Even though I just trekked all the way out to Malibu (oh the horror!) to decorate my sister Tess’ patio and Joey and I helped her decorate her first LA apartment in Mister Sister, I’m not entirely convinced she needed my design help. Case in point — this gorgeous guest room in her and her boyfriend Palmer’s house, which I am all too happy to visit for a night or two when the occasion arises.
Its white and neutral color palette lets the playful elements come in through an innovative combination of textures and some key pieces most people wouldn’t think to put in a guest room!
Below, I’m breaking down the design of this cozy, modern cottage room into 3 main tips. Read it and … sleep!
Tip 1: Test out different textures
What makes Tess’ guest room stand out automatically as a soothing space are the various tones of wood, both painted and natural. Their wood paneled walls are painted a fresh white for that beach-y look, especially when paired with a grey tone hardwood floor (which pssst are laminate!). Also notice that the wood shutter closet doors are painted white and add a subtle change in texture bringing horizontal lines to delicately contrast with the vertical paneling. Bi-fold shutter doors are a quick and easy way to bring in that beach-y look into your space. The headboard, wood top on the mirrored dresser and guitar are also different tones of natural wood but it all works!
Tip 2: Neutrals can be nice
The two most important elements in a guest room are comfort and versatility. It needs to be an inviting place for someone to stay the night, but also be amenable to different types of visitors and their stays. I find that the white and neutral color palette in Tess’ guest room is the perfect calming canvas for her guests to make their temporary home in. Even though you live in your home every day, for those who visit you, it is a getaway, so give them somewhere clean and refreshing with a touch of glamour to spend their time in. But, even if your room doesn’t have different textures in it, you can always bring in that element with an unexpected piece, like the mirrored dresser or side table and all white bedding. The touch of vintage glam adds a new dynamic to the design, and kept the room from looking too much like a traditional beach cottage.
Tip 3: Pop art gives personality without being personal
I’m sure your guests love you but they might not want to sleep underneath a giant photo of you! That’s why old black and white photographs of movie stars (as seen above) or simple art like the palm fronds over the dresser give the room style while not being too personal. The tone of these pieces also offset the beach cottage vibe nicely (just as the mirrored side table) and brings a nice touch of gender-neutrality into the space. The same goes for the guitar, a playful element (no pun intended!) that takes aways the sterile hotel-like quality guest rooms can sometimes have. So cute!
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