Guest room + home office update

#shop#ICantEven #BigLots #CollectiveBias


It seemed fitting that after I had my office makeover Benjamin deserved an update for his office/our guest room. There were a few things that needed to be replaced in the room – I bought some furniture before we were married and he was such a great sport with putting up with the shabby chic look which has been trying to evolve to a sophisticated Ralph Lauren look. Let’s be real and say it’s a struggle trying to make those two work.

Do you have a room that collects the random things and slowly becomes a mix of every style you’ve gone through?

Here’s what the room looked like before:

before-home-office-guest-room-before-117big-lotshome-office-guest-room-before-112 big-lots-home-office-guest-room-before-113

After much persuading, Benjamin agreed to update this guest bedroom and office space. The first investment was a large piece of furniture that would set the tone of the room. Our first stop was Big Lots to look for a few furniture items that what would work for his paperwork, medical device products, and have plentiful drawers for our guests.


We decided on the Kingston Dresser which I thought was stylish with the cherry parquet finish, dovetail joints (huge detail for me to see quality) and glides for easy opening of the drawers.

It was a significant upgrade in style and functionality from the white distressed dresser we had before.


Styles and assortment vary by store – at my store, there was an abundance to choose from including Serta mattresses, couches, television stands, bed frames, and side tables. While I looked at candles and picture frames, Benjamin wandered around the store filling up the cart with other things we needed – like velvet hangers, and LED bulbs.

Here’s the after:


I love how the Kingston Dresser warms up the room. The scale of the dresser paired with the large oil painting Benjamin bought before we were married just looks perfect on the wall. The hat is actually an Indiana Jones leather hat he bought when we were at Disneyworld, it’s wonderful to display travel souvenirs!


Tips on updating a room

1. Clear the room, and take down all artwork. Removing most everything and only returning your favorite pieces is the best tactic – like your closet. You can leave the large pieces of heavy furniture in there because if you know you’re keeping them. Everything we moved out of the room we put in our dining room as a holding spot.

2. Be selective as you return each item to the room. Our theme is Arizona and horses with the hope of having a darker, Ralph Lauren office feel. We borrowed, or should I say relocated, things from other areas of the house – blankets and frames, and the side table from our living room because the height looks better in this room. Make sure it doesn’t leave your other room bare, or the bright side is you can get more furniture!


This is an old illustration of Camelback mountain I bought for $2.50 and the hook for $5 at a friend’s tag sale!


I found this frame at Big Lots and added another green plant in the corner for more height and to fill the desk corner.


3. Add greenery. Nothing warms up a home more than live greenery. Find indoor plants at your local grocery store or nursery. Indoor plants are typically inside the store beyond the garden center area.


4. Add guest-friendly accommodations. Luggage rack, wi-fi password, charging outlet, guest key, and candle with matches. Consider a robe as a comfy bonus, and hang it on a hook.


I found this beautiful candle while browsing Big Lots while picking our dresser. It smells like Calvin Klein’s ck1 perfume – flashback to jr. high anyone! Masculine, woodsy and heavenly which I think fits this room.


We also added a luggage rack for guests and when not in use, is folded and lays against the wall.


5. Limit your artwork and picture frames. We’re donating a handful of picture frames which also happened when I redesigned my home office – sometimes we pile on the artwork and as the years go on we continually buy more picture frames! The best thing is to control the number of frames and swap photos in those frames as the years go on.


The biggest tip is to be incredibly intentional when you focus on a room. First, find an investment piece that sets the tone of the room and find the accessories that match to bring it all together. If you give the room your full attention it will get done much faster than you think – all of this planning and ordering took us just one week and two days to move furniture in, rehang artwork and consider it complete.

What do you think? Want to come over and be our guest?

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Diana Elizabeth is an author, photographer, and obsessive thrift shopper. You can typically find her in the garden wrist deep in dirt, at a local estate sale or planning her next epic party. She continues to blog weekly.


  • Summer Davis

    This is truly one of the most gorgeous guest rooms I’ve ever in my life seen. Can I come stay with you? #client

  • Carmen

    Very sharp and masculine! I love the idea of the wall art above the dresser!

  • Katie

    Everything looks so great! We used to have a guest room/home office. Now it’s a nursery ;)

  • Claire

    I love what you did! We are about to do a guest room makeover so I need the inspiration!

  • tina

    Your guest room is fabulous! It’s inviting (hint hint). Are you in Arizona?

  • Mama Munchkin

    Looks fantastic! I love how you did the revamp without throwing all the old out. I too, have a room that collects the pieces we just can’t seem to let go of even though they totally shouldn’t be together. Or so I thought. But, after looking through your pics I think we might be able to compromise and keep some of the old and bring in a few new items. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • MeganRuth

    Um, super cute! I think the night stand you brought in from the family room and the dresser from BigLots (I totally need to shop there more often) are my favorite!

  • Mailinh

    It looks lovely, Diana!

  • Stephanie Young

    Not only would I love to be your guest in that GORGEOUS room, but I want you to come decorate my home! After moving in together, I’ve been struggling and failing to mix his bachelor pad of mounted heads and walls of knives (not to mention the giant 9ft long mounted lion…LIFE SIZE. It was bought in the dusty basement of a bar 20 years ago, not killed by us!) to my country chic style. I cannot wait until we move to start fresh! You need to offer traveling interior decorating services ;)


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