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Home Office Gone Guest Room

August 25, 2022

With the murphy bed tucked away, you’d never know this home office moonlights as a guest room—perfect for hosting the grandkids.

the wallpaper detail behind the murphy bed's shelving system

So, I’ve already showed you guys the way we transformed this family’s living/dining room, creating more space to connect with their grandkids, from movie nights to game days. But what happens when the party’s over? 

The sleepover starts! 

We wanted to make the transition to bedtime ultra-simple for this sweet set of grandparents, and that’s easy with the guest room tucked just off the main space. After all, it’s the biggest relational reason behind this whole design! As immigrants from the Philippines, our clients are especially grateful to be able to live so close to their grandkids, and they’re most looking forward to making lasting memories together.

office turned guest bedroom

Have You Met the Murphy Bed?

It was important to create a space that could do double-duty, beautifully. Sleepovers are special visits that we want our clients to feel prepared for—but they don’t happen all the time. It would be a waste of space to clutter such a small room with a permanent bed. Luckily, we had just the solution. 

Our DIY Murphy Bed is one of the most successful projects we’ve ever completed, and it solved so many problems in our own home. It gave us the option to host friends and family while still being able to enjoy the room when it was unoccupied—which was most of the time. In the years since, our Desert Den has been a family sanctuary we never would have had if we’d committed solely to a guest room.  

Naturally, we were thrilled to bring the flexibility of a Murphy Bed into our clients’ space. And they were excited to create space for their grandkids without losing valuable real estate! I mean, talk about a design win. 

This process was nearly identical to our at-home DIY two years ago, but we added a few small bookshelves to the design. Not to mention, this build took a lot less time. You know what they say: experience is the best teacher! 😂

We even added temporary wallpaper from Target behind the shelves and above the bed to add some depth with pattern. I also purchased a downloadable print on Etsy, which I printed and framed at Staples. It feels just like the vintage art you can find at Amber Interiors for $200, but we’ve recreated the look for under $30. Best of all, the art can totally be left in place even when the bed is folded up. (We’ve since added armed sconces to our own Murphy Bed setup, and everything fits perfectly inside.) There’s plenty of room inside the cabinet when everything is tucked away.

The office at the heart of it all

Office Hours Are Open

With the cabinet closed, you’d never know this space moonlights as a guest room! This room transforms Grandpa’s office to feel productive, sort through mail, pay bills, and spend his leisure time. Open shelving helps to keep the small room from feeling cramped. Soon, it will house his library and favorite objects from the Philippines.

Inherently, this room is on the smaller, darker side—so we kept the color palette light and bright. We’ve stuck with soft white walls but chose a relaxing blue-green for the cabinetry to help create a calm atmosphere. I never get tired of blue-greens! When mixed with gray undertones, they feel mature and understated. Not too bright or too bold, it’s just enough to energize the space with a little color. 

We chose porcelain for the countertop. This material is very similar to quartz, but it’s more expensive to fabricate. I think it looks more like marble than quartz—and with higher heat resistance and more color and pattern options, the choice is a no-brainer! This soft gray and white matches the tone of the cabinets and the shelves above, elevating the space with a beautiful, natural texture. 

The desk chair is beautiful and has belonged to our client for decades. I love the story behind it: 30 years ago, during dinner with friends, he complimented their dining room chairs. His friend asked, “Do you want one? We have a spare.” They went home with the chair, and they’ve had it ever since!  

office guest bedroom

Peace in the Four Domains 

This guest room is the perfect mix of high-low solutions, to make memories without losing precious square footage. By blending some of my favorite techniques we’re able to solve the family’s needs in each of the Four Domains, or the layers of being that each room should address in order to set its inhabitants up for success. The Four Domains are central to my Method, and you can read all about them in my upcoming book, Home Therapy!  

At every level, we’re creating opportunities to look inward, relax, and recharge—as well as connect with loved ones. This is all possible in a beautifully organized environment that puts the spotlight on the people in the room, creating a positive environment for them to thrive.  

There’s still so much more to show you in this house. Right now, we’re finalizing more details in the bathrooms and kitchen, so stay tuned! 😉

Happy Day! 


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