before and after

Before & After: A Colorful Guest Bedroom Makeover in the Midwest

by Lauren Chorpening

During their house hunt, Samantha McClelland and her husband Cody had three things on their must-have list – white trim, hardwood floors and character. The couple had been searching in the city of Des Moines, IA without much luck. Samantha, a blogger and project manager for a commercial interior design company, and Cody, an HR recruiter, both work and socialize in the city and weren’t interested in moving to a suburb. Their realtor encouraged them to look at a house in the town of Ankeny, just north of Des Moines. The trim was a yellowy-almond hue, the floors were carpeted, and they would be the first owners — but when the couple walked into the house that wasn’t even on their list, they fell in love.

Compromising on their list of must-haves was well worth it. Samantha and Cody love their home, even though it is nothing like they imagined it would be. Samantha has since been hard at work making this new-build feel cozy and charming. Her latest project was turning the small, empty fourth bedroom into a vibrant, inviting guest room. “We moved from a two-bedroom townhome to a four-bedroom house. The fourth bedroom, the smallest of the four, sat empty for months. It had become a catchall of miscellaneous items that we hadn’t unpacked, didn’t know where or how to store,” Samantha says. “We were starting from scratch. The taupe walls [covered] our entire house and were simply not my style. They were the first to go. Once I settled on the paint color and the headboard fabric, everything else slowly fell into place. For the additional pieces I was able to pull from other areas around our house. An extra ghost chair and floor lamp create a small reading nook or a place for someone to sit to take off their shoes, etc. I was able to repurpose my childhood furniture (it once belonged to my dad growing up) and splurged on some modern sconces to flank each side of the bed.”

The bold green walls and the patterned headboard give the guest bedroom the personality that Samantha and Cody had originally craved during their home search. The process took Samantha about a month to pull everything together from start to finish. The once forgotten spare bedroom is now a room that the McClellands both love. “Sometimes you have a vision of how a room turns out and it doesn’t meet your expectations. I can say this is not the case. Every time I walk past this room I just want to crawl into bed and take a nap. It’s a cozy retreat, and I am kicking myself for not doing this for our master bedroom. I love that we can finally host our out-of-town guests properly, instead of just offering a blow-up mattress,” Samantha shares. “It feels good to create a space where you can entertain and host your close friends and family.” The couple’s bright and cheery guest bedroom proves to them that no matter the age, style or size of a home, a little bit of well-executed DIY work can make all the difference. –Lauren

Photography by Austin Day

SOURCE LIST
Paint: Simply Green 130-7DB by Dutch Boy Paint
Bedding: Target
Pillows: Home Goods and CB2
Lighting: Urban Outfitters
Cart: IKEA
Decor: Target
Print: Kate Spade

Before & After: A Colorful Guest Bedroom Makeover in the Midwest | Design*Sponge
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Samantha and her pup Lola in their fresh, new guest room.
Before & After: A Colorful Guest Bedroom Makeover in the Midwest | Design*Sponge
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Samantha wanted this room to feel romantic, inviting and cozy. Her bold move to paint the walls green makes the guest room feel designed, rather than just decorated.
Before & After: A Colorful Guest Bedroom Makeover in the Midwest | Design*Sponge
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The room had been used to store odds and ends before the makeover. The taupe walls were boring and basic to Samantha and Cody. The green walls, luxe bedding and floral headboard breathe life into this space.
Before & After: A Colorful Guest Bedroom Makeover in the Midwest | Design*Sponge
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"Initially, I was going to create an accent wall with the green shade and paint the rest of the walls white," Samantha explains. "The moment I painted a swatch of white on the walls, I realized I’d have to come up with another plan. We have almond-white baseboards, trim, and doors. The difference was shocking (in a bad way) and I immediately decided to just go for it and hope for the best by painting all the walls green. Sometimes, the risk pays off big and I can say it definitely did in this space!"
Before & After: A Colorful Guest Bedroom Makeover in the Midwest | Design*Sponge
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"I knew the room had to have a few staples: better lighting, a bed, and some sort of a dresser for storage. We don’t have a linen closet anywhere, so the dresser would need to double as a linen closet. While some items were necessary, I didn’t want to sacrifice style," Samantha says.
Before & After: A Colorful Guest Bedroom Makeover in the Midwest | Design*Sponge
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Samantha found pieces at HomeGoods, Marshalls and Target to style the space with. The entire makeover was done with a small budget and a lot of style in mind.
Before & After: A Colorful Guest Bedroom Makeover in the Midwest | Design*Sponge
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"Our style tends to lean a bit more neutral and modern, but I knew I wanted to go bold. I was inspired by a headboard I found while perusing Target’s website and decided I could make my own. I found similar fabric online and went to work making a DIY headboard for the space," Samantha shares.
Before & After: A Colorful Guest Bedroom Makeover in the Midwest | Design*Sponge
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Samantha layered on the luxury in this room with color, prints and textures.
Before & After: A Colorful Guest Bedroom Makeover in the Midwest | Design*Sponge
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Lola, the McClellands' rescue Bugg (Boston terrier/pug) seems quite content in the new space.
Before & After: A Colorful Guest Bedroom Makeover in the Midwest | Design*Sponge
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Samantha's DIY is striking and was well worth the small amount of time and money she invested into it.
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"The bold wall color set the tone of this bedroom makeover. I mocked up a few mood boards for the space and eventually settled on a moody vibe," Samantha says.

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