My Guest Room Make Over Ideas + How To Use Inspirational Interiors To Decide On Decor In Your Own Home

jonathan adler inspired moodboard

The guest room in our house has been somewhat neglected compared to the other rooms. The furniture that has been in there the past couple of years since we moved in was furniture from our old house that I didn't really like anymore. The sofa bed had seen better days and was on its last legs. This room has been on the re-do list for ages, but I was really struggling trying to decide what design would suit the room best.

Look at your existing room and write down what doesn't work, and how that could be resolved using alternatives...

When we first moved in I painted the room in Teresa's Green by Farrow and Ball. I love this colour so much, but the room still just didn't 'work'. I'd walk in thinking "I love this colour" but not "I love this room". The guest room was easily my least favourite room in the house. Because I did like the paint colour I initially tried to brainstorm what I could add to the walls without having to get rid of the Teresa's Green. I thought about wall decals that I could add over the top of the paintwork, but in the end decided to completely paper the room with wallpaper. I thought that by adding a wallpaper pattern the room would feel more inviting and homely, whereas just having paint on the walls made the room feel cold. There had also been some damp issues in the room that had been resolved, yet the patch up on the plaster-work was visible if you looked hard enough. I knew that by adding wallpaper these imperfections on the walls would be hidden.

So, here is the guest room as it looked before:

The lamp and two shabby chic cabinets I've since sold on eBay. I was sad parting with the grey and white cabinet that you can just see to the left of this picture, but it just didn't work storage wise. I needed something tall and thin - this was low and wide and imposed on the guest bed when it was pulled out. So now only the old brown sofa bed exists in the room and that needs to go as well.  

Meanwhile, I've started putting up this fantastic Sumi wallpaper by Harlequin on all of the walls:

I chose this design because it is light but glamorous. As the room is small with a low ceiling, I didn't want the wallpaper to be dark or have too much colour or things going on. At the same time I wanted a contemporary wallpaper with an interesting pattern. I think this wallpaper is the perfect balance of neutral simplicity, while still being modern and interesting with the geometric gold stripe pattern.

use your favourite inspirational interior images from magazines, Pinterest and Instagram...

Having only decided on the wallpaper, I needed to decide the design of the rest of the room. Initially, because of the wallpaper that I had chosen I thought "oh a neutral and gold, I should go for an Art Deco look with a white sofa and white and gold scalloped-shaped patterns on the cushions and rugs", as I thought that would just 'go well' with the wallpaper. After thinking about this for a while, I realised it wasn't a look that was really 'me'. And if it wasn't really me, I wouldn't be happy with the final result. Instead, I thought about all those Pinterest and Instagram pictures that got me going 'WOW', and decided to build a look around what instantly appealed and had an impact on me as soon as I saw it.

Collect together your favourite interior images and see what connects them...

If there is one designer I adore, it's Jonathan Adler. The American potter and king of interior colour creates and curates pieces and interior looks that I always majorly crush on. Jonathan Adler cites his style as 'American Glamour', and seeing as the Sumi wallpaper I put up has a glamorous edge, I decided to look at images of interiors that Jonathan has designed (and pictures of his homeware he sells) to get some inspiration for creating a bit of that instant JA wow factor in the guest room:

Image from

Image from

Above four images © Jonathan Adler

Above four images © Jonathan Adler

Pick out the key colours and design elements from the pictures....

From the pictures above there are three things that I can pull out that connect the images:

  • The combination of orange and blue together
  • Bold patterns on the floor
  • At least one statement item that creates an impact, whether it's large & interesting lighting, giant fig trees, animal print cushions or a large mirror.

So my starting point for the design of the room was now combining blue and orange, adding pattern on the floor with a rug (the existing carpet is in perfect condition, it's just neutral and boring), and adding in at least one statement item to draw the eye.  The two key items in the room will be a new sofa bed and the rug, so one will be blue, and one will be orange.

The orange sofa is by  Article . The rug is from  Wayfair UK.

The orange sofa is by Article. The rug is from Wayfair UK.

I also love this round brass Jonathan Adler mirror, so I'm going to add in a much cheaper version similar in style.

Image from

Image from

For functionality, I needed to add in a tall, thin cupboard to store the guest bedding. I sold my old cabinet for £150, so to keep costs down I need to replace it with something that costs no more that than what I sold the old one for! I love this cabinet by Jonathan Adler below (which costs waaaayyyyyy more than £150!), so I am going to attempt to make a really basic non-mirrored version from MDF. I just need to find a joiner who can make the legs for me.

© Jonathan Adler

© Jonathan Adler

So the final moodboard looks like this, which I actually kind of love!

I now just need to get these ideas into the room. Hopefully I'll have the full room reveal for you soon!

What do you think to my Jonathan Adler-inspired guest room ideas? What would you add in? Do you have any failsafe ways of designing rooms in your home? Let me know in the comments section below.....