When artist and interior stylist Ashley Whiteside moved into her family’s Raleigh, North Carolina home two years ago, she had some ideas for the guest bedroom to make it more multifunctional. “Our home is only 1,700 square feet,” she explains. Devoting that much space to visitors didn’t make sense, so we transitioned it into a guest bedroom, home office and television room.”With the help of a versatile paint color, convertible furnishings and thoughtful decor accents, Ashley transformed the underused upstairs bedroom into a sophisticated, multipurpose space that both her family and visiting guests can enjoy—without any heavy lifting. “The extent of this project was minor,” she explains. “It only took less than two weeks, from planning to completion.”
Interested in learning more about how to create an inviting guest roomthat doubles as a home office (and more) at home? We asked Ashely to share her favorite guest room office ideas and this is what she had to say.
1. Pick a versatile paint color.To set an ambient tone for the cozy but practical guest bedroom, Ashley opted to paint the walls and ceiling of the space OMGreen, a spirited shade of sage-y seafoam green that’s equal parts charismatic and calming. “It’s just bright enough to feel playful, without being jarring or tough on the eyes,” she says. “It’s brighter in natural light, which is perfect for when my husband is using the room as an office, but in the evening, when we have it only lamp lit, it is cozy and muted and enveloping in the most comforting way.”
2. Play up architectural details with paint.
To highlight the interesting architecture in the guest bedroom, including the angled ceilings and molded closet doors, Ashley relied on paint. “Painting the ceiling the same shade as the walls evoked the feeling of envelopment, which encroaches the eye to perceive the architecture as interesting, effectively making it less awkward,” she explains. “Painting the two closet doorways in OMGreen helped them blend into the wall, so they are less of a visual interruption.”
3. Use multifunctional furniture pieces.
In order to ensure the space was truly multifunctional, Ashley swapped out the bulky furniture in the guest bedroom for a handful of chic, multitasking pieces, including a clean-lined convertible sleeper sofa and a petite side table with storage that doubles as a work desk. “The sleeper sofa was the magic bullet that allowed the room to be a twofer,” she says. “We’re not only limited to using the space for guests now; we utilize it for ourselves daily but can live without it when we have someone staying.”
4. Mix it up.
To better communicate the versatile vibe of the guest bedroom-slash-home office, Ashley decorated the space with a variety of colorful prints, patterns and decor styles. “As the anchors of the room went in, I noticed the undeniably traditional lines and fabric of the sofa had combined with the empire shades on the lamps and console to lean slightly chinoiserie,” she says. “The antidote? Some modern whimsy with the help of a colorful abstract art print, a graphic vintage chair and a crisp, clean grid pattern on the ottoman.”
5. Create consistency with monochromatic decor.
After you’ve integrated a mix of stylistic elements into the space, Ashley suggests incorporating a few decor items that are the same hue as your walls to create consistency throughout your guest bedroom. “Using other seafoam elements in the room helped subdue some of the bolder pieces,” she explains. “By creating continuation with color, your eye can wander while absorbing the design in layers.”
Related: Now that you've discovered easy ideas for a guest bedroom, it's time to wow your company with a bold entryway. Read 5 Ideas for Entryway Decor To Greet Guests in Style.