Home Projects

Before and After: This Clever Guest Room/Office Redo Cost Just $500

published Nov 15, 2019
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.
Post Image

Like a lot of us, Michelle of Dream(ing) Home did most of her work-from-home tasks at the dining table—not exactly the most efficient, distraction-free space for knocking out your to-do list. So when she moved a small, narrow desk into the guest room at her place, it already felt like an upgrade. One catch: It was awfully cramped, especially with the hulking bed in the room. Michelle felt like she needed something new altogether… and as long as she was upgrading for efficiency, she thought, she might as well upgrade for looks, too.

After realizing the queen-sized guest bed that took up almost the entire room had been used just three times in two years, Michelle decided it could go. A cushy air mattress would do the trick for occasional guests.

For motivation, Michelle joined up with a few other Instagram accounts that had all committed to doing room makeovers with a $500 budget in just one month. She started by painting the walls deep olive-y green (Vintage Vogue by Benjamin Moore); she painted her old organizational peg board to match. After that, Michelle hung basic wood shelving with brackets from DIY Cartel. Then, says Michelle: “ I quickly realized how tight that budget is for a dual-purpose room! Luckily, I was able to re-purpose several items I already owned, including the furniture, air mattress, and bedding. I also found most of the decor (except the art) thrifting, so I saved a ton of money that way.”

The fresh decor also includes a vintage-looking rug from Wayfair, and a horse print from Great Big Canvas.

Michelle tried to be considerate about furniture placement since the room would occasionally have to double as a guest bedroom. In doing so, she made a few very specific furniture choices: “My desk chair is comfortable, but also light and easy to move,” Michelle says. “I didn’t want a bulky rolling chair that I would have to relocate to make room for the air mattress. Instead, my desk chair stays in the room next to the bed and functions as a nightstand for guests.”

Apparently, the trick to making an air mattress look inviting is to style it out just like you would a regular bed—because this is the most comfy looking air mattress I’ve ever seen! Michelle’s windowpane pillow and striped lumbar pillow both came from Target, while her wool blanket is from Amazon and the orange throw is from H&M. Creating a dual-purpose home office and guest room that’s just as cozy as it is functional is one tough trick to pull off—but we think Michelle nailed it.

Inspired? Submit your own project here.