Welcome to the downstairs guest suite—one of two that my friends fight over, understandably. In not-so-shocking news, I like a calm bedroom and at this point, have really specialized in how to do this. So here’s what to expect from this post/reveal: I’m going to break down the goal of the room, how we executed that goal design-wise, the challenges we had to overcome (with solutions), where we saved money, and how we have lived in it since (aka has anything changed due to real life?). If you missed yesterday’s post with the living room reveal, make sure to head over there at some point because I break down my general thoughts on this home’s style as a whole, but if you’re up to speed, let’s keep going.
As a reminder, here was the before:
It was a decent room, with no closet and attached to a full bath. It wasn’t super bright as it’s an interior bedroom. It had a half-exposed ceiling and half not, which was awkward and made my stomach feel uncomfortable.
So let’s get into how we changed that…
My Goal With This Room:
I really wanted our guests to feel cozy, calm and comfortable. Pampered, even. I wanted them to feel like they had their own retreat (thus the adjoining bathroom) and feel like they were on a mountain vacation away from any stress and chaos. Perhaps I was projecting a bit. Nobody ever wants to leave this house, and I think one of the main reasons is that the bedrooms are incredibly comfortable and livable.
How did we do this? Well, we pretended that this was our room. If WE were staying here, what would we want? Here is what we came up with:
1. A color palette that is neutral and calm. We also added in “nature-inspired” with hits of darker green to ground the room and give it some color and interest, without a lot of busy-ness.
2. A king upholstered bed. We like big beds and having that velvet-soft yet modern and low bed feels so inviting. The color is earthy, not too bright but gives the room a focal point.
3. Great natural light. ALL neutrals in a room without great light can feel dead. You need that light bouncing around. So we wanted lots of windows and doors (these, like the rest of the home, are by Marvin) to bring that in.
4. Really cozy bedding for obvious reasons. We layered four king pillows, with two long lumbars and layered a duvet with two quilts. As I’m writing that I realize that it sounds like A LOT, but it’s pretty darn cozy and beautiful (but no, you don’t need all of those if you are sleeping in their daily and especially if you don’t like taking them off at night).
5. Art that is simple and quiet but textured. We mixed an MQuan sculptural piece with two simple yet more graphic Jane Dentons, some smaller pieces by Addie Juell and then, of course, a mirror. It’s a variety of mediums, sizes, and frames all in our color palette and all in the same quiet but special vibe.
6. A super cozy rug. We believe strongly in comfortable rugs in a bedroom and I loved that this one from Annie Selke felt kinda mountain-y. I’ve used it before and LOVE it because it has movement without a bold pattern, and is a tone that hides dirt while still feeling light, therefore, making the space feel bigger.
7. Nightstands with storage. While this isn’t necessary in a guest room, I generally opt for at least one drawer for nightstands.
8. Good and convenient ambient lighting. This seems obvious but I appreciate when a lamp has a nice fabric shade and is easy to turn on and off.
9. A pretty sculptural chair. Even if it’s just for throwing stuff on.
1. The ceiling had to be addressed. Would we bust up the half that was dropped? We explored and what was above it didn’t match, meaning that we would have to actually demo out the ceiling (and thus floor of the above bedroom) and install the wood ceiling to match. My contractor didn’t really know how much it would cost but thought around $5k. Making the decision to just have it be sheetrock made so much sense even if we were losing some character.
2. Early on we decided to put french doors in here to give these guests access to outside and potentially a hut tub room someday. This meant that the bed would need to go on the wall where it is, making the sides of the bed non-symmetrical. This isn’t a huge challenge but meant that yes, a lamp would go in front of the window, which is not a big deal. So to balance out the window, we put a vintage articulating sconce on the other side. Problem solved.
3. No closet. This seemed unacceptable to us because the room was certainly BIG enough, so we put in a closet by bumping out the wall, thus creating a little entry into the room. The original intent was to have the closet go floor to ceiling, but we didn’t catch it before it was framed out. Then we said, ugh, this is where we’ll save some money and just put in simple white, readymade closet doors. But then we decided to do all the doors in the Ross Alan beech which matched the floors and I knew that ultimately I would be bummed that we missed a design opportunity, especially since it’s really the only “feature” of one wall. So we could have demoed out the framing to do the original floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall intent, but we didn’t because of time and cost.
Where We Saved Money:
1. The nightstands. You are going to kill me but those nightstands I got on Overstock for $60 each two years ago. They came assembled, even, and are suspiciously high quality (but sadly no longer available). I bought four of them and sent the link to all of my friends. None of them felt they “needed” them at the time but all have regretted it. Currently, we are storing the other two, but I can’t let go of them because they are so good for that crazy price. UPDATE: A reader just told they found them but sadly not as inexpensive. But here is the link if you want them!
2. The sherpa Target chair (which comes out August 25th). Yes, this is part of our partnership, sure, but it’s SO GREAT for the price.
3. Bedding. I don’t mind spending more on our master bedding, especially sheets and duvet cover, but as far as pillows and quilts? There are so many affordable options like these out there.
How We Live In It—What Has Changed?
It’s pretty darn great. The only thing that we’ve changed is that we moved that tree down to LA because I knew that I couldn’t keep it alive up here and ultimately didn’t want the guilt, but I really wanted that sculptural natural element to break up the space. Instead, I’m going to put a tall dresser there (I already have it, it’s this one) for storage. It just makes more sense.
Otherwise, as I said, no one wants to leave. Maybe by next winter, we’ll have our hot tub room/deck outside those doors…
Onto the bathroom!
It was a decent size, but we were able to make it even bigger by stealing from the adjacent full bathroom and turning that one into the powder room. It was a 2000s remodel of mostly IKEA which we salvaged and donated.
The Goal Of This Room:
I wanted to create a bolder, darker, moodier and edgier bathroom while still fitting in the modern mountain/Scandi vibe. This is a guest bath thus a great place to create an experience and excitement. Due to its vibe, we might call this internally “the sexy bathroom.” It’s undeniably very exciting.
Here’s how we did it:
1. The black reclaimed wood walls. These are stained, not painted. We got the wood from Ross Alan Reclaimed Lumber, with whom we partnered on the entire house, and it was far more rustic and worn than our flooring. So when it’s stained you still see a TON of the grain. It’s awesome. If this were a bathroom that was going to get a ton of use, we would likely not have done it. But since this is a guest bathroom, we just created a ledge on top of the tub to protect it from water damage.
2. We chose lantern style lighting that is still modern and linear. This one from The Urban Electric Co. works with the rest of the house, but still with a cabin-y vibe.
3. The stone on the floor was cut into tiles. Rather than using stone tiles, we picked out a slab from Bedrosians and had it custom cut into 12″x12″ tiles so that the veins match and the small grout lines give more of a slab effect. I’m not totally convinced this was worth the extra cost, but I sure do love it. We used the same Calacatta Oro slab for the vanity countertop and it’s gorgeous.
5. Handmade tile. The Pratt & Larson tiles in the shower surround are handmade but so simple not stealing attention from the black wood walls or the polished brass fixtures. We had our tiler install them as close together as possible, not the typical 1/8″, but instead stacked really tight with bright white grout so it looks seamless and more of a beautiful quiet texture.
6. We contrasted the walls with wood mirrors and polished brass fixtures to warm up the space. The brass faucets are so modern using the wall mount/undermount sink formula (remember this post where we debated if this could be a thing?). You can see that it created a really clean and still minimal aesthetic. A vessel sink would have added another level, but we really wanted it to be as minimal and simple as possible letting the texture of the walls and stone be the focus.
7. We kept with our simple and linear theme, not just through the lighting. but also with all the plumbing fixtures and the simple hardware from Schoolhouse.
8. We used a large vanity that has a ton of storage, but chose one with feet so you could see underneath it, thus making the bathroom look and feel bigger. This means that it’s a bit harder to clean underneath, but we love the look and it’s a guest bath that doesn’t get as much use.
9. We chose an undermount tub that is ergonomic and big. It has nice sloping back for a spa-like experience. We put a Thassos slab on top that went over the wood so the wood wouldn’t get touched with water (ideally). I wouldn’t have done this in a bath that got a ton of use because water can damage the wood, but felt that it was ok with a less-used space (there are maybe 1-2 baths a month). The wood is all sealed to withstand moisture, don’t worry.
This bathroom had a pretty small and low window, which is never great so we put in a bigger pretty window that is higher up for privacy and to allow more natural light into the space. Outside the window is greenery thus giving privacy, but we could always put a window treatment if we decide that our guests want more privacy.
After much debate, we decided to not do glass enclosures, opting for a shower curtain. We felt that this was a great place to save and also the curtain softens up the harshness of the space, making it feel more inviting, less cold.
All in all, it’s a suite that is fought over and honestly this bathroom is a showstopper. It’s so dramatic and such an experience to be in. The whole suite is just so inviting and comfortable, with all a guest needs. That’s if our guests need total comfort and luxury. 🙂
Before and Afters:
And who doesn’t love a good side by side before and after?
Table Lamp by Schoolhouse (no longer available) | Wooden Sconce from Etsy
Furniture & Decor:
Bed from Lulu & Georgia | Rug by Annie Selke | Nightstand | Ceramic Wall Hanging by MQuan (with extended wood rod/ additional 4 strands) | Vase by LGS from Lawson-Fenning | Leather Tray from West Elm | Catch-All Dish from Urban Outfitters | Blue Vase (source unknown) | Sherpa Chair from Target (coming soon) | Brown Suede Pillow from CB2 | Oak Mirror by Skagerak | Vintage Bone Wall Hanging | Vintage Leather Pouf | Anew xi by Jane Denton | Anew x by Jane Denton | Vintage Deer Head | Tree from Good Omen Plants | Concrete Planter from Target | Small Painting by Addie Juell | Frames by Framebridge
Grey Quilt from Target (coming soon) | Green Quilt from Target (coming soon) | White Linen Duvet from Target | Pillow Shams (source unknown) | White Pillowcases from Brooklinen | Charcoal Chambray and White Sheets | Large Lumbar Pillow by Filling Spaces | Small Green Lumbar Pillow from Target
Fixtures & Hardware:
Interior Door Hardware by Rejuvenation | Closet Door Hardware by Schoolhouse | Pocket Door Pull by Rejuvenation | French Door Handle by Marvin (no longer available) | Switches and Outlets in Antique Bronze by Forbes and Lomax
Windows & Doors:
Pure White by Sherwin-Williams | Wall Cladding in Lynx Barn Wood by Ross Alan Reclaimed Lumber | Shower Tile by Pratt & Larson | Grout Color | Shower Tub Deck in Honed Thassos by Bedrosians Tile & Stone | Flooring in Honed Calacatta Oro by Bedrosians Tile & Stone | Vanity Countertop in Honed Calacatta Oro by Bedrosians Tile & Stone
Furniture & Decor:
Mirror by Thos. Moser | Vintage Map Art | Soap Dish from Target | Tray (source unknown) | Ceramic Vase (source unknown) | Vintage Black Box | Hair Brush | Hand Towel from Target | Vintage Footed Vase | Vintage Black Bud Vase | Waffle Towel by Parachute Home | Soap Bar | Shower Curtain from Target
Fixtures (all by Kohler):
Toilet Paper Holder by Kohler | Towel Ring by Kohler | Robe Hook by Kohler | Pocket Door Hardware by Rejuvenation | Switches and Outlets in Antique Bronze by Forbes and Lomax | Vanity Hardware by Schoolhouse | Shower Curtain Rod from Build.com
Again, I wanted to give a great big thank you to my incredible team who made this house a possibility: Julie Rose, Velinda Hellen and Grace de Asis. Photos are by our own Sara Ligorria-Tramp, styled by me with help from Emily Bowser, Erik Staalberg and Veronica Crawford. Our contractor was Jeff Malcolm and our architect (that we used at the beginning of the project) was John Lyles.
Check out the rest of The Mountain House reveals here: The Kitchen | The Kitchen Organization | The Kitchen Appliances | The Powder Bath | The Living Room | The Kids’ Room | The Loft | The Hall Bath | The Upstairs Guest Bath | The Dining Room | The Family Room