Before Pictures + Gameplan for Chicago Guest Room Space

I’ve had a lot of fun helping my family members out as they’ve decorated their Chicago pads. You guys all know (& love!!) the spaces in my mom’s condo. We’ve truly transformed her space from top to bottom, and besides the bathrooms, we’re pretty much done with her place. Which makes me sad because she was the best “client” ever!

I’ve also shared my brother Ryan’s condo here on the blog. Here’s his master bedroomRyan's master bedroom in his Chicago condo

It was definitely a fan favorite and it was fun to design such a large and grand room! I also helped Ryan and his girlfriend Sarah as they chose pieces for their living room.Ryan's living room space

I think it came together beautifully and I really love the layout and look of this layered space. Plus, I think their style totally suits them as a couple…kinda modern, hip, and contemporary.

Chicago Guest Room – BeforeChicago guest room before makeover

They recently came to me and asked if I’d help them with their guest room. It’s been a bit of a hodgepodge since they moved in and they finally want to give it a cohesive look. Built-in closet in guest room

My brother also uses this room as his personal dumping ground (sorry Ry, but we know it’s true) because he stores all of his clothing and his (impressive) sneaker collection in the closet in here. While it’s totally fine for him to store items in the guest room, his stuff is spilling out into the space which doesn’t make for the coziest spot for guests.

I think guest rooms should really be pared way back because guests will always be bringing their own belongings into the room. So start with cozy furnishings and add only a few key accessories. Other than that, I think it’s great to keep most surfaces pretty clear. Windows and doors in guest room

The room itself is massive…even larger than our master bedroom! Plus, it’s already really gorgeous with the molding, high ceilings, and large windows. I feel like a few small changes in here can go a long way for a refreshed look and more cohesive design plan. Old tall dresser before makeover

All of the furniture in the space is inexpensive stuff that they brought from their former places, so they’re ready to buy some better quality pieces. Chicago guest room before

The only piece of furniture they really want to keep is the bed itself. The headboard is from Room & Board and it’s a really nice quality piece. Plus, the light wood will pair well with pretty much anything we bring into the room. Everything else in the room will probably be sold or donated!

Bedroom Inspiration

I had Sarah make a Pinterest board with some of the rooms that have caught her eye lately. We also chatted about how she wanted the room to feel. She wants it to feel cozy and welcoming for guests and is really drawn to darker walls (as evidenced by these inspiration pics below). Bedroom inspiration from Studio McGee

Photo via Studio McGee

Bedroom inspiration from The Gold HivePhoto via The Gold Hive

Bedroom from Emily HendersonPhoto via Emily Henderson

Bedroom from Cohesively curatedPhoto via Cohesively Curated

Obviously, I’m a big fan of a dark color on the walls in a guest room as evidenced by my own guest room space. It just makes the room feel so comforting. I also loved the curtains in the inspiration pics we found. Those also add more warmth and layers to each room (and are incredibly functional!).

Chicago Guest Room – Design Planguest room rendering

After some discussion and lots of ogling at inspiration photos, we came up with a plan of attack for this Chicago guest room. Here’s a rendering I had made to give us the basics of the space (obviously we’ll add accessories, pillows, etc.). This just helped us both visualize how we want this guest room to look.

Paint: We’re going dark, people! We discussed dark gray and dark blue paint colors but ultimately decided to try a deep green for the guest room. I think it’s going to make the room feel oh so cozy, and the white trim and tall ceilings will really pop! More details on the color we chose and lots of pictures next week on the blog.

Furniture: As I mentioned a minute ago, we’re keeping the bed but pretty much everything else is going away. Because the walls will be so dark, you don’t want to choose furniture that will blend in with them. I’m eyeing a few large nightstands with light wood (swooning over this one and this one), but have yet to find a good dresser. I’d love to find a unique piece, so maybe we’ll hit up some antique stores in the coming weeks. I’m also thinking we’ll place the long dresser on the wall that’s on the left right when you walk in (instead of having it where the dresser currently resides now).

Curtains: They have window treatments in this room that we’re going to keep (the roller shades), but I also want to add curtains. I just think it will make a big statement on the far wall and draw the eye up. We’re planning to go high and wide (a must when hanging curtains!), and will probably choose a light cream or gray. I just ordered samples from this company, so I’ll keep you guys updated on that front. Also, thoughts on the curtain rod? We usually do black, but with the dark walls, I’m thinking a brass might be cool…

Art/Accessories: I really want to get the big furniture pieces in place before shopping for art, a rug, lamps, and accessories. I have been eyeing this rug from McGee + Co. (that price is amazing for them!) and I like these lamps. Once we get some of the bigger pieces in there, I’ll feel more confident choosing the accessories. One step at a time…

I’ll be sure to keep you guys updated on this guest room progress. And let me know if you have any additional ideas for this room. Would love to hear your thoughts!


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.