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Retro Office/Guest Room

The design team helps homeowners turn a room into a home office and guest room.

Homeowners Elyse Springer and Dave Patry have a guest room that requires some attention. Elyse is returning to school and needs a study space, however, the room still plays host to family and friends and needs to function as a guest room as well.

The Dilemma

Host Kristan Cunningham takes a look at the dual-function room and takes note on what needs to be changed. Currently, the room is a blank slate and needs some color. Elyse definitely needs a desk, task lighting and storage for paperwork if this room is going to be an office. She has a favorite retro chair that she'd like to be worked into the design. The bedding is too bright and the window treatments are bland so Cunningham adds those to her design to-do list.

The Solution

Here's how the design team creates a hip look in this dual-purpose room:

  • The white walls are painted a warm mustard-olive tone that acts as a neutral to the fabrics and furnishings.
  • Since the room is used more for lounging, studying and reading, the bed is pushed against the wall and lined with pillows and capped off with a bookshelf for a cool reading nook. Cunningham makes bolster pillows with gathered ends using foam tubes, fabric and twine. She cuts a piece of fabric to wrap around the tube, sews another short panel onto each end, then hems the two long sides. She stitches a small channel onto the two ends, threads the twine through, then brings the long sides together (right-sides together) and stitches them closed. The fabric is turned right-side out and slipped over the foam tube; the twine is pulled taut to close up the fabric and tucked inside the small opening.

  • The wood floor is livened up with a colorful swatch of linoleum that serves as a funky floor covering.

  • Design coordinator Dave Sheinkopf builds a platform bed out of birch plywood to turn the guest bed into an oversized daybed. According to the bed's dimensions, he cuts four strips and assembles them into a box; more plywood strips are secured inside the box every 16 inches for support. Two larger boards are secured on top; the edge facing into the room is enhanced with a decorative piece of molding. The platform is painted black once all the pieces are attached. (Related project: Platform Bed)

  • Elyse is an artist so Cunningham uses some of her collection to add interest over the bed. Art lights are hung above each grouping to spotlight her artwork.

  • Design coordinator Spencer Anderson makes a bookshelf to take care of the office clutter. He makes it to fit the end of the bed and paints it black to coordinate the two pieces.

  • A vintage tanker desk is brought in to replace the old credenza. A thrift-store chair accompanies the "new" retro desk.

  • Accordion shades and pale green curtain panels liven up the windows.

  • A new overhead chrome light fixture with directional lamps adds much-needed lighting.

  • A chrome rolling cart by the bookcase holds the fax and printer and contributes to the contemporary look.

The Cost

Furniture - $555

  • desk chair: Sunset Orange
  • silver rolling cart: House of Paul's Furniture

Bedding - $185

  • duvet: Bed, Bath and Beyond - Full/Queen Mini Duvet Set, Green 70573003059

Lighting - $81

  • art spotlights: IKEA - Fryan, 17796/Silver

Window Treatments - $66

  • green with mustard-colored dots: Michael Levine
  • window shades: Linens 'n Things - Redi Shade, White/750227002379

Linoleum Floor Covering - $56

  • linoleum floor rug: Linoleum City

Paint and Supplies - $55

  • paint: Behr - wall, Dry Sea Grass 360F-4; closet, Coriander Seed 370F-5A

Project Total - $998

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