Office turned guestroom makeover …

… starring the best sofa bed ever.

Oh, it’s a teeny tiny little budget makeover for a tiny little office turned guest room. They didn’t need a total transformation, and we wanted to spend very little as we already had redone a girls room, boys room, master bedroom, and family room. So this room wasn’t a huge priority budget-wise, but they did need a place for guests to stay. They used the office as an office one day a week but ultimately it needed to be way more functional.


And after …

cozy den

Why yes, I did gift them a puppy for their makeover. We always try to include some sort of newborn animal to really conjure up the “grateful tears.” (Kidding.)

But, first thing first: we brought in this vintage sofa bed. Let’s talk about sofa beds for a second, shall we?

Finding an attractive and comfortable sofa bed is like finding meaning in a Pauly Shore movie … WAIT, more like finding meaning in a Carrot Top prop comedy act. It’s basically magic when you do. So let me tell you a secret about sofa beds: Many sofas can be turned into sofa beds for around $1,000 IF they are boxy enough to hold the mechanism inside. I know that’s not cheap and I don’t know the rules of sizing, but when you are desperate for an attractive pullout sofa, you’ll do anything. So here’s what we did:

Orlando and I bought this sofa at goodwill for $100 when it was HIDEOUS (read Orlando’s blog post about it). We loved the simple modern shape, with the slim arms PLUS the fact that there were sofa bed innards inside. But obviously you don’t want to sleep on a nasty 1954 mattress, so we had the mechanism and mattress totally replaced for $700. In fact, if you buy a boxy enough sofa, you can have it retrofitted and turned INTO a sofa bed, but I don’t know the rule about it or anything (and I asked my upholsterer and due to a language barrier I didn’t really get the answer). Orlando wrote about this sofa bed on his blog, HERE. I will say this, the foam that was put on top was really firm, so make sure you ask for the foam to be wrapped in feather or down (same thing? not sure) so it’s not crazy hard and you can properly cuddle with your cat.

Resources: Sconce from OneFortyThree, rug from RugsUSA, pouf is vintage, gold stool from Target, Roman shades from Country Curtains, painting from the flea market and then framed.

office redo

Meanwhile on the other side of the room we put a smaller scale desk against the wall and added a classic Bertoia desk chair.  They stored the filing cabinets in the basement and added one on the other side of the sofa.

Sorry, we didn’t take more photos, Zeke and I were chasing the light (oh, such photo terms abound) and so I only had time to get in these two pics, but I think they capture how happy, fun, cozy, open, and wildly more functional it became.

Thoughts? Feelings? Inner desires?

Resources: Desk from West Elm, chair from H.D. Buttercup, lamp from H.D. Buttercup, art print from Etsy, blue tray from Crate and Barrel, yellow and white stripe from CB2.  

Shoot produced/styled/art directed by me, shot by the wonderful Zeke Reulas.

  1. Phoebe

    Everytime I see that Target table/stool, I totally regret not buying it. Le sigh.

    Love this room. I’d pull out the sofa bed and live there. Definitely.

    • Emily

      I know. I think its gone now. :( I didn’t get one for me either.

    • diane

      i got it on clearance two weeks ago! CLEARANCE! so maybe check around?!

  2. Ann Frederick

    I want that Target Stool too!!! Beautiful office. Love the chair too.

  3. Kristin

    Where did you find the target stool? I can’t find it online and I have called numerous stores and they don’t have it and they don’t seem to have any idea what I am taking about. Sigh…

    • Phoebe

      @Kristin — that’s from a few seasons ago, so it’s long gone, unfortunately.

      • Emily

        Yep. Maybe its good that they did’t keep making it because we all would have become SOOO sick of seeing it in another 6 months, right?

        • Andrea

          I saw it in the sale section of a Canadian Target about two months ago and kick myself daily for not buying it. ARGH.

  4. Char

    What color is on the walls? I’m looking for a similar shade of gray for my living room.

    • Emily

      Sadly i don’t know!! It was already painted, but its a gray that has a lot of red in it so it goes slightly lavender. Super pretty. I’m so sorry i don’t know!

    • Becky

      That is the perfect shade of gray!!

  5. once again emily, you nailed it!
    love your work.

  6. Kimberly

    What Etsy shop is the print from that you used with the desk?

    • Emily

      Let me look on my etsy account. I don’t remember, but i’ll try to find it!

      • Sarah

        I’d LOVE to know too!
        Thank you Emily!

  7. Nick

    At least once a week, the mrs and I txt each other the phrase “Emily Henderson is ridiculous” (in a good way)

    Just happened again.

    • Emily

      Let me look on my etsy account. I don’t remember, but i’ll try to find it!

  8. Dana O.


    I’m in the middle of styling our new apartment’s office/spare bedroom and this is amazing! Thanks for the tips and the ideas, however, my heart longs for more photos.


  9. jo

    I”m just curious but could you give us a range of what you mean when you say tiny budget? I know you don’t want to compromise the client but I’m curious what a small vs medium vs large budget means by your standards. Further, how do your standards compare with the industry with you being based out of LA. THoughts?

    • Emily

      I don’t totally remember, but it was like ‘spend as little as possible’. The rug was around $250, the sofabed was $1600, the bertoia chair was $180, desk was $399 (or whatever it is), sconces were a splurge at $280. Gold table, $60, wicker pouf $60. We bought some accessories for the shelves that might have totaled $200, but overall spent very little on the space.

  10. LOVE that blue velvet couch! I want to reupholster ours so badly! Gorgeous work, as always.

  11. Tara

    Emily – (first time commenter here) – Love this room and its inspiration. And love YOU and congrats on your exciting family news!! We are trying to convert our basement home office into an office/guest room, on a budget of course ($1000 couch is not in the budget). Any thoughts on futons? Are they a stylist faux paus? Uncomfortable? Is it possible to have a stylish room with a futon? Also, any suggestions for decorating rooms without windows? Thanks!

    • Emily

      I have yet to really find one that is attractive. I think that a blow up mattress that you only pull out sometimes is better and then get an ikea sofa. Actually ikea does have a pretty decent sectional that pulls out. But yeah, until i meet a cheap futon i like, i’d say stay away. Thank you soooo much for commenting and all your nice things. We bloggers live for comments, so than you so much.

      • Tara

        Thank YOU for replying!! And, confirms my gut feeling that I should prob hold out until I can afford something attractive and comfortable rather thus settle for a meh futon. If I ever start a blog, I will keep the world posted!

    • urban outfitters has a cute sleeper sofa called the ava. it’s velvet and tufted. it is $750 but will go on sale (i think around $600) every once in awhile. my friend had one and everyone loved it. hope this helps!

  12. Sofa is amazing, what a great makeover!! The whole room looks beautiful!!

  13. Maria

    Love this room! And i have a request. Can you pretty please post a video about how to style some built in shelving? You seem to have some sort of magical superpower when it comes to putting things on a shelf without anything looking cluttered. Thanks much!

    • Emily

      I keep meaning to but its so daunting. this room is too small for us to shoot a video in (you’d never really get a pulled back shot) but i might do it with my shelves in my living room. I’m working on producing it, i promise. Thanks!

  14. Danielle

    That desk lamp is gorgeous! Where is it from?

    • Sarah

      It’s from hd buttercup. I bought it after seeing it here. Was only $80-ish. You have to call consumer service, send them the picture, and they will track one down for you.

  15. Kellie

    Hey Emily!

    Love love love this! Where did you get the Scandinavian man/canister thingie? I lub it!!

    • Emily

      flea market. I LOVE it. its some sort of important collector piece that i can’t get enough of. xx

  16. That gold stool is from TARGET???! I am constantly in awe (and envy) of the Target you guys have. Ours here in Australia is nothing like yours! That gold stool looks a million bucks. Beautiful work as usual Emily, a job well done and a puppy well placed.

  17. In the words of Beyonce, I Bow Down. Em Hen, if it were legal, I’d stalk you. Just kidding. Sort of. I love it. All of it. Love. Visual triangles galore.

  18. Sarah

    That sofa is gorgeous! If that was once Orlando’s sofa, does he have a new one? Is his living room sofaless? I’m dying to know!

    • Susan

      I am wondering the same thing. :)

      Thanks for sharing all of your hard work with us. It is so beautiful!

      • Sarah

        Follow his blog Bd you’ll know. ;)

  19. Hi Emily,
    Gosh. Well done. I have to give USA rugs a try. Congrats on your baby news! My little one loves books by Gyo Fujikawa. (I think I like them more.) Adorable illustrations. The little girls in those books have your fashion sense.

    PS I totally caught your Cher quote from clueless ;) As if!

  20. damn you and your golden touch. making everything all perfect! I love it. also i’d like to bare my testimony that there’s a clueless quote for every situation.

  21. Julia R

    Ahoy hoy Emily,
    Wondered if you knew anything about their original wood desk– I have the same exact piece and have been unsuccessful in finding out its history/make/etc. (bought mine second hand in Taos, the tag in the store claimed it was “Julia Cameron’s writing desk.” (imma guess no… .) Obvi mass produced, but still a question mark.

  22. i love this! i have the rug and the gold stool! they are both great! i can’t wait to get my new sofa in my room too. i’m getting the same navy velvet west elm sofa orlando has.

  23. Julia @cuckoo4design

    Ugh…this is killing me! I just wrote about how I want a blue velvet sofa bed!!!! Like want it really bad! Sigh! And the Target end table ;)

  24. Sammie

    Hi Emily,

    Great work! I am in need of a study/potential-guest-room makeover. However, we have a Mac desktop and not sure how to hide the cords, situate the desk and make it look cool! Any tips/ideas?

  25. kim

    Awesome couch and bertoia chair…and the dog is pretty cute too :) Great job as always!

  26. Totally caught your Clueless quote. Well-played.

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  28. Kirsten

    I would never have predicted it, but I’m becoming more and more certain that there is a blue sofa in my future….between this room and your living room I am sold!

  29. Rachael

    I’m a newcomer to the styling world of Emily Henderson, and I just have to say that I am a huge admirer of your amazing work and endless creativity. I love this office makeover. Thank you for the sleeper sofa tips!

  30. Barb

    Great re-do of the office space! I have been re-styling my office space, and I am struggling to find a good looking two drawer file cabinet. Do you have any recommendations? It’s one of those pieces in my room that is essential (and no, I can’t fit one in my closet). I have the same white lacquer parsons desk from West Elm that you used, along with some other flea market finds in the room. Any thoughts or perhaps a post on file cabinets????

  31. Ashley

    I am in LURV with the pillow! Can you tell me where it came from?

  32. Emily

    That sofa. Oh my goodness that is the sofa of my dreams.

  33. Susan

    I just went back and took another look and realized you used a plug-in sconce. I’m so happy to see that it looks great because I haven’t been able to find many examples in design blogosphere. It just helped boost my confidence that they could work in our bedroom.

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  35. Wendy

    I recently painted my apartment a similar shade of gray. I used the Farrow & Ball color named ‘Cornforth White’ – it’s very expensive paint so after some research I found a very very close color from Benjamin Moore called ‘Nimbus’. P.S. I kick myself for not buying that gold side table from Target!!

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  37. Kristen

    Hi! I am in love with this office. Have you done any home offices that had horrible docking stations, black hp printer, keyboard, mouse, and desktop screen with cords? I cannot figure out how to even slightly achieve the look of this office with these ugly, but necessary, electronics. I would kill for an interior designers name in St. Louis who had your taste. Thanks for your thoughts! Oh, and, I grabbed up that gold stool from Target a while back and so glad I did!

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  39. Abby

    Where is the pillow from?

  40. Wow, very impressive! I absolutely adore the sofa bed! Do you find that there’s a particular type of fabric that works best with pets? We’re about to be adventurous in our family room redesign and purchase one of the circular sofas offered at But I want to make sure that whatever we choose will stand up to all of our kids (2 actual children and 2 dogs).

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