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Mountain House Mondays: How I’m Making Neutrals Work in the Upstairs Guest Bedroom


Welcome to another session of “where we are” in the mountain house, this time up in the guest bedroom. This is the room I was going to do something interesting in because, you know, of its “guest” appearance and while it’s not done, it’s not really showing signs of that right now so it’s time to start thinking about it. But first, one must revisit the past.

Before 1

This room is upstairs, opposite the kids’ room with a bathroom (now) where that door is above which used to lead to a closet. It had orange peel walls, an odd bump out on the wall on one side and two new-ish but not ideal windows. The closet was MASSIVE and it begged to be a bathroom (suite) instead.

Before 3

It was carpeted which we secretly loved but otherwise had nothing noteworthy about it. The bedrooms were where we thought we could do some moodier colors. A hilarious story that happens to me twice a year could be titled “You have months to pick a paint color, wait I need to know it right now because the painters are coming tomorrow so what is it?” I knew it was coming. I knew that a decision was going to have to be made. But I pushed it off, and I was out of town when my team picked this blue which I have historically loved.

Progress 1

One of our first posts about the design of the mountain house was talking about moody colors and I did really want to paint some of the bedrooms a tone. But BOTH rooms that we painted are already painted back to white. This one was painted Farrow & Ball’s Hague Blue which I love but it felt SO WRONG. Every time I turned the corner and saw it I thought “oh no. no. no. no.”

Why was it so wrong?

A. The wood doors (from Ross Alan Reclaimed Lumber) and windows (from Marvin) were so gorgeous that I just wanted to stare at them and the darkness really detracted from the beauty of the wood.

B. The rest of the house has such an airy and bright vibe and all of a sudden that felt like a dark cave.

C. I have used that color too much at this point and it reminded me of past projects.

D. It was too dark, and in an eggshell finish, it was too shiny. Plus, with the white ceiling, it was too high contrast which made it feel too chopped and busy.

If you can’t tell, I was REALLY not into it. Brian and my team tried to convince me to live with it for a bit, but every time I walked in there I HATED it.

Plus, we had the flooring issue. If you are wondering if mixing flooring finishes in a bedroom is a new thing, rest assured IT’S NOT. The wood that we used on the flooring throughout was a beech wood from a 300-year-old barn in the midwest and we flat out ran out of it. We could have pieced this room together from off cuts or waited for a similar barn to fall and reclaim. But over the holidays, we didn’t know what to do so we had them put the leftover carpet from the kids room in this room so that it was usable for now. People were SO CONFUSED and I had to explain every time that this is not a “new thing.”

White Walls 2

Running out of the wood (temporarily or permanently) was my excuse to carpet this room. After having the kids room in wall-to-wall carpet sold us on the concept for comfort reasons. So we chose a lighter version of the same Stark carpet for this room.

Beige Carpet 1

A hilarious behind the scenes insight is that we THOUGHT we ordered the light gray version of it, not this more wheat toned carpet. When I first walked in, I was like “I like it, but DID I JUST LITERALLY PUT BEIGE WALL-TO-WALL CARPET IN A ROOM???” I looked nice, but it wasn’t the plan.

As you can see above, the room is NOT done and no, there is no base moulding for now but will likely be a quarter round. Also, I have a product request for all you wood mills out there: make a squared-off version of a quarter round. I want the function of it (to hide wobbly house seams/gaps) but be more modern than the rounded version.

Beige Carpet 2

I’m not really selling the beige here but in person, it’s actually strangely pretty. When I walk into that room, it feels like a winter wonderland. The light is so pretty. The windows and doors are the star. And the carpet makes the room feel really big and bright and soft.

Beige Carpet 3

Beige Carpet 4

So what is the intent for this room?

Well, everything up there is mostly just a stand-in for what we need (the gold is far too glam for the mountain house). The daybed is from the Portland project by Katy Skelton and while it looks really big I also really love that it provides another twin bed in a room. We have so many friends with a small kid or two, many of which would want to sleep with mama so this would be a room for three or four. Plus, I love that daybed so much, but I MIGHT use it in the play loft instead. We’ll see.

Before I went on my weekend with my Oregon friends, I asked my team to pull together neutrals (if not beige) rooms that I could get behind (and in) and so what you’ll see below is some imagery pulled for me. I’m still not totally sure of the direction, but you’ll get the point.

End Of Bed 07 1502722008
image source | design by leanne ford
10whitehouse4 Superjumbo
image source | design by leanne ford
32628596371 A36d9e2246 O
image source | design by leanne ford
Bedroom Loft 97445 V3 Crop Base
image source
image source | design by kathleen walsh
Lisa Przystup Attic Bed Sarah Elliott 1466x977
image source | design by lisa przystup
Army Green
image source
image source

Can I make a beige and white room interesting? When you are in the room you don’t NEED any color, it truly is so pretty and simple as-is, but I want it to be special and to tell a story.

So that’s where we are with the upstairs guest room. I literally haven’t had a chance to even THINK about what bed, nightstands, lighting, etc., are happening in there but writing this post certainly helped. And yes we designed the windows to perfectly fit a king bed in between so it makes sense to put something tall and important in there.

So that’s where we are with this room.

Questions? Comments? Concerns?

I already know that you guys are going to want to know if we put the thick memory foam under this carpet as well (like we did in the kids’ room) and I’ll tell you YES. I will forever put in bouncy memory foam underneath my future wall-to-wall carpet. Wow. That’s not a sentence that my 25-year-old self would have EVER written or felt proud of. WELP. Life. xx

Fin Mark


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I do appreciate your honesty about changing your mind. Whenever you share your “oops” moments or when you just flat out change your mind. It shows folks (especially us DIY-ers!) that it’s ok.

I love the wall-to-wall carpet BTW.The subtle stripe elevates it from the mundane. Is it a stain-resistant/performance product?

Long time follower, 1st time commenter!



Same! I so appreciate honesty about changing your mind, and things you try that don’t work. It reminds me that it’s OK when that happens to me.

And I LOVE this series about showing the Mountain House before it’s officially styled and photographed. It’s so cool to be able to learn about your process.

Jillian Jantosciak

Love the Mountain House Mondays!


Same!! These are my favorite kind of EHD posts (along with the donated makeovers!). I like seeing the nitty gritty process of it all and seeing that even experts make “mistakes” too 🙂 I know you all will make this room beautiful and it’s fun to follow along from beginning to end. You guys are the best!







me too 🙂

Cf Betcher

I wish the bed was on the wall with the one window, so I could lie in bed and look out the window…
I really like the inspo picture with the camel color pillows…


A vacation home is the perfect place to go neutral: warm, calm, cozy, and even simple.

Even a few years ago, I would not have imagined appreciating design with a very minimal palette either. But recently, I had to create a “Neutral” Pinterest board for all the beautiful rooms I keep seeing. You may enjoy browsing some here:

I look forward to seeing how you make it yours!

P.S. I don’t hate the carpet.


Love it!


The daybed is gorgeous. Please use it somewhere.


Love your Pinterest neutral board. Thanks for sharing it. I’m following it now!


Thank you so much!


The carpet looks almost pink on my phone. Does it have pink undertones in person? I know some beiges are pink-y. That would be tricky to work with in a modern way…


I have the same question about the pink. If it doesn’t look pink IRL, I may have to use this carpet in my condo!

ha, its not pink 🙂 At least I don’t see any pink in it.


Love the carpet and colors. The neutral wheat colors fit the room and aesthetic well.


I am laughing because I actually like the gold of the lamps in the room;).

i love the gold, just both are a bit too glam 🙂


Love the beige carpet and I don’t usually like carpeting. . I think the stripe makes it unique.
The inspiration photos look good but a lot of them feel cold. The light beige carpeting in yours warms up the room nicely!


I have really enjoyed the “casual” MM posts lately, so thanks! Just a quick reminder that many readers (or is it just me?) aren’t design experts enough to know what something like this means, when it’s mentioned without an explanation and/or photo: squared off version of a quarter round. I barely know what baseboard is! Thanks for considering :).


I love the inspiration images shown. As someone with a high ceiling-ed, cream & white & wood, wall to wall carpeted bedroom I can attest to the calm beauty of a room like this. We have lots of texture with linen bedding and curtains and the wool carpeting. It is such a happy room to be in.

You are brilliant with art. I say trust your gut, keep it light and neutral, add some beautiful artwork and call it done! Also, those doors are gorgeous and deserve to be highlighted!


For neutral done in an interesting and even high end/edgy way, I ALWAYS think of on IG. I’m a color lover but her feed makes me want to paint every room and throw out half my possessions, it is so good.


I love those lamps! Where are they from?

OH sorry! I think the tall one is rejuvenation and the small one is schoolhouse electric 🙂


Love the idea of a day bed at the foot of the king bed! Also I can totally relate to changing minds about paint color. We repainted our entire house last year and now are regretting our choice…seriously thinking of doing a shade of white!

Amanda M.

Can you share the carpet details? I have to replace our entire upstairs with carpet and this is the first carpet I’ve actually LOVED!

It’s beautiful, thank you!!


I LOVE the carpet. I’m not a big carpet person but I love area rugs – and this feels more like an area rug to me. The beige is a happy accident.

I really like where you’re going with the room. Feels like if you added a headboard to the bed, and then obviously did baseboards in the room, and switched out the lights like you said, you could really call this room done. I know it wouldn’t be as styled as most of your work, but it’s so pretty and calming – feels like a hotel!

Other ideas – maybe some hanging pendant lights instead of table lamps? And/ or mount floating nightstands under the windows to keep the light and airy feel of the room?


The bar molding in my house is basically squared-off quarter round and I actually hate it. It acts as a tiny little shelf for all the dog hair and dust!! Very interested to see how this room turns out 🙂

OH good to know!


I think this room feels really chill and restful. And I love the daybed in it. Is the ceiling a space that could make it special?


This isn’t a a criticism (I think the room is coming along great!) but the daybed at the end of another bed reminds me of the “Dinner Party” Office episode where Michael shows the tiny bench at the foot of the bed where Jan makes him sleep. ?


That one night! You made everything alright!


This is my favorite Office episode EVER! I’m laughing just thinking about it!


i think a guest room in serious neutrals could be SO RELAXING for said guests. simple, calming, not a lot of detail and color pulling the eye in all directions. i say go for it. i kind of like the rattan lamp vibe in the loft/twin bed pic. if you can find just the right tone. is it hard to make side table lamps work with low windows?


I 100% agree with you on the squared off quarter round!! We recently DIYd the changing of our trim (which btw, totally sucked haha!) and we looked high and low for a square quarter round (well, Menards, Home Depot and Lowes… assuming anywhere else would be out of budget) and didn’t find it. Alas, we found a very small quarter round at Menards that we ended up using. It’s the normal shape but doesn’t stick out quite as much. I like it but it was easily broken with the saw (we needed a special blade).

BTW, I am enjoying these more casual work in progress mountain house Monday posts!


I love it, personally! I think it really makes the space warm and cozy, without being too much.


Where did you get that day bed? Great looking and perfect for your guests with small children.


Emily – you kind of get at it here talking about the quarter round (which there is a squared off version, I put it in our last place!) but I beg: PLEASE do a round up of crown molding and baseboard options. Seemingly there are a thousand different options, but I only ever see like two kinds, and we are doing a huge project and this is the one thing that I can not wrap my mind around. Great crown molding seems like can only be achieved in old homes with great architecture. HELP!


OMG and while you’re at it, please help with the age old question of “to paint or not to paint” for original baseboards and molding. I have a 60’s ranch with what might be narrow 70’s wood molding and just don’t love the colors… but the idea of either sanding it all and staining it (which seems like it’ll take FOREVER) or painting it (what if I hate it?) is terrifying me into indecision. Please help!


I second this request! I need to install baseboards in our large bedroom and would really love to do something more modern but am unsure of what. A squared quarter-round would be so good!


DIY blogs younghouselove and chrislovesjulia and yellowbrickhome have all done some great things with DIY molding. Generally you just need to stack layers of stock home improvement molding to get the look you want, then caulk and paint and it looks layered and detailed and beautiful and custom.

Oooh I will add this to our list xx


Please end all posts with welp. life. from now on. I nearly spit out my soup laughing.

Love the carpet. Seems warm and dreamy. Also. I read your ‘maximalist fashion’ post from earlier and thought yay! color! more! then I read this and though yay! white and beige! Now I just don’t know.


I am not a WTWC fan, but my husband loves it. I really do like this warm neutral beige color. It is warm, but the patern keeps it interesting. Thanks for sharing your process. It is so helpful.


I like where this is heading! In the inspo pictures, I’m really drawn to the neutral rooms that have some black elements in tiny doses. I don’t know why that is aesthetically, but you all probably know. Looking forward to seeing more progress on this 🙂


What is the cost of the carpet per square foot? I called Stark but they only sell “to the trade” so they wouldn’t give me pricing. I’m very interested in it for a room in my house. Also, with the 2″ carpet pad, is your carpet higher than your hardwood floors in the adjoining hall? How did you handle that flooring transition? Thanks!


If you look at the Stark website, under their locations , you’ll see that some of their stores are open to the general public / retail customers and if this pattern is part of their retail line you’ll be able to get a price quoted per SF.

A lot of their showrooms & patterns are to the trade only, if this is one of those patterns, you would have to get a price quoted by a designer (but you can ask if they have something similar for retail customers) Since this is for Emily’s own home, they may have given her an additional discount, so any pricing she would have wouldn’t be what retail customers would pay.

Hope this helps!!


Oooo, I love that Kathleen Walsh image, although without the wood beams on the ceiling it would probably need something else as a wow factor.


As for the squared-off quarter round comment – I don’t see why you wouldn’t be able to order a piece of 5/4 x 5/4 lumber to get a true 1″ square piece to install along the base of the wall. That should do the trick!


I’m so confused about the squared off quarter round comment (and continued references here). Is Emily talking about just a 1″ (or 3/4″) square piece of trim molding? This exists. No need to make requests to lumber mills.

I’m guessing it’s a contractor issue… they’re so used to doing one thing and often not for aesthetics, if you care about the details like this, you just have to go to the lumber yard or home improvement store and find the thing that you want.


Absolutely, love the neutrals in this room. So beautifully done! 🙂 Can you provide the links to the dome lamps? I’ve been searching for lamps with this style!

The lamps are from schoolhouse 🙂


Could you possibly share the source of the daybed. I am looking for something exactly like that for our guest room.


I really love the white/beige combo!! I think it looks cozy and really balanced! I can imagine pops of tan, leather, wood, fluffiness, some stones, etc!! I know the finished product will be beautiful, carpet and all.

Thank you so much xx


What if there existed a piece of filler trim that was a right triangle? The square part would butt up against the wall/current molding, and then you could caulk it to look like the baseboard is just really beefy on bottom? (As opposed to the quarter round that is clearly a separate piece)


Yes! I was going to suggest a right angled triangle! I think that could look really smart, whereas a square to me is just a small flat ledge that collects dust…

Julie P

Ok so it’s great to see a room in progress! That’s how I seem to live! And then I get stuck and can’t commit to what to do next.

So I so appreciate you adding the twin size day bed in the room. I have an almost 4 year old and when we go somewhere this is a perfect setup. Kid starts in the twin ends up in the queen, when gets scared in a new place. Then the other adult can retreat to the twin so it’s not cramped.

So I actually think with that wood you can make a beige and white room exciting and beautiful! Plus SO many people have beige carpet and will be inspired by your ideas.

Thank you Emily. 🙂

Leslie Testa

Can you identify any of the white paint colors in these neutral photos?

Julie S

I like that wheat colored carpet because in the photos at least, it looks somewhat like wall to wall seagrass- one of my favorite rug/flooring materials ever except in comfort, which carpet takes care of. I have sensitive feet and ears, and will always prefer a fully carpeted bedroom in my home to pamper both those appendages- even my strong design opinions cannot overcome that preference. Thank you for showing me this pattern exists as I can now attempt to copy it when our renovation progress reaches the master bedroom 🙂


They do make a squared off quarter round! I’ll ask my contractor where he sources it!


We’ve always added color to every room but I’ve been feeling pulled to these more neutral rooms. I’m sold!! I love the warm cozy feel. We added a thick foam pad to the carpet in our bonus/toy room and love the feel but a word of caution from our experience. Spills sit between the carpet and the pad and get funky. Don’t ask how I know?. Also when you have the carpet cleaned it takes a lot more work to get all the liquid up. All worth it for the cushiness but wish I’d known before?.


This looks beautiful, I love the carpet with the window and doors. Wall to wall carpet is amazing in the right space, like a chilly mountain cabin bedroom for example.

I’m beyond ready for beiges to make a comeback after over 10 years of grays and more grays.


I love the neutrals, and this process will be great inspiration for those of us who are still renting, and are not comfortable with painting. I really want this room to have off-white pillows or blankets in the chunky wool open weave I’ve been seeing everywhere. It screams Scandi-comfy to me. Plus some copper moments, greenery, filmy/wispy textures, with lots of softness to be an oasis for the guests. Love seeing the Mountain Monday posts in my inbox!

Donna T.

A lot of us need to deal with beige wall-to-wall carpet, so if you can make that wheat carpet work and look wonderful, it would be a great inspiration!

I like the idea of a daybed at the bottom of a king bed. Not for every day life, but for a vacation or temporary stay, it would be great for the little ones.

(I assume the lamps are temporary, because the different heights are all I can see when I look at the pictures!)


I actually think the carpet AND and neutral palette could work great in this room and like the direction! There is something so calming about vacation homes with neutral palettes and I think it is a feeling many people will appreciate about the house and that room in particular if you go with neutrals. Keep going in that direction, you’re on to something good!


Tip for the quarter round: Turn it backwards and then it will be square on the outside 🙂


I despise quarter round, but always thought it was a necessary evil until I saw the new floors in your house in L.A. Please share the secret of how you can get a contractor to install wood floors without using quarter round!


I don’t know if this is helpful, Melanie, but when we put in our wood floors we had them take off all the baseboards, do the wood flooring to the walls, and then put baseboards back in so we didn’t need to use quarter rounds!


I’m sure others have said this, but I never use quarter round anymore. I use Craftsman shoe molding. Maybe that could work for you.


I love Hague Blue, but I totally agree, it felt wrong in this space. So glad you painted it white. It’s gorgeous now. Bright yet cozy.


For starters, it would be wrong if you didn’t do beautiful timber baseboards. Like a few extra lengths of the wardrobe door boards to tie the beautiful windows and doors together. Then some (lined of course) linen curtains and some earthy coloured cushions and a statement bed head. It is going to be gorgeous!!

Darlene Fausz

Please, please, please, not another white airy room. Can’t airy have color? Yes, they are pretty but so boring because they are so overdone. I really want to see new and creative ideas not a reiteration of the same old thing.


I’m super super happy to see you using beige carpeting! See, my husband and I just very unexpectedly moved from Seattle (where we rented out our beautiful house we’ve lovingly customized over the past decade) and rented a home here that has bright white walls and tons of skylights and windows and on-trend pale gray finishes in the kitchen and bathrooms and…. wall to wall beige carpeting EVERYWHERE ELSE.

This room is so pretty the way you’ve tied it together so far! And needless to say Stark is much nicer than the carpeting we’re dealing with as renters, but I feel inspired that I’ll be able to create a pretty and cohesive grown-up look with mixed neutrals now that I see this in action. Maybe we’ll even come to like or prefer the warmth of beige over gray… doubtful, but anything’s possible, right? 🙂


Can I jump in on the “squared off quarter round” discussion? My husband and I own a home improvement business with an emphasis on finish carpentry. (We are the people to call when you want beautiful trim and wainscoting!) There are so many types and styles of molding, and what you want does exist! The very lowest piece of the baseboard is called the shoe molding or base shoe. It is there to cover gaps between the floor and the baseboard. It is not the same as quarter round, though the profiles can be similar and many contractors use the term interchangeably. Quarter round is 1/4 of a dowel rod, and is very rounded. Shoe molding is more squished looking (taller than wide) but can have a variety profiles. If you want a more squared looking profile, it can be done! And I agree with the comments, you should do a post on trimwork. I’d love to have a resource to show clients!

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