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My House

The New Guest Bedroom Bed

With the baby quickly on the way, things are changing around the house. It’s insanity, actually. New baby, means new (additional) nursery, which means no guest room but Brian’s parents are coming for 6 weeks so that’s not really an option if we can help it. We decided to convert our old studio space which was downstairs and not being used into a new guest suite. Things are almost finished, thank goodness. In a perfect world I would reuse some pieces from the old guest room but stylistically I wanted things to change a lot. My new plan included a dark linen bed (click through to see what we did to ours to make it work), a new mattress (because ours was 9 years old and from Ikea) and well, one million other things. Leesa reached out about a mattress, I said, ‘Mattress in a box? What’s next, WINE IN A BOX?’ Then I tested it out and was sold – the mattress, not the wine. I’m familiar with the latter, which can be equally as comforting and convenient.

First – remember that guest room bed?


It’s great, but it needed to change because I’m an insane person and like to change things. My plan down there has morphed into a full on dude’s den. A masculine manor. A gentlemen’s joint. I want something linen and really dark and my old one was pretty teal.

We decided to dye it. It’s been done before, but never by us.

In fact I, Emily Henderson, had NEVER dyed anything until just weeks before this project. And now I’m a dyeing queen. Or a dyeing FEIGN. I want to dye EVERYTHING. It’s so quick, easy, cheap and satisfying. A quick back story about the inspiration: we recently shot the living room for Good Housekeeping, and the whole room went through a big transformation, specifically the hanging of this vintage flag:


When we bought the flag it was cobalt and cream which was great, but not right for us. So we took the flag apart and dyed the top and bottom portions of it (the cobalt) a dark indigo blue. It was a risk but 2 hours later, after we were done I was SHOCKED at how good the color was. It was the perfect deep, dark indigo. That’s an Emily Henderson blue right there.

We figured we’d give the bed a shot before I shopped for a whole new bed. The process is fairly simple. Let’s get into it.

Lessa_Emily Henderson_DIY Dye Fabric_Ingredients

Here’s What You’ll Need:

Big Big or Storage Container that you will use to dye you fabric. The size of the bin totally depends on how much fabric you will be dying. You could also do it in your bathtub or sink, but be careful if they are porcelain as they could permanently stain. This is our favorite method and also allows for easy cleanup.

Rubber Gloves: Unless you want blue hands these are the best bet to keep your manicure fresh

Fabric Dye: There are various brands that offer every shade of color but we went with Denim Blue which is what we had used for the flag, by Rit.

Fabric Color Remover: This will help to pull out all the color from the fabric which will make dying it much easier.

Lessa_Emily Henderson_DIY Dye Fabric_How To_Color Remover_1

1. Start by filling up your container with VERY hot water.

2. Pour in your color remover and stir it all up until it is completely dissolved.

3. Add in your fabric, make sure it’s thoroughly wet fabric before you add it to the tub.

4. Make sure to stir and turn your fabric every 5 minutes or so so that the color mover gets into all the creases and folds of the fabric.

Lessa_Emily Henderson_DIY Dye Fabric_How To_Color Remover_2

As you start moving the fabric around you will notice the color starting to fade from the fabric. After about 30-45 minutes the color remover will have had its full effect on your fabric and you are ready to drain it and rinse out the fabric. Lessa_Emily Henderson_DIY Dye Fabric_How To_Color Remover_3

Now comes the fun part, following the instructions on the back of the bottle, you will add the color into your bath (different fabrics require different steps). We went with Denim Blue which turned out so beautifully when we dyed the flag, so we were very excited to see how it turned out on the bed. Lessa_Emily Henderson_DIY Dye Fabric_How To_denim blue dye

1. Clean out your tub and fill it back up with HOT water. You will want the water to be as hot as possible as it will react with the dye and help to get the most accurate color. Depending on your type of fabric you will either need to add vinegar or salt to the mixture. Check the instructions on your fabric dye to make sure you mix it right.

2. Wet your fabric completely before adding it into the dye bath, be careful not to splash as this stuff will definitely stain your clothes.

3. Every 5 minutes or so get in there and move the fabric around so that you get the dye to reach all parts of the fabric.

4. After about 30-45 minutes you can remove your fabric from the bath and rinse it well in the sink. To finish it off throw it in the washer and set it on a rinse only gentle cycle without any soap, just to make sure that you get all of the dye completely out. We air-dried ours after it had been washed to make sure that it didn’t shrink at all or change the color.

Ready for the big reveal…. We went from tealy blue to …. oh wait … slightly less tealy blue.

Leesa Bed_Before_After

Wah Wah.

It did have a slightly softer blue/grey tone to it after we dyed it but it definitely was not what we were going for. This could have been due to a slight variation in the temperature of the water, the amount of time we had it in the bath, or the type of fabric which all play a part in the color you get. Who knows. This fabric has a lot of rayon in it which is a synthetic so that could be why – whereas the flag was 100% cotton.

With our bed and our moods feeling blue we went back to the drawing board. We decided that it was best to go dark with the bed, a dark grey to be exact.

Lessa_Emily Henderson_DIY Dye Fabric_Inspiration_Linen Beds

This time around we decided to go with black dye as we knew that once it was dyed and washed that it would go slightly lighter resulting in a dark grey color. It took the color very well and came out just as we wanted it this time around.. phew.

Lessa_Emily Henderson_DIY Dye Fabric_How To_black dye bath

The color has a lot of variation (a tad too much at times, but in unnoticeable places).

Once we had the new bed in place it was time to start styling, which is definitely our favorite part. We started with this new mattress from Leesa which yes, came in the box you see below. Boxed wine, boxed mattresses – the world is changing, folks.

Obviously I was a bit sceptical about the results that might occur from ordering a boxed mattress online without any way to test it out in a store or see the product beforehand. Yes, the reviews were great, and the fact that they had multiple layers of different foams to keep you cool at night sounded very nice, not to mention that for every 10 mattress they sell they donate one to a homeless shelter. But, a boxed mattress that came to my front door in a couple of days? Sounds weird and yet TOTALLY CONVENIENT. I decided to take the risk, which isn’t that risky since they have a 100 day satisfaction guarantee and free shipping. We ordered it online and within a few days this cute little white box arrived at our front door. It is EXTREMELY comfortable. I like soft, comfy mattresses – and I don’t want to wait a year to break in my mattress. I’m telling you, this is EXTREMELY soft and comfortable.

Leesa-Bed_Emily Unboxing

The process is simple, but does require a couple of hands. It took us about 5 minutes to get the mattress out of the box and out of the packaging. It expanded in a few moments and as you can see the nap that quickly ensued was my clear approval that the mattress was going to stay. It is plush, soft and easy. Gone are the days where you have to trek your way out to a mattress store where you lay yourself down on a mattress that has been on the showroom floor for who knows how long and try to make a decision of which mattress you will spend the rest of your nights in, while the creepy salesman stands above you breathing loudly. Well done Leesa, well done. Plus it looks chic even without a sheet.


We made quite a few furniture adjustments and moved the bed to about every corner of the room until we settled on this side of the room as it made the most sense so that the room could function as both daily office for Brian and guest bedroom for the few times that we do have guests during the year.

Leesa-Bed_Emily on Bed

The room, although not fully finalized (or even close) is making me very excited. It’s all I can think about, actually. We still have some decisions to make as far as wall color, office furniture, rug, as well as art and accessories, but the general direction is there and you better bet that this room will be finished before Hendo #2 makes her grand appearance.

Leesa-Bed_Emily Henderson_Guest Bedroom Sneak Peek

Bed Quilt | Striped Sheet Set | Pillow | Rug: Vintage | Nighstand: Vintage | Lamp | Marble Pot | Seascape: Vintage | Bedframe 

Be sure to come back as we reveal more of the guest room in the next few weeks and once again document it all for your viewing pleasure. Until then, I will be taking a short siesta downstairs on the new bed. Speaking of which,  Leesa has been kind enough to offer the first 30 readers who check out and purchase a mattress through this LINK, $75 off your order. Trust me folks, you wont be disappointed. A big thanks goes out to them for sponsoring this post, as our collaborators who allow us to continue to create original content for you on a daily basis.

***Photography by Jess Isaac for EHD

For more reveals from Emily’s Glendale Home: How To Add Style To A Neutral Living RoomFull House Tour | Family Room & Kitchen Styled to Sell | Elliot’s Room Styled to Sell | Charlie’s Room Styled to Sell | Living Room Styled to Sell | New Master Bedroom Styled to Sell | Office | Guest Bathroom | Master Bedroom | Elliot’s Blush & Green Nursery | Master Bathroom | Charlie’s Circus Themed Nursery | Good Housekeeping House Tour | Guest Bedroom | Closet

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8 years ago

Brady seems like the most fun person to work with in the world.

8 years ago

We just bought a mattress from a box and agree, they are crazy comfortable. It is for our guest room, too, but we spent the night on it just to make sure it was okay and it got the seal of approval from husband. Also- how are you wearing jeans?! I’m 35 weeks pregnant and this LA heat has killed jeans for me. Is it crazy to say I miss them! One day soon, jeans, one day soon. 🙂

8 years ago

Did you deconstruct the bed to get the upholstery off then staple it back on, or was it some unique slipcovered type arrangement? That former seems like a lot of work, for a bed frame! I guess it makes better blog content than, “I ordered a new bed…”, though!

8 years ago

I don’t understand how you dyed the bed – did the bed have a slipcover over the frame? Or did you re-upholster it with the newly dyed fabric? Please solve this mystery for me! Thank you!

8 years ago

I’ve heard a lot of good things about those mattresses! We’ll have to check them out when we finally get around to putting our guest room together!


8 years ago

Um, can these walls be cream? I am just so feeling warm, not-yellow, not-beige cream with those purty wide plank floors, worn oriental rug and dark linen. I just felt so warm and cozy that I fell asleep. But in an awesome way.

8 years ago

Are your floors acacia- Tobacco Road?

there is a crazy nesting thing that happens before babos are born and one feels it is of the utter most necessity that (a long list of whatever) is done! once the day before a birth, i had my entire kitchen cabinets emptied as i scrubbed all the doors and walls. seemed so nicely timed to me, lol lol lol.
i dare say you are nesting? complete with a dye-job?!! but Girl do you nest in Style!

wow, you have enough room in your space for a couch? do it do it do!! and i too have a love hate relationship with my bedroom windows. can’t live with them, can’t live without them. (ps – i was going to have breakfast til i saw your before carpet! lol lol lol!!)

8 years ago

(blahhh!!! so sorry EH for the double comment! I am looking at two bedroom re-dos at the same time as we are in the middle of a master re-do you are aces … please forgive!!!)

8 years ago

The vintage rug looks awesome. It picks up the warmth of the wooden floor and goes well with all the neutral hues. Vintage rugs add hearth and soul to every space.

8 years ago

Hi Emily! I don’t know if this information will prove useful in future dying projects, but rayon is actually not a synthetic. It’s a cellulosic manufactured fiber, which means that it’s made from tree pulp. This puts it in a different category from (for instance) polyester, which IS in fact synthetic and essentially made from plastic. Other cellulosic manufactured fibers include bamboo and modal.

Anyway, I think the bed turned out lovely! The variation in the adherence of the dye is really beautiful.

8 years ago

I’m looking forward to how you set up the room to utilize it as a guest bedroom and office. I have a room doing same double duty.
Thanks for sharing the dyeing process! ♡

Mackenzie @

8 years ago

I’m looking for a striped sheet set and that one looks great. The link takes me to the Target site and not to the sheet set. Sorry to be so high maintenance but can’t seem to find the actual set on the website?

I must know where those boots are from!! LOVE!

Perfect timing for this post! I am just about to try dying a crochet table cloth grey with Rit. I bought the elephant grey colour but now I am wondering if I should exchange it for the black since that’s what worked for you. Also, I did not know about the first step to remove the dye, so thanks! I’ve never done this before and at least if I have a “wah, wah” moment I know I’m not the only one. Thanks for sharing.

8 years ago

Keetsa has been doing the mattress in a box thing for quite some time now. Sorta makes me side eye how similar your sponsor’s name is. (I don’t work for Keetsa, by the way, but I do have one of their mattresses, which is terrific).

8 years ago

I love the colour palette in this guest room!! The colours are very cozy! You do darn good work Em Henderson 🙂

8 years ago

Interesting post and what looks like a very complicated and interesting process! Hmm…I wish we had a guest bedroom to decorate!


8 years ago

Well, darn, we had already just ordered a mattress in a box & it’s on its way, but I think it’s another company as the name didn’t ring a bell. I was skeptical about it, too but willing to test it out since we now have aching backs & need a really great mattress. Hope it’s true.

8 years ago

Hi, I love using fabric dye but now use washing machine dyes as much easier. Just throw the wet fabric, dye and salt into the machine and switch on the washing machine. Therefore it does the hard work, no fear of splashes, no continual moving the fabric around the tub. It also tends to distribute the colour more evenly. Maybe a consideration for the future?

8 years ago

I love it, and it’s the directiong I’m going in my master bedroom 🙂

A quick question: how high should a nightstand be? As in relation to the bed. I’m in a conundrum here: I don’t like shorter nightstands beacause I feel that the height of them should be more or less the same of the mattress to make everything harmonious, but maybe I’m mistaken. I had a beautiful tallish dresser by my side, but felt overpowered by it when laying or reading in bed. Could you help clarify this?
thanks a lot (and sorry for the broken English, not my mother tongue)

8 years ago

I don’t know if this is any interest to you, but you could probably turn your guest suite into an Airbnb guesthouse and make at least $4000 per month. I make about $3k from a dinky place nowhere as nice as yours.

Brooke Slabic
8 years ago

You have inspired me to dye my heinously ugly brown sofas! I am so excited, but I’m also nervous that they won’t dye properly because they are microfiber.. Do you know what material the bed upholstery is? I am curious if it is synthetic. It looks like it took the dye well.

8 years ago

I love this project! Such a great idea. You have inspired me go dye my hideous brown microfiber sofas. I’m wondering if you know what material the bed upholstery is? I’m curious if the dye worked on a synthetic material.

Johanna Miller
8 years ago

Just bought a leesa for our nursery/guest room. Hope it’s as comfy as it looks!