How to create a grey guest bedroom in a weekend

Content editor Laura Crombie explains how she turned a bland beige bedroom into a stylish contemporary space

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Forget 50 shades, read any homes magazine these days and you’d be forgiven for thinking we’ve all gone mad for grey. Walls, floors, doors, kitchens – you name it, we’re all choosing grey. So when I came to redecorate my guest bedroom, there was only one option for the walls.

By planning ahead and ordering my furniture, carpet and accessories in advance, I was able to get the whole bedroom transformed within a weekend.

Bland beige bedroom




The great thing about grey is that there are so many tones, from cool to warm, meaning you can find one that works for any room. As the guest bedroom only measures 11t by 12ft, I knew I didn’t want a really dark shade that would feel too oppressive. Instead, I opted for Farrow & Ball’s deceptively named Cornforth White. It looks perfect contrasted with crisp white satin on the woodwork and a matt white ceiling.

Here is my step-by-step guide to preparing and painting your walls

A silver-grey 100% wool carpet with a contemporary looped finish, sourced and installed by a local carpet company, is the perfect accent .

In such a small bedroom, choosing the right storage is key. As we want our guests to be comfortable, we knew we’d need a king-size bed that wouldn’t leave much space for anything else. After weeks of research, we decided to invest in an ottoman bed that pops open to reveal tons of storage space – in fact, there’s so much room I’m still working on filling it!

The bed was ordered from Yorkshire-based Sueno who make-to-order and then deliver and assemble beds within seven days. The firm sent out various fabric samples for me to choose from before I settled on a matching Ottoman bed and Tubes headboard in Grey AC Linen – a slightly darker shade than the walls. It’s so comfortable my husband and I have slept in the guest room a few times since we bought it!


I prefer to invest in solid, timeless furniture that will age well over trend-led pieces. I felt white or black furniture would look too stark for the style of our house, so opted for a mid-cream finish, which work surprisingly well with the grey. Bedside tables are handy for storage as well as somewhere to place drinks and lights. And as the house is overrun with books I couldn’t resist a mid-height bookcase to match.

Matalan Direct has only just started selling furniture and the bedside tables and bookcase are all from the Draycott range. I didn’t like the cream handles so swapped them for stainless steel ones from Screwfix to match the curtain pole, which has given them a more expensive look.

Grey guest bedroom created in two days

  • My husband and I love to travel and thought vintage travel prints would be an easy way to add a splash of colour to the room. I ordered two A2 prints from Zazzle and then found simple black frames with white mounts for them on Ebay.
  • We’ve got a botanical theme throughout the house, so I chose fern-print curtains from Dunelm, with a stainless steel curtain pole from Swish, which matches the new cupboard door handles.
  • Huge mirrors are a great way to make a room feel bigger and bounce around light, so I ordered a leaner style from Wayfair, which is also handy for guests to use when they’re getting dressed.
  • I wanted the kind of bedding you find in a boutique hotel so chose high-thread-count white cotton sheets and zig-zag accent cushions, both from Marks & Spencer.
  • Lighting is the finishing touch in any room so I chose black Anglepoise-style lamps for the bedside tables, and a tiered grey shade from B&Q’s Colours range for the ceiling.

The costs

  • Bed, mattress and headboard: £1,070
  • Furniture: £480
  • Carpet: £250
  • Curtains and pole: £160
  • Lighting: £100
  • Bedding and cushions: £85
  • Paint: £70 for 5ltrs
  • Prints and Frames: £55
  • TOTAL: £2,185