Designing a Comfortable, Modern Guest Room

Remember a couple of months ago when I showed you the very colorful design plans I was working on for a client's hip rooftop deck? Well that same client also had two extra bedrooms that he wanted to transform into stylish and comfortable spaces for welcoming guests. Today, I want to show you what we're working on in the larger of the two guest rooms, where we're even managing to squeeze in a little work space as well.

When I toured the home for the first time, the room was literally a blank slate, with two big windows bringing in lots of natural light!  

On the other side of the room, the closet juts out, creating a little nook next to the hallway door.

The bedroom is at the front of the house on the third floor, with the bar and rooftop deck at the back of the third floor. In between the two is this cheerful chartreuse bathroom.  

When designing the rooftop deck, I pulled color inspiration from the orange bar as well as the green and blue tones in the bathroom to create a vibrant outdoor space. When chatting with the homeowner about the color story for the bedroom, we decided to again draw from on the green and blue hues from the bathroom, but because we wanted to achieve a more serene and relaxing vibe, we decided not to pull the orange into the guest room.

During the deck design process, I had so much fun sharing some of the rugs and furniture I was considering with all of you over on Facebook to get your opinions. Based on the response, I think you guys enjoyed it as well, so I decided to again ask your opinions about the guest room design. So before I show you the guest room plans I created for the client, I want to start by reviewing the "Reader's Choice" picks. 

First I asked you which bed you liked best...

BED SOURCE LIST {affiliate links}: A | B | C | D | E
Bed option A - the Zuma Pumice Wingback Bed - won you all over in the voting, and I agree that it's an excellent choice! I'm personally partial to the nailhead detail on option D and the wood trim on option C, but I'll spill the beans and tell you that the client agreed with all of you in picking A!

Next up, I showed you five different abstract art options... all of which pulled in those chartreuse green and aqua blue tones from the bathroom.

ART SOURCE LIST {affiliate links}: A | B | C | D | E

The voting on the art was close! I really thought A was going to win, but after tallying all the votes, it was E by a narrow margin. You know I love this painting too, because it's one of the pieces I have hanging in my laundry room!

And last, but not least, I was really curious to see which rug you guys would choose to pair with the bed and art. The art is pretty bold, so picking a rug to compliment it without competing was challenging. I offered you these four options...

ART SOURCE LIST {affiliate links}: A | B | C | D
Rug C won your votes by a landslide! I think we all agreed that A and D would be a bit too busy with the art {although I did recommend rug D for another spot in the clients house where it looks perfect!}. 

So after all the voting was complete, here's the Readers' Choice room that you all designed:

That's a seriously gorgeous room, you guys! Good work! I hope someone does buy that art and rug combo for their space because it would look amazing just about anywhere - from a bedroom, to a living room, or even in a bathroom!

If you're not already following me on Facebook, come on over because I've got lots more design projects I want to hear your input on!

Before I show you the design plans I created, and the final plans for the room after the client's input, let's first talk about the layout of the space. I wanted this room to function as a home away from home for guests, with room for sleeping, relaxing, and even working, if necessary.

We considered a king bed, but ultimately decided that a queen fit the space better without making the room feel cramped. This allowed plenty of room for a nightstand on one side of the bed, with a dresser and chair at the opposite end of the room. In the nook next to the closet, I proposed adding a small desk give guests I place to set up their laptop while visiting.

Here is the initial design plan that I presented to the client:

SOURCE LIST {affiliate links}: Desk with Shelves | Surf Spray Stool | Seams Framed Art | Porter Bed | Lacquered Nighstand | Metal Works Dresser | Brushstrokes Bedding | Oragami Rug | Bennett Chair

I especially love that desk because it adds so much function while taking up very little visual space! It's perfect for the proposed spot just inside the bedroom door, because it won't make it feel crowed as you enter the room. And by using a stool rather than a chair, it can tuck all the way under the desk when it's not in use.

The art I proposed reminds me of an aerial map - like the way you see the landscape from the window of an airplane. It has just the right shades or chartreuse and aqua to tie in with the bathroom, and I like that the one little touch of orangeish-red ties in with the bar and rooftop deck spaces. I recommended pairing the art with that bold greenish rug because I like the way the lines of the rug also have a map-like quality to compliment the art.

The dresser I recommended is actually made of hot-rolled steel. The sleek lines and industrial style fit the client's modern style, while the textured drawer fronts on the white lacquer nightstand may have pushed him outside of his comfort-zone just a bit. I proposed the brown leather chair to tie in with the brown wood of the dresser {and because I've long been obsessed with this chair, and really want someone to give it a good home!}.

When I present design plans to a client, I always like to show them a few alternatives as well, just to help them visualize some other options. Then once I have their feedback, I can provide additional alternatives for any pieces that they just aren't sure about. These are the initial alternatives that I presented to the client:
SOURCE LIST {affiliate links}: Aqua & Gray Duvet |  Gray & White Duvet | Pale Harbor Duvet | Oliver Bed | Contact Stool | Metal Wrapped Dresser

The client was able to quickly tell me that he liked the brushstroke-style bedding from the original design board better than any of the alternatives I proposed, and he decided to stick with the original rolled metal dresser rather than the metal wrapped option with the wood drawer fronts. He did however, really prefer the industrial style stool, so we swapped that out in place of the aqua stool I had originally proposed.

This brings us to the bed and chair. After looking at the proposed plans, the client told me that he really didn't love nailheads and that he wasn't a big fan of brown, so we went in search of a gray bed without nailheads {tufting and wing-back optional}, and we decided to swap out the brown chair for one in a blue tone instead.

These are all the beds we ended up considering for the space:

BED SOURCE LIST {affiliate links}: Mid-Century Platform Bed | Zuma Pumice Wingback Bed | Baxton Studio Platform Bed | Oliver Bed

In the end, he liked the same one best that you all voted for over on Facebook - the Zuma Pumice Wingback Bed.

Next up - chairs. The space in the corner next to the dresser is perfect for a reading chair, but it needed to be on the narrow side. I think I looked at every aqua/teal chair on the internet in search of options with the right dimensions. Since the client decided he didn't like the nailhead detail on the original headboard, I made hesitated to present him a chair option with nailheads... but the one I liked the shape of the very best had nailhead detailing, so I went ahead and threw it into the mix anyway. He ended up liking the armless chair the best. 

BED SOURCE LIST {affiliate links}: Aurianna Club Chair | Armless Tufted Chair | Curved Arms with Nailheads

Ok, now that you've seen all the options and I've walked you through the whole process... here's the finally design plan that we are executing for the client's guest room! I really love the way it all came together! It's modern but comfortable, and bold while still relaxing.
Comfortable Modern Guest Room Plans
SOURCE LIST {affiliate links}: Desk with Shelves | Contact Stool | Seams Framed Art | Zuma Pumice Wingback Bed | Lacquered Nighstand | Metal Works Dresser | Brushstrokes Bedding | Oragami Rug | Armless Tufted Chair

Ready to see the final before and after? What do you think - is this a guest room you could cozy up in?


  1. Thank you so much for showing us the proces, so helpful. Great bedroom design.

  2. Chartreuse is such a bold colour but the way you’ve styled it into the guest bedroom is brilliant. The other decor palettes are much more muted and neutral, which lets that vibrant rug pop! Can’t wait to see the finished look!