Homeowner transforms 'horrific brown guest room' into hotel-worthy bedroom

Wow, what a difference one wall can make!

Not every home welcomes the same decorating trends, as this transformative guest bedroom makeover proves.

Homeowner Donna Horan tells us this spare bedroom in her house was dubbed 'the caravan room' by friends thanks to the veneer panel and built-in wardrobe surrounds that filled the far wall. Caravan chic's not a great interior decor vibe to impress guests eh?

Another room in Donna's house: Grey spray-painted kitchen cabinets & new splashback transform family kitchen

To quote Donna herself the room was a, 'horrific brown guest room inherited with the house.' Speaking of the decorating choice she says, 'Must have cost them a fortune to put in but aptly inherited the name of 'the caravan room' by our friends!'. That was enough to make Donna totally transform the room. And wow, didn't she do just that...

The guest room before

guest room with wardrobe and bedside table

(Image credit: Future PLC/Donna Horan)

Nothing dates a room quite like an old-fashioned wardrobe surround. This example in Donna's guest bedroom may not even be old but it simply wasn't to her own taste. The wardrobes to the right of the bed were left in place to be repainted, while the surround was removed immediately.

Donna details, 'We removed the fitted back wall unit and resprayed the wardrobes. Costs were around £400 for the respray'.

Guest bedroom makeover after

guest bedroom with white wall and window with blind

(Image credit: Future PLC/Donna Horan)

This guest bedroom is almost unrecognisable from how it was. The far wall behind the bed was stripped of the fitted wall surround and plastered. It's now a serene landscape of smooth white – the perfect backdrop for the striking upcycled headboard.

'I reupholstered two of the suede headboards and roman blind myself with the same fabric,' Donna explains.

The remaining decor is now a vision of crisp white bedding with blue accents, including the tactile throws and sumptuous velvet ottoman. The design-led lighting choices add a modern feel to the room, offering boutique hotel vibes.

New sockets, door handles and new carpet help to really finish the look – learn how to fit a door handle yourself for an easy update on a budget.

guest bedroom with wardrobe and bedside table and lamps

(Image credit: Future PLC/Donna Horan)

'Laters brown!! 👋 ' Donna happily writes when sharing the room transformation on our Facebook Group The Room Clinic. And we'd like to add a clapping hands emoji to show how we feel about the new decor. It seems we're not alone;

‘It looks like a five star hotel now!’ exclaims a fellow group member.

'Oooh very posh! Love the blue ottoman. X' remarks another.

Another writes how much more spacious the room feels, ‘without the useless and bulky overhead box.’ An observation Donna herself agrees with.

Related: Bedroom feature wall ideas – accent wall ideas that will work for every decor style

Do you have an impressive room makeover to share with us? We welcome you to join the group to do so.


Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.