design process – the guest bedroom


When I first started reading design blogs back in 2009 – 2010, what drew me in was the behind the scenes, real life look at the process. Design/diy bloggers back then would show lots of in between/ process photos. It wasn’t just a bunch of beautiful, perfectly styled after photos. I think the pre-Pinterest age of blogging was really great for the teaching aspect. I know I learned a lot just by watching the process someone went through when designing a room. So with that in mind I thought I’d bring you all along for the ride as I slowly but surely “finish” the rooms in our new home. I say finish in quotes because let’s face it, a room is never really finished.

This new design process series is going to be kicked off with our guest bedroom. I was going to wait to get started on this space. But our steady schedule of guests has prompted me to get moving. We’ve only lived here for 9 weeks and have had guests here with us for 3 of those 9 weeks. And we have more guest visits already on the calendar! I guess that’s what happens when you move near the beach because our guest bedroom in KY never saw this much action. 😉 I’m not complaining though……I love hosting visitors! My underlying mission every time someone comes to stay with us is to recruit them to move here. Charleston’s not a hard sell though. I should probably get a real estate license. 😉

Step #1 – I like to start a room design with a list of words that describe how I want the room to feel. I’m big on vibes. Sounds very voodoo-ish, hippie-esque maybe, but it’s what I do. I think more about the feelings I want the room to have rather than the look I want. I want guests to feel welcome, comfortable and excited. I want this room to have fun vacation vibes with a heavy dose of Phillips family personality. Basically I want this room to say, “Hey, we’re so glad you’re here! “

Step #2 – After figuring out the vibe I want, if I’m designing a bedroom I always start with bedding. Always. That is just what works for me. Then everything else sort of flows from there. I’ve decided to go with a red, white and blue – patriotic – Ralph Lauren inspired look because I love that classic yet fun combination of colors………. and because I dig a gender neutral look for a guest room……….and also because I already had this blue and white striped quilt. 😉

the design process - behind the scenes of designing a guest room

Step #3 – Once I pull bedding basics together, I start piling art pieces that I think will be fun in the space. I think the two things that really make a space are pattern and personality. And nothing adds more personality to a space than what you choose to hang on the walls. Not everything you see here will probably make the final cut but this at least gives me a jumping off point. These pieces play into the overall feel I’m going for and will be the inspiration behind everything else that goes in to the space.

I think this post is also a tribute to using what you have. Creating a whole new look doesn’t have to mean buying a bunch of new stuff. I’m using the quilt (which by the way has been marked down to $49.99!) that was on my son’s bed in our KY home, and the throw pillows are also oldies but goodies. In fact, there’s nothing new in the picture above. Everything you see here lived in our KY home somewhere, just not in the guest bedroom. So our guest room here at our new house will be outfitted with a fresh new look using the same old goodies from our previous home.

When you curate your personal style you end up with a collection of things that will/can seemlessly work in just about every room in your home.

So that’s the beginning of the guest room. Next up I’ll be figuring out the room layout in terms of where to place furniture and choosing a wall color……….more to come soon!

*FYI – There’s a fun Instagram giveaway coming very soon. Be sure to check it out!


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