The gaudy lamp an aunt gave you. Old clothes waiting to be donated. A stack of books you’ve been meaning to read.

Guest bedrooms tend to be a catch-all for the stuff we’ve been meaning to get around to, get rid of or just don’t know what to do with. But instead of scrambling to clean it when a family member or friend asks to crash, why not commit to giving your guest bedroom the makeover it deserves, so it’s always room-and-board-ready?

When interior designer Keela Richards, owner of Kay’s Décor and Interiors, decided to redecorate her guest bedroom, she did something she’d never do with her clients: design-as-you-go. But the end result was a relaxing retreat that welcomes guests and sets the stage for a good night’s sleep.

“The funny part is, I originally didn’t have a vision for the room. I knew what I wanted to have in paint colors, and when the painters came, I literally had not pulled my colors together,” Richards said. “The vision grew as I was going.”

She’d settled on Sherwin-Williams’ Amazing Gray (SW 7044), a neutral that goes with just about anything “but, depending on the light, it’ll trick you,” Richards said, noting it can appear brown-gray during the day and a soft, greenish tone at night. She decided to stick with neutrals throughout the rest of the space — taupes, grays and whites — so if she craves a pop of color, she can easily add it without overhauling the entire room. Next was a mix of design elements.

“I did know that I wanted different textures, because different textures is a big, trending thing,” Richards said.

Other trending styles for guest bedrooms are textured wallpaper, upholstery headboards, warm colors and “nature-inspired” design, Richards said.

A white, sheepskin chair with lucite legs, a luxuriously soft throw reminiscent of a Chinese Shar-Pei’s coat, and glossy throw pillows offer some textural variety and keep the eye interested, while big furnishings anchor the room. Richards said she’s had the bed, a traditional frame, since she and her family moved into the house. One of the side tables was passed down from her mom and the other came from her first apartment.

“Believe it or not, everything is kind of swinging its way back around,” Richards said.

New artwork and window treatments are inexpensive ways to spruce up a guest bedroom, along with a new paint job, Richards said. Artwork can come from anywhere: Garage and estate sales, the ever-popular HomeGoods, or more boutique options if you can afford it.

With window treatments, Richards suggests buying off the shelf and adding something to it for a custom look without the custom price, which is what Richards did with the panels in her guest bedroom, topping with fabric to make them just the right length.

“A lot of times, your panels are not long enough for the high ceilings,” Richards said. “I have a thing with taking window treatments as high as I can get them, because that elongates your window.”

Richards then attached the panels to boards, which are attached to the wall, creating a seamless look opposite the bulk of brackets and other hardware, a method often used in interior design, Richards said.

“The 2017 modern interior design trends are about creating fundamentally new things out of old items, while turning recycled and eco-friendly materials into something beautiful for home furnishings,” Richards said.



Nicole has been in the writing business for 10 years, having written and/or edited for Cobb and Cherokee Life Magazines Neighbor Newspapers, and the Georgia Department of Public Health, among others.

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