v dark navy too and we love it. Excited to see how your room turns out too, love those Jenny’s Print Shop prints!

  • Reply Erin Keegan April 5, 2018 at 4:55 pm

    Actually you want a similar bed from your old IKEA one? IKEA is coming out with a new rattan headboard. Same feel but unfortunately it’s wall mounted and platform bottom.

    • Reply thesweetbeast April 5, 2018 at 5:29 pm

      Oops! We’re keeping the IKEA bed we have, but they don’t have it anymore so I linked to one that’s a similar price point and that has a similar lean-y headboard situation and I THINK the same base. Holy crap that new headboard though, that’s so cool. I’m so into the wall mounted headboard trend – thanks for showing me this one, I hadn’t seen it!

  • Reply tim@designmaze April 10, 2018 at 9:12 pm

    loving the plan for a bright and airy bedroom and thanks for sharing the sources too! looking forward to following along!

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