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

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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

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

  1. Emily says:

    Awesome before and after – I love the headboard. Also, Lola is absolutely adorable! I have a pug from a rescue too :)

  2. Aidel.K says:

    Beautiful room! Especially nice that it’s for guests. I’d love to know where the fabric for the headboard was purchased or the name of the fabric company and pattern. It’s really gorgeous.

    1. Aidel,
      Thank you! The fabric is from The pattern is called Waverly Candid Moment Ebony.


  3. Kara says:

    Where’d you get the headboard? Or did you make it? It’s super cute! the whole room is adorable, what a great makeover!

    1. I made it! I am putting together a DIY post, so I’ll be sure to post that when it’s available! The fabric is from The pattern is called Waverly Candid Moment Ebony.


  4. madlyn easley says:

    love the bedroom,especially the headboard! When will we see the rest of the house???

  5. Jen says:

    I love the green wall color. And I especially love seeing a before and after redo that doesn’t involve an expensive full renovation! This feels refreshingly attainable.

    1. Thank you! I was really wanting a bold color and just went for it. It’s my favorite room in our house!


  6. mm says:

    Trying out a bold color first in the guest room seems like a really smart idea. This worked out beautifully. But if it had turned out to be a little overwhelming, you wouldn’t be stuck living with it day in, day out.

  7. Mirela M. says:

    The headboard is overwhelmingly beautiful dear !!! How can we find that gem? Love ittt !

    1. Samantha says:

      I actually DIY’d it! It’s plywood with cheap memory foam twin mattresses wrapped and stapled – it’s hung on the wall with a picture frame cleat! It was very easy to do – if you have more questions – please email at thebrunetteone (dot) com!

  8. The green is such a bright yet tranquil color. It turned out really great!

    Michelle Henry


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