Before and After: $978 Later, a “Neglected” Guest Bedroom Gets the TLC It Deserves

published Aug 5, 2023
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
About this before & after
Home Type
Project Type
Skill Level
Rental Friendly
1 / 7
The guest bedroom before “felt very out of place and neglected compared to the rest of the house,” the homeowner says.

Guest bedrooms in homes often get the short end of the design stick. Because they’re not used as frequently as other spaces, they’re usually lower on the reno priority list — but this blue bedroom redo, this cozy quilted one, and this serene green and pink one prove that it’s worth it to go the extra mile to make a cozy space for your guests. Plus, guest bedrooms can provide primary bedroom inspo, too! 

A fourth inspiring guest bedroom redo to add to the list is Mallory Hoofangle’s ( Mallory’s guest bedroom before was “a home for people to stay in when they came to visit,” she says, “but it wasn’t special and felt very out of place and neglected compared to the rest of the house.” Mallory recalls that it had a single coat of beige paint on the walls and popcorn ceilings. 

“I decided to tackle the guest room because during other renovations, it had become the default junk room and I decided a total overhaul would force me to organize it all and get things in shape,” she says. Her $978 redo certainly whipped things into shape — and stylishly, too. 

First, Mallory gave the popcorn ceilings an aesthetic upgrade. She decided to skip the labor-intensive task of scraping and cover the ceilings with beadboard instead — and most impressively, she did the project all on her own. “I’m a mom to two, and my husband is deployed, so I had to figure out how to balance a nail gun with one hand and a sheet of beadboard paneling with the other,” she says. “I ended up creating a second ‘arm’ out of wood that I held up with a jawstand. It took some acrobatics, but it’s doable!”

Mallory’s advice for fellow solo DIYers? Scaffolding can be found for pretty cheap — hers was $130 from Lowe’s and was “a total life saver,” she says. (She also recommends getting a good audiobook to keep you company and help pass the time.)

Making specialty cuts around the ceiling fan base was Mallory’s next biggest challenge. “Once I worked my brain around it, the physical work was simple,” Mallory says. After she got the beadboard up on the ceilings, she added trim and caulk to cover up the seams with the walls, which “created a beautiful finish,” she says. 

Mallory painted the walls with a mix of paint — both on the upper and lower portions of the wall, the latter to which she added a board-and-batten treatment. 

“When I couldn’t decide on a wall color, I went to my garage and used a 5-gallon bucket and a mixer to dump multiple partial gallons of paint I had leftover from other projects and create my own custom paint shade,” she says. (She’s dubbed this gray-blue-green “Foxy Sea Serpent.”) “Creating a custom paint color seemed daunting, but after I started, it was SO FUN,” she adds.

Three takeaways from the wall treatment? First, definitely don’t forget to name your paint color if you create your own custom shade. (For naming inspo, check out this incredibly fun paint name generator.) Second, board-and-batten is a relatively inexpensive way to add some sophisticated texture to your walls. “It’s a really fun, fast, beginner-friendly DIY project,” Mallory says. And third, stencils are also a budget-friendly way to add some visual interest. 

Mallory used an Amazon wall stencil and layered Sherwin-Williams’ Cotton White and Natural Linen to create a shimmery, wallpaper-like pattern in her space. 

And lastly, she used some leftover beadboard to create a new back for a bookcase in the room that was falling apart. A few new accessories, some nightstands from Facebook Marketplace, and a new ceiling fan complete the room. 

“I love every single detail about that room now,” Mallory says. “It’s one of my favorite spaces in the whole house.”

Inspired? Submit your own project here.