An Artful Space for Work and Play

The guest room used to be a double bed on a metal frame and a couch I reupholstered in college. That was it. The bed was sunken in the middle from Austin’s life as a bachelor and his friend’s single life before that. We had to apologize for the poor sleep any of our guests got when staying with us. When we didn’t have company, the room was a catchall of SO many displaced objects as I worked on organizing other rooms in the house.

I figured we’d get to the space down the road — it seemed silly to buy a new full or queen size bed when eventually we’d want twin beds in here for Hyler and hypothetical other kiddos. And while it’s a great sized room, working in here felt overwhelming because of the lack of storage and place to sit down and focus.

As Hyler transitioned out of the newborn stage this spring, I transitioned into working more. Still from home but without an office. We arranged for our friend/babysitter to come over two mornings a week so I could have focused time to work but I quickly found that sitting at the dining room table while they played in the next room was as focused as me playing with Hyler myself (she’s just too adorable).

It got me thinking about this mostly unused space and how to use it now and later. If we were going to invest the time and money into it, the space needed to be able to evolve easily with our ever-changing life stages. I found a set of beds that make a daybed when stacked, two separate twins when unstacked and a king size guest bed when pushed side-by-side. It replaced the couch and solved all the problems of what to do if we have guests staying over, foster kiddos living here or just needing a place to nap during the day. Then I found a couple children’s dressers that looked so perfect as file drawers and office storage and can eventually be for little tiny clothes.


Instead of going full-on colorful like a kids’ room, I kept the palette white and a beige-y taupe on the walls. But instead of going the traditional route, we painted the ceiling and the trim deeper color and painted the walls white. I added a simple brush stroke pattern to make the space a little more creative. I think it’ll be a cool treatment when kids take over the space and we can add more color with bedding and toys.


The last but equally important piece of the design was to source artwork and frames that merged the line between inspiring workspace and imaginative wonderland. I chose custom Natural Oak wood frames with a double mat. I found these great Matisse paintings that felt very me but also very whimsical and childlike. One of them I bought as a digital download and uploaded right to my Art to Frames order. The other Matisse, I had shipped and placed it in the frame once it arrived.

For the third, I had a special piece of art to frame. Our good friend, Meg, had reached out when we were engaged and had the coolest idea to take one of Austin’s photographs, print it halftone and wrap our invitations (handprinted by her team at Moglea of course!) with the poster as a piece of art for our guests to keep. I have a box of extra stationery and mementos from our wedding and thought this extra frame in my office and future kid space was perfect for it.


I’m so excited about how the room turned out and I love how the art brought the whole space together. The transformation from underutilized guest room to creative space of my dreams (while keeping the budget as low as possible) is pretty incredible.

Lauren DayComment