A Minimalist Guest Room Transitions to Fall

by Caitlin Kelch

Thank you Crate and Barrel for sponsoring this post and helping me create a beautiful, comfortable guest room that welcomes fall and my guests! I was able to choose the perfect pieces from Crate and Barrel to add that special, seasonal touch. All content and opinions expressed here are my own, and I thank you for supporting our partners who help us bring you original stories and transformations like this!

If I had to pick one thing I’ve learned while working at Design*Sponge with Grace over the years, it would be that investing in quality pieces for your home is THE way to go. Being a single mom, I was always running to stores that carry everything on the planet, and invariably, I’d end up picking out things for the house in haste. I was always sad and disappointed when a leg fell off or a fabric began pilling after one wash. Even still, it was hard to break the “disposable stuff” syndrome.

Then I started to notice that other people’s interiors remained the same overall, but were thoughtfully transformed each season with a garden flower here or a new pillow there. They simply switched things up and while their major pieces didn’t change, the overall feel did. Then it hit me! They had invested in well-made, quality things, both large and small, and then simply introduced new small pieces or special found objects here and there with the changing of the seasons.

I decided I was completely on board and turned to Crate and Barrel for some smallish key pieces with big impact to help usher in fall in my mish-mash of a guest room. Guess what? I love it! I feel like a grownup and my guests will feel well cared for and comfortable this autumn.

I am in love with a few pieces that help make not only the transition from summer to fall a breeze, but also help me transition from a disposable mindset to a more thoughtful, forever pieces frame of mind.

Take a peek after the jump and let me know what colors you’re loving for fall in the comments, if you would be so kind. After my Fall Color Report post last week, I’ve been wondering what colors real people (not just Pantone) are embracing for the upcoming season. Be sure to check out the slide show for some inspiration! –Caitlin

My Mom is visiting for her birthday in early October, so I thought I’d get this room ready for her arrival! I think she’ll love it — simple, with some deep color and texture.




My guest room with five easy pieces from Crate and Barrel: Metal Shelf, Brenner Beet Red Velvet Pillow, Tall Bud Vase, Teeny Bud Vase, and Sheepskin Throw in Taupe.
I fell in love with the deep wine color of this velvet pillow because it reminded me of my favorite color of fall mums that my mom always puts on her porch. It's a great alternative to the traditional mustard and rust colors that pop up each autumn. The rectangular shape makes it perfect for an accent pillow on any bed.
A fresh sage bouquet I'm using as a pillow topper.
Perhaps a fall mum as a pillow topper?
I love that blues are also dominating the fall color stories -- especially in pillows! They can make the transition from fall to summer and back again super easy.
I feel like a fancy headboard in a guest room is overkill, so I decided to create an overhead area where we could easily swap out the display for each season in place of a traditional headboard. The 36" metal shelf was the same width as my twin so it worked brilliantly. They also come in other sizes. Since I was decorating for fall, I loved that this sturdy metal shelf with a front edge added some sheen to a room that is filled with darker, earthy tones. It will also be a great neutral in all seasons.
I love the minimal look of the metal shelf above the bed.
I like that you can add a personal touch on the shelf that can even include a photo that's meaningful to your guest, too! I also love how the fresh sage and mums look in the same space. One is a nod to the natural and wild, while the mums are a nice nostalgic throwback to autumn's "official" flower.
Wood against the metal shelf creates a nearly complete elemental feel.
I've grown to love darker sheepskins, especially since they look amazing with the pink pieces we usually bring out in spring and summer. This taupe version feels more luxurious to me and my guest room on-a-budget really needed a splurge-worthy piece to make it feel cozy with its fall décor announcing the chill is coming.
The taupe color of the sheepskin goes with purples brilliantly, too.
The sheepskin makes the bed completely inviting.
Our dog, Rex, is already claiming the room as his own.
Love, love, love this inspiration. The grass and the sheepskin are so soft.
I'm a huge fan of the small, multiple vase display -- especially when it comes to fall foliage. A collection of small bud vases holding single leaves in transformation is a sweet, affordable way to treasure this season's favorite leaves and grasses. This teeny bud vase is one of my favorites!
Pairing one short vase with a taller vase together with different small bouquets is one of my favorite ways to style.
The taller bud vase provides some height on the metal shelf "headboard."
This crisp matelassé box spring cover (middle layer) is truly a life saver if you're on a budget and need to save up for that stunning platform bed or headboard. We easily converted my daughter's former twin bed into a faux platform bed by using this cover on the box spring and raising the height of the mattress with a 2" foam topper. Our guest room feels so much more modern with this look. Goodbye, ruffled bed skirt!
Ignore the wrinkles! This is real life, people. But how about that matelassé box spring cover? What a great, inexpensive way to get that platform look.
The only thing missing from our new guest room is a better reading lamp, so I've been eyeing this one. I love the warmth of the brass and think it could totally work in a nautical or coastal theme in the summertime.
I'll be adding this setaria bunch to a taller vase in the room. Somehow I missed it the first time around!

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  • Not a fan of the no headboard look, a piece of art over the shelf maybe to anchor bedding and fur…but love the colours of accessories ! So many DIY/ e z options to put against/on wall to make a bed seem more important … love the blooms! And little brass light

  • If you saw how the sheep raised and killed for those skins suffer, you would not buy such a thing.

    So sick of seeing furs, skins and taxidermy. How about some compassion in selecting decor?

    • Hi Holland

      I understand your feelings on this décor choice. There are definitely pros and cons. I had to do some research on the subject before I decided to use sheepskin in my home two years ago – literally for warmth in my very cold, very drafty rental.

      Ultimately, my choice to use them came down to the simple reason that hides are part of an animal’s full life cycle, and making use of them is better than wasting them. Some skins are produced under strict rules around preservation and protection and processed without harmful chemicals such as chromium or bleach, which makes them a non-toxic, all-natural option.

      I feel that a natural, biodegradable skin is a better choice for me than petroleum-produced, synthetic rugs or faux skins that provided little warmth. Sadly, these were the only choices that fit my budget – even secondhand or thrifted wool rugs were out of my price range.

      Thank you for calling attention to an important issue though! It is a slippery slope and treating all living things with respect is, and always has been, a priority for my family and myself.


      • Love the room though and your color series too! Love the energy and enthusiasm in your posts. Very sweet!
        P.S. Totally hate synthetics too!