How to Make Over Your Guest Bedroom Without Spending Any Money

Abigail Sawyer | 11 Oct 2017 | Home Tours

Have you ever run out of steam (and budget) on a renovation project? You pour all of your energy into the first few spaces and then are tempted to leave the rest of the house unfinished.

We love Claire Brody's "use what you have" strategy for combatting renovation fatigue and how her improvised guest bedroom makeover turned out.

Meet Claire Brody

Claire Brody is an Austin, TX based interior designer who just bought a 1960s ranch home. Even though her home is in the heart of Texas, Claire shuddered at the thought of "country" decorating with cheesy wrought iron and faux finishes.

Split image with interior designer Claire Brody sitting on kitchen counter and home exterior with white painted brick

In the end, Claire found a way to bring in southwestern elements for a look she has deemed "New Country Collected."

Mid Century Austin Home Goes from Dated to New Country Collected

In the kitchen, Claire used saltillo tile, a hammered copper sink, and collected accessories to give the space a distinctly southwest feel that's anything but kitschy.

Split image of kitchen with green cabinets and Saltillo tile backsplash and kitchen wall art collage of wooden cutting boards

For the living room, she used leather furniture, terracotta accessories, and a variety of natural elements to create a look that falls between eclectic and poised.

split image of living room with global inspired accessories and detail shot of leather chairs and gallery wall of mirrors

Guest Bedroom Gets 'Use What You Have' Makeover

After months of marathon renovating, much of Claire's budget and physical energy were exhausted. She and her husband needed a break, but wanted to make some progress on their guest bedrooms without spending too much money.

before image of empty guest bedroom with old white roller shades

The guest bedrooms were a blank slate and desperately in need of Claire's unique, collected style. As a designer and someone in the middle of a renovation, Claire had been saving a lot of pieces that she hoped to find a place for somewhere in the house. She decided to outfit the two rooms by only "shopping" from her storage closet. But, with old crumbling roller shades on the windows, one thing she had to buy was new bamboo shades from

Claire Says:

"And now I’m going back on my word because there’s one thing that didn’t come from my inventory closet.  Those bamboo blinds!!!!!! Because did you see the originals? Ratty plastic roller shades.  They hurt my eyes.  I would 100% rather our guests just be exposed with no privacy than to have those gross plastic shades."

guest bedroom reveal shot with bamboo window shades on short wide window and three smaller windows with blue pinch pleat curtains

Claire gave the room a collected style with basket wall art, fun accent pillows, and textural Woven Wood Shades in Driftwood Umber.

bedroom with upholstered headboard, basket wall art, African inspired textiles and woven wood shades with blue drapes

Claire Says:

"Seriously, how beautiful are those shades. I put one shade on that long, short window and then 3 shades on the 3 short, tall windows. I love the color variation on the shade the most.  It’s dark enough to add needed depth to the windows but it’s not too dark. has SOOOO many woven shade options and I ordered at least 30 samples to see in person."

Close-up shot of wide window halfway up wall with bamboo shade

Claire Says:

"For the “use what you have” concept, I already had that bed, quilt, throw pillows, fabric, baskets, nightstands, table lamps….. I have too much stuff. Have you seen the documentary, Minimalism?"

guest bedroom makeover with burl wood nightstand, patterned throw pillows and woven wood shades with blue curtains on windows

Second Guest Bedroom Gets a Refresh with Woven Wood Shades

Claire gave the smaller second guest bedroom a similar punch-up with bold accessories from her décor stash.

before and after of second guest bedroom with woven wood shades on wide window and antique wood bed

In a stripped down space, a few bold pieces can make a big impact. Claire put large print artwork behind the bed, added fun pillows to the simple bed linens, and hung a rattan lamp that echoes the texture of the window shades nicely.

Second guest bedroom reveal shot with African inspired throw pillows on bed, block printed art above headboard, hanging wicker light and woven wood shades on wide window

Claire Says:

"We used the same woven shade from in this guest room. The other guest room is at the front of the house, so more privacy is needed, but this room is in the middle of the bedrooms and doesn’t require as much privacy.  I like keeping this shade open because the light that comes in overflows in the living room.  However, if need be, the shades are backed with blackout liner so no light is coming through when closed. (All bedrooms should have blackout liner, I think.)"

Second bedroom window with bamboo shade on window, retro burl wood clock and black windsor chair

Get The Look!

Start a simple makeover of your own with Woven Wood Shades in Driftwood Umber. Claire also chose the continuous cord loop lift and a blackout liner in light beige.

Learn more about this makeover and Claire's home in her post, Use What Ya Have...Guest Bedroom Updates.

  • About Author

    Abigail Sawyer is the Manager of Social Media Marketing for She's a home improvement junkie who is currently restoring a 1972 cottage with the help of her husband and goldendoodle, Biscuit. Walking in the footsteps of Martha Stewart, she’s happiest when she’s crafting or whipping up a new recipe; although nothing beats curling up with a good book and some Girl Scout Cookies. Follow her on twitter + instagram at @whatabigailsaw