Our “I Don’t Get It” Guest Room

Our main guest room continues to be a work in progress, but I’m slowly chipping away at it!

My starting off point for this room was the bedding. I found this beautiful duvet cover at Pottery Barn and it was love at first sight! I originally wanted to use this bedding in our master bedroom, but unfortunately G wasn’t feeling the love. He thought the pattern and colors were too “girly” and quickly vetoed it. But I wasn’t giving up that easily–one way or another, this bedding was going to find its way into our home! I decided if we couldn’t have it in our master bedroom then it would go in our main guest room.

Next–the paint color. Since I’d already painted the Circle Room (and by this time, half the house) green, I forbid myself to even look at green paint swatches, and instead went for the blues. I narrowed it down to Behr’s River Rock (top swatch) and Behr’s Rocky Mountain Sky (bottom swatch). In the end, Sky beat Rock and I chose the darker hue.

The room painted Behr’s Rocky Mountain Sky:

This headboard was not only G’s headboard growing up–it was also his mom’s headboard when she was growing up! We used it in our master bedroom until we got our new furniture, and then I moved it in here. It had been a dark burgundy color for years, but I primed it and painted it a light cream color for this space. I also got a new bed skirt that was less ruffled than the one we originally had.


Since the headboard is so low, I decided to do a very tall wall arrangement to give the space some height. And since I suck at accessorizing, I also wanted to make it wide enough so there would be no need for anything else on this wall. I decided to do hooks since it was something I hadn’t done anywhere in our house yet.


To keep it cheap–and to get the width I wanted–I decided to make it myself. I bought this 8’ long board and the 7 brushed nickel knobs from Home Depot. I measured out where I wanted to the knobs to go so they’d be evenly spaced, and then drilled the holes for them to later screw into. Next, I painted the board the same light cream color as the headboard. Then I screwed the knobs on, installed D-rings on the back for hanging, and then mounted this sucker to the wall. The project was really cheap and easy–the knobs were by far the bulk of the expense. And the actual hanging of this beast (all by myself, thank you very much) was by far the bulk of the sweat equity.

I tossed around the idea of hanging mixed prints and pictures from the hooks but I couldn’t find anything I liked. Everything I considered ended competing with the bedspread or looked too busy for the space.  I wanted to keep this room really light and serene so I shifted gears and decided to do something monochromatic–sticking with my light cream color. I had 2 large prints my mom had given me back when we bought our first house. The prints were definitely not my style, but I couldn’t bear to toss them because I loved their large wooden frames (even though they were bright gold at the time) and I knew I would find a use for them one day. So, while rummaging through my very short list of things I won’t get rid of even though I’m not currently using them–I came across these frames again, and the idea was born! I decided to do a wall of empty overlapping frames–all painted cream–with some hanging from the hooks, and some mounted right to the wall. The frames from the 2 large prints my mom had given me became my starting off point:



Lastly, I added a cheap little side table topped with candle holders filled with raffia for some quick, easy, and temporary accessories, and a couple of light blue throw pillows to the room.

And this is how far I got before taking about a year-long break from this room:

Now let me tell ya–during this break it was quite amusing to have guests over. They’d take one look at the 2 large empty hanging frames and say, “I don’t get it.” To which I’d reply, “I have a vision!” And then I’d explain my vision, hoping that would clarify things. Nope. Nothing but blank faces staring back at me and an occasional polite nod.

So in the spirit of laboring over Labor Day weekend–and with my first ever Nestie sleepover coming up (the fabulous & adorable halfofvamh–Eee!!) I decided now was the perfect time to pick my wall arrangement project back up. I couldn’t bear to see a blank stare and an “I don’t get it” face coming from a fellow D&R Nestie!

So I went to Goodwill and chose various frames I thought would work well. Then I popped out their prints and glass (so long puppies, cardinals, and metallic church landscape–I’m sure you were once loved) to get just an empty frame. Then I turned to my best friend (spray paint) and transformed them all to my beautiful light cream color.



I traced the frames onto sheets of notebook paper, cut my “paper frames” out, and taped them to the wall to get an idea of an arrangement I liked. (See the dresser to the right? I moved it there to see if I liked it–which I do–so now I’m currently painting that bad boy, too!)

UPDATE:  Here’s my finished DIY Decal Dresser – a fantastic addition to this room!

And now for the finished result! An arrangement of empty cream frames–some hanging from the hooks, some mounted on the wall, and some overlapping. My vision has been realized!


(Half–as my next guest in this room, if you don’t “get it” when you’re here for your visit, feel free to just give the polite nod. I think I can handle it. On second thought–better wait until I have a little wine in me.)
I still need to do window treatments, and I’m currently painting the dresser in the above picture, but here’s the space today:

So what do you think of it so far? Is it guest worthy? How about D&R Nestie guest worthy??

UPDATE:  Check out our “I Don’t Get It” Guest Room 5 years later in this post: DIY Decal Dresser

Update: Our “I Don’t Get It” Guest Room – 5 years later!

Related Posts:
My Summer Vacation–Day 8
A Bed That Could Break My Arm
Adorable Black & White Guest Room
DIY Tufted Upholstered Headboard


  1. 1

    I don’t know if I “get it”, but I “love it!” Great job! I’m totally envious of this beautiful guest bedroom… And majorly impressed that you found the frames at Goodwill (YAY) and even hung it all yourself.

  2. 2

    Booking my plane ticket. I loooove this – it looks awesome, and sort of West Elm geometric daybed-ish without being the West Elm geometric daybed that everyone and their brother has. I love the paint color, the headboard cream, everything.

  3. 3

    Oh yeah, also, major props for braving Goodwill – so many things scattered around kind of makes me cringe, but I’m always so impressed by people who find good things there.

  4. 4

    Thanks ladies!!

    And although I’d love to take credit for braving Goodwill to find these frames–it was my sister who actually dragged me there–in the middle of a massive hangover, no less! (It was my Summer Vacation–Day 8. I just added the link under Related Posts.)

    Reflecting back on my miserable, hungover trip to Goodwill that day makes me even prouder of this accomplishment. 😀

  5. 5

    I love it. It’s unique and I like that. Have fun on your Nestie sleepover!

  6. 6

    i am swooning!! i LOVE it, AND i get it. that is martha stewart mag worthy, i promise you.

    (note to self: D&R nesties will not be visiting my house in Sept, if thats what is nestie worthy!!)

  7. 7

    Not only do I totally get it, I totally love it! I cannot wait to be the first “nestie” to sleep there! Such an honor — EEEE!

    I wonder if I will be a part of the sequel to “The Night the Circle Room Took One for the Team.”

  8. 8

    As a future Interior Designer, I definately get it. And I absolutely love it!

  9. 9

    I get it…I do get it!!! It looks great!!!

  10. 10

    I LOVE it! And I get it! I proposed an idea like this for our bedroom and it was vetoed by the hubby. (He didn’t “get it”)Perhaps I’ll borrow your idea in a future guest room!

  11. 11

    FABULOUS! *SO* linking to this in the Daily DIY!

  12. 12

    I love it! I might be trying this- great for renters because it is easy and cheap.

  13. 13

    I can’t handle it regardless of how much “I get it.” Seriously, if I think about this room too long, I honestly might start bawling from the longing deep in my stomach for such beauty.

    Okay, I’m done.

    Job ::almost:: well done. You’re amazing.

  14. 14

    I have been saving up picture frames to do an empty frame arrangement somewhere in our house. It was great seeing what you did with yours. Again, I love your style. Keep up the good work.

  15. 15

    I love it! So unique and so pulled together.

    Great vision!

  16. 16

    I absolutely love it – so inspiring!

  17. 17

    LOVE the room.

    As always.

  18. 18

    as always, looks great!

  19. 19

    Love it! I lurk on the Nest D&R board quite a bit and I was stoked to see you have a blog! Gorgeous guest room, I am totally stealing this idea!

  20. 20
    Mrs.Wubbin says:

    Ooop, I didn’t mean to be anonymous! The above comment is from Mrs.Wubbin!

  21. 21

    Like all the rest of your house, I love it. Even though you claim to lack at accessorizing you do a great job with no clutter.

  22. 22

    Looks fantastic, you have such a great sense of what looks good. Despite what you say, you really do have a knack for accessorising.

  23. 23

    Thanks so much everyone!! I’m so excited with how this turned out, and I really appreciate all the positive feedback! Thank you!

    And Rachel–I’m so excited to be featured on your site–woohoo!!

  24. 24

    I think it looks great. I definitely get your vision and love it.

  25. 25

    I love this room! it is so serene and relaxing. definitely worthy of a nestie guest!

  26. 26

    I absolutely, positively LOVE THIS!! Bravo to you for doing something so chic and beautiful.

  27. 27

    I’m going to be your next guest in this gorgeous room. Get ready. I promise to “get it”.

    LOVES IT! It’s modern but classic looking. You’re such a design diva.

  28. 28

    WOW! Love it. So simple!

  29. 29

    I love your room! I chose the same bedding for our master bedroom, but I like the paint color you chose better – ours came out too dark. If you want to check out how my room turned out, you can look at my nest bio -http://sites.google.com/site/mrsgoodyslife/

    I still need a lot of accessories, but it’s a start. I like the empty frame collage you have over the bed – it’s really neat.

  30. 30

    I love the empty frame look…very cute!! And I totally get it…lol.

  31. 31

    This is beautiful!!! I would recommend whenever you want a slight change, put mirrors in a small handful of the frames. Bounce some light around, and then maybe more people will ‘get it’. Love the idea!! You did an awesome, and definitely inspired, job! :)

  32. 32

    ….oooh, and perhaps some soft white curtains to ‘soften’ the window a bit.

  33. 33

    @Laura–I was definitely thinking soft white curtains for this room. I really need to get on that–my poor windows have been naked for too long!

  34. 34

    I posted on the D&R board today about something like this, and was directed to your blog! I love this idea.
    I love even more that other picture I have found PIPed on D&R have come from this blog! (Our dining room is a re-creation of yours with the shelves)

  35. 35

    @Jules–thanks so much! I’m so happy to have inspired! 😀

  36. 36

    Brillant idea for a guest room- Gosh I LOVE THIS IDEA!


  37. 37

    How did you get the smaller frames to hang? I really really love this room, just looks so peaceful!

  38. 38

    Thanks Kelly Ann!

    @The Mello’s–The smaller frames are hung directly to the wall with two nails each (to prevent them from getting crooked). All of the frames had a little lip on the inside that I could use to balance on the nails. Hope that helps!

  39. 39

    I did this, copied your idea and we love it! Thanks, We just painted our frames a bold color because the walls are white and we dont want to paint in our rental! You are so talented.

  40. 40

    Your interiors are unique,i love your bed too,looks grand and perfect, love the pillows, very romantic indeed!It turned out so great.

  41. 41

    @The Mello’s–So happy to hear I was able to inspire!

    @Vicky–Thank you so much for your sweet comment!

  42. 42
  43. 43

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea! What did you use to hang the frames from the knobs?

  44. 44

    @david–Thank you! I used a light-colored twine for hanging. I think I got it at a craft store (or maybe even Home Depot).

  45. 45

    This is an awesome idea to recycle frames.
    What what your total cost for the frames?

  46. 46

    Thank you Michelle! The frames did not cost me much. Maybe $10 total.

  47. 47

    I like the way the shadows add a 3-d layer to the wall, thanks for a wonderful idea.


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